Dementia is much more than forgetting a name here and there. It is a gradual mental decline that affects much of a senior’s everyday life. Below are some reasons that in home senior care can be helpful when you’re caring for seniors with dementia.
Seniors with dementia often require 24-hour attention
Two particular symptoms associated with dementia are wandering and sundowning. These two things alone are enough to merit 24-hour attention. Seniors who wander often get lost and become subject to the elements and the kindness of strangers. They risk falling or becoming the victim of a crime.
Sundowning is the term given to the nighttime restlessness of someone with dementia. For some unknown reason, people with dementia often experience confusion, anxiety, and agitation late in the day. They struggle to differentiate between what they dreamed and what’s reality. Often they sleep less, and the darkness and shadows feed their confusion.
Having someone on hand to observe, monitor, and re-direct these behaviors is both a relief and a safety precaution.
An unbiased third party
For a family member caring for a loved one with dementia, it can be difficult not to take the frustration and hostility personally. When your feelings get hurt because your loved one forgot your name or mistook you for someone else, it’s tough to keep those feelings to yourself. An in home care provider is an unbiased third party who understands the challenges and symptoms of dementia while remaining more detached than a spouse or a child.
Sometimes you need a break
Caring for someone with dementia is both physically and emotionally taxing. There may be days when you just need to get away and take a walk or get a cup of coffee. You might even need to go on a vacation. With in home care, you have that opportunity. You occasionally need respite care in order to continue helping your loved one.
Seniors with dementia can potentially exacerbate symptoms by failing to take or double-dosing on their medication. With in home care, somebody is there to monitor the medications so that they do what they’re supposed to do.
Sadly, there are those in the world who prey on the vulnerable. Seniors with dementia often fall victim to theft or fraud because they would rather trust a stranger than admit they don’t recognize someone at their door. Having a consistently lucid person in the home helps to prevent such crimes.
There is also a safety concern with people with dementia living alone. Whether they fall and cannot call for help, they leave the burner on the stove turned on, or they fail to respond appropriately during severe weather or another emergency, seniors need to be protected. Sometimes they need to be protected from themselves.
Never underestimate the power of presence. The social interactions and conversation an in home care provider can give could make the difference between a content senior and a lonely senior. Studies have shown that social interaction actually helps to slow the mental decay of certain individuals with dementia.
Caring for somebody with dementia is a challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone.