Can You Care for a Dementia Patient at Home?

Dementia patients can be cared for at home with supportive services to help them maintain their independence and quality of life.  Most dementia patients will start by having a senior caregiver assist them at home on a weekly or daily basis.

A senior caregiver is a professional who helps an older adult at home.  A senior caregiver will visit an older adult at home on a weekly schedule to assist with household tasks such as, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and personal care such as, bathing, dressing, and grooming.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the top 10 warning signs of dementia are memory loss that affects day-to-day abilities, difficulty performing tasks, problems with language, disorientation to time and place, impaired judgement, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things, changes in mood and behavior, changes in personality, and loss of initiative.

Dementia patients require assistance with reminders to do daily tasks such as, to change their clothing, to take their medication, to turn off the stove, to turn off running water, and other safety concerns in the home.  Dementia patients also may lose the ability to drive which will require that they have someone to help with getting to appointments, running errands, and picking up prescriptions.

Senior caregivers often help older adults living with dementia at home.  A senior caregiver will help a dementia patient by assisting with medication reminders, meal preparation, transportation to appointments, guidance with the daily routine, walking assistance, and other daily living activities.

Senior caregivers will assist with a variety of tasks as well as provide companionship to older adults.  Tasks will include grocery shopping, running errands, dusting, vacuuming, medication reminders, walks and exercise, conversation, laundry, and other daily living activities.

There are many benefits to having a senior caregiver help a dementia patient at home including relief for the family members who are providing the caregiving themselves, giving the older adult a sense of independence at home, having a professionally trained and/or experienced person providing support, and socialization from the companionship of a senior caregiver.

People that choose to become a senior caregiver as a profession often have a fondness for working with older adults.  Their experience and training have taught them to develop patience and compassion when helping elderly people as well as how to anticipate the needs of seniors who are afflicted with chronic illnesses, declining health, or frailty.  The training for senior caregivers typically includes learning about dementia and Alzheimer’s care, fall prevention and home safety, personal care and hygiene assistance, nutrition, and meal preparation, and observing and reporting safety or medical concerns.

Other services that could help a dementia patient at home include delivered meals, medication delivery services, housekeepers, visiting nurses, home modification companies, and visiting physicians.