Live-In Care Helps Seniors with Dementia

March 28, 2016

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As your parents age, sometimes diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s begin to show symptoms. This is always a tough road for families, but with open communications and the right planning, you can find a solution. The first challenge is always talking about the prospect of assisted living. Older adults are frequently resistant to the idea – they want to maintain their independence and sometimes turn a blind eye to their own needs. Ultimately, though, they know deep down that they will need help, and it’s often a matter of dispelling fear and finding an answer that will maintain your parent’s dignity. Many seniors wish to stay in their homes for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, at-home and live-in care means that you, as a son or daughter, can honour that wish.

Dementia is a gradual process, which means that your mother or father will slowly need more help over the years. There are medications like Solanezumab that appear to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. There are also a number of supplements that can assist with symptoms, such as melatonin for “sundowning.” “Sundowning” is a symptom in which the patient grows agitated toward the end of the day and their sleep is disrupted.

At first, you may be able to help out your aging mother or father yourself, especially with light household chores such as yard work or grocery shopping. As their needs increase, experts advise finding assistance sooner than later. Personal support workers can provide respite care as well as lighter tasks like companionship, cooking, and help with transportation. Companionship itself can also slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s, as games, socialization, and physical activity are all known to stimulate the mind and stave off cognitive dysfunction.

As the disease advances, you may debate between a long-term care facility and at-home options. According to the Champlain CCAC, wait times for these facilities in the Ottawa area range from hundreds of days to several years. Carleton Lodge has one of the longest wait times at nearly 2000 days for nine out of ten people on the waiting list. Many seniors prefer to stay in their own homes and, thanks to live-in care offered by agencies like Mavencare, now they can. Sudden disruptions in location have been known to worsen the symptoms of dementia, as it can aggravate confusion.

Live-in care providers offer specialized services for people who need help with activities of daily living like bathing, toileting, and dressing. Mavencare is one Ottawa-area agency that can also offer nurses to assist with the transition after a hospital discharge. As Ontario has aggressively cut down on the availability of hospital beds, doctors are quick to transfer recovering patients back to the home. Where clients cannot provide space for a live-in personal support worker, 24/7 care is an option that sees two or three personal caregivers rotate shifts. If your mother or father wishes to stay in their own home as they age, Mavencare health services may be the option you need to fulfill that request. Get live-in help from thoroughly vetted caregivers to help you provide for your aging parent.

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