November has been designated as National Alzheimer’s Disease Month. Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia, are incredibly impactful for millions of Americans — not only for those who experience it directly, but for their family members and loved ones as well.
There are currently over 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease — and this number is rising rapidly. It is projected to triple over the next 30 years. In 2019 alone, 16 million Americans helped take care of family members or loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, providing almost 19 billion hours of care.
Of these family caregivers of people with dementia:
- 30% are aged 65 or over
- 66% live with the person with dementia
- 25% care for an aging parent and child(ren)
The cost of time and energy for these family members is staggering. Experts are concerned about the effects on the caregivers’ health.
Family Caregivers Must Take Steps to Protect Their Health
It’s easy to become so overwhelmed by caregiving responsibilities that your own personal needs are neglected. Both mental and physical health suffers as a result. It’s important to take care of your own needs to stay healthy and emotionally strong — both for yourself, and the person you are caring for.
Experts urge family caregivers to protect their own health by:
- Seeing their doctor regularly
- Keeping physically active
- Eating a healthy diet
- Accepting and asking for help
Trying to take care of everything on your own will lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. Thankfully, help is available.
Senior Home Care Can Help
One of the best avenues available for help is professional senior in-home care. Senior care agencies pair professional caregivers with older adults who need their help. These agencies find and vet caring, skilled professionals who love working with seniors.
Senior care aides are scheduled on a completely customized basis, according to the individual family’s needs. They can assist with a wide array of tasks to make life more manageable, such as:
- Light housework
- Meal preparation
- Assistance with shopping or errands
- Personal care
- Home Care Respite Makes a Difference
For family caregivers of people with dementia, having a home care aide help out with even a few chores or tasks will conserve precious time and energy, enabling them to take care of themselves and their other responsibilities. Respite care creates an opportunity for a break so the caregiving family members can refresh and stay healthy.
How Often does Home Care Respite Occur?
Respite care can occur on any schedule that works best for the senior and their family. Many choose schedules such as:
- Sporadically, such as during various appointments
- Once or more per week
- For a weekend, or week, at a time
What Happens During Home Care Respite Visits?
Home care aides can help with a huge variety of tasks and services, so what happens during a visit varies with each particular family. Common activities include:
- Cooking or meal preparation
- Bathing, dressing and other personal care
- Walks or exercise
- Fun, stimulating or meaningful activities
- Relaxing, scenic drives
- Outings to parks, restaurants or community locations
These activities are often stimulating and beneficial to the senior with dementia, as well as providing needed respite for the caregiver. A quick call to the agency can answer questions and inspire ideas that will work for your specific situation.
If you or someone you know needs Homecare in Hutchinson, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve.
Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.