You may have noticed this in a loved one, or perhaps you’re already providing Alzheimer care for someone close to you. Whatever your situation, it is important to realise you are not alone. There are services available to support and help you both in the home and, if necessary, in finding suitable accommodation when living at home is no longer an option.
Working through Dementia’s Early Stages
Due to its nature, Dementia is a progressive illness and the person with the disease will continue to experience changes to memory, recognise familiar surroundings and possibly lose the ability to walk, talk and swallow. It is important in the early stages of the disease process that you continue to live your life enjoying activities as you always have. Explain to your family and friends what is happening so they can also support you and give you a break from the caring role as needed.
People with dementia respond well to familiarity and routine. Part of the disease is that the person with dementia can become fatigued and will require quiet times and rest during their day. This is because they need to use a lot of energy just to make sense of their day. With a structured routine in place, they will be able to make it through the day without exhausting themselves. It’s also an effective way to limit confusion.
Getting Support for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care
Dementia Support Australia is a free national service that is available 24/7. Counsellors are on the end of the telephone to offer advice and where to access extra assistance if required. If you find yourself becoming tired and coping with daily activities more difficult then you may wish to access respite care. To do this you will need an Aged Care Assessment. Your doctor can help you organise this. It is important to do this sooner rather than later. Once you have the assessment you will be able to access respite for the person you are caring for which will provide you with some time to have a rest, catch up on things you need to do or have a holiday.
Many aged care homes also offer day programs. This allows you to have a day or a couple of days a week respite, while the person you are caring for can have a few hours of activity and mixing with others. While consistent care is important, taking time for yourself to do the shopping, meet up with friends for lunch or do the jobs that you need to do is also essential.
Home care packages are also available. This allows you, depending on your package, to have a carer come to your home to assist with showering or provide care while you attend appointments or go shopping. It is an additional cost, but if you find yourself becoming tired or frustrated as a result of care, having someone else around to ease the workload can be incredibly beneficial.
It is very important when caring for a person with dementia to look after yourself, ask for help and make use of the services available. Caring for someone else full-time is a huge undertaking, and you can’t do everything by yourself. That is why it is important to access resources in your local area and information online. Dementia and Alzheimer care is becoming easier every day.
Arrange an Appointment With our Team Today
Discuss your needs with our home care team today for more information. Our services are flexible and are designed to provide you with the best possible care as you or someone you love moves into a new stage of life. We can meet with you over the phone or in person, either at our office in Ringwood or at your home. Call us today to book an appointment, or send an email to enquire.