Care Mountain home health care agency is an experienced (33+ years) provider of Dallas, TX area in home care for Alzheimer’s and in home care for dementia. It is from these years of dementia home care experience that much of the material in this article will be based upon.
In determining the most effective approach for getting someone with dementia, such as a Alzheimer’s disease, to allow in home care, the stage of dementia and the messenger are two of the most important factors to consider. These two factors are not mutually exclusive. The Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association lists the stages of Alzheimer’s disease as Mild Alzheimer’s disease (early-stage), Moderate Alzheimer’s disease (middle-stage) and Severe Alzheimer’s disease (late-stage). These descriptive stages provide a useful way to explain the considerations in how your approach might vary.
What determines an effective messenger – the person who is going to try to get someone to accept in home care – is fairly consistent among the different stages. The most effective messenger is one that has a good understanding and acceptance of the dementia at hand, and has not built up a material degree of adversity with whom he/she is going to be dealing with. Degree of acceptance and degree of adversity are inversely correlated and seem to be the most common determinant characteristics of the messenger. This comes up a lot between spouses! For many reasons, it is very difficult for a spouse to accept the realities of their loved ones dementia, so they often don’t. Being in denial, means fighting reality, and fighting/arguing is what is often seen among spouses where one has dementia and the other is in denial of that reality. This fighting/arguing develops an adversity in the messenger diminishing their effectiveness in getting that person with dementia to accept in home senior care.
Once a good messenger is in place, there are few things to know about each stage that will be helpful in getting your desired results. No matter the stage, keep it simple! Since a short term memory deficit develops in the early-stage as well as a compromised ability to deal with more complicated tasks, the more detailed and complicated your communication/approach, the less effective you will be. I come across so many well intended adult children attempting to get their parent with dementia to accept something by explaining it in the most comprehensive and detailed way they know how. While it is crystal clear to you and I, their parent gets easily overwhelmed and as a result becomes adverse to what is being said.
In the early-stage of Alzheimer’s disease where very little assistance is needed, it is more about companion care. Finding a compatible companion they can enjoy spending time with is the key. Avoid associating that companion with anything seen as a threat to their independence – such as someone to care for you or look out after you. Your choice of wording in explaining the companion care is very critical here.
I found for most families the middle-stage of Alzheimer’s disease to be the most challenging for getting someone with dementia to allow in-home care. In this stage the needs of the person with dementia exceed that of companion care, so the challenge is getting that person to allow help with some activities of daily living. I purposefully use the word allow here, versus accept. I often think of success in this stage as helping a person with dementia without them realizing they are being helped.
In the late-stage of Alzheimer’s disease getting the person with this disease to allow someone to help them is all about just taking action. Explaining, rationalizing it to them will make little difference. Finding a very good and experienced caregiver for in home Alzheimer’s care in the Dallas, TX area that you can work well with is the primary focus.
A good example to share. About four years back Bob called Care Mountain for in home care for Alzheimer’s in Irving, Texas for his wife Alice. Alice was in late-stage of Alzheimer’s disease and had been living in a memory care facility for the past six months because Bob felt he could no longer care for her at home. Bob told me he really missed his wife and wanted her back home. During the time his wife was in memory care, Bob became much more knowledgeable about Alzheimer’s disease, and much more accepting of it. He shared with me his expectations along with some pertinent things about his wife. From that we had two caregivers meet with him and his wife at the memory care facility to determine caregiver fit. Bob focused on action – getting the right caregiver fit, and virtually nothing on explaining or rationalizing the care plan with his wife. We worked with Bob’s wife for about three years up to about her time of passing.CLICK HERE FOR FAQ
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