What do you need to know about Alzheimer's care? According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), an estimated six million-plus adults in the U.S. have Alzheimer's disease-related dementia. If your parent is one of the many Americans living with this progressive disorder, take a look at what you need to know about finding the right care option.
Why Does Your Parent Need Care?
Your mother or father has always taken care of you. But now the roles are reversed and it's your turn to help them. If this is your first experience with Alzheimer's or dementia and a loved one, you may need more information on the reasons behind and benefits of care before you choose a caregiver or health provider.
Unlike some other conditions or diseases, Alzheimer's does not have a cure. This degenerative disease causes changes in the brain. These changes damage neurons and can significantly impact a person's memory and cognitive abilities. While the changes may seem minor at first, the disease will progress. This means the person with Alzheimer's will gradually lose the ability to care for themselves. Without this ability, your loved one will eventually require extra help at home or care.
Who Should Care for Your Parent?
Adult children may choose to care for a parent with Alzheimer's disease. But this doesn't mean you have to go this route. Whether you don't feel comfortable with your ability to help your parent with daily tasks, believe they need a higher level of memory care, have children or other family members to care for, work too many hours to devote 247/ care to a parent, or are overwhelmed by this situation, you can find help to care for a parent with Alzheimer's disease.
There isn't one universal type of Alzheimer's caregiver or one place where your parent can receive care. Adults with this disease may live at home, in assisted living facilities, or other healthcare-related environments. The specific option you choose depends on the progression of your parent's disease, comfort level, the doctor's recommendation, and the amount of care necessary.
Some adults with Alzheimer's prefer to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. This means that if your parent does not want to move out of their home, they may not have to. Instead, a home health care service provider may help them with memory care and activities of daily life. If this type of care isn't possible or the home environment isn't the right setting for your parent right now, an assisted living facility is an option that can provide the help necessary while still facilitating some independence.
For more information on Alzheimer's care, contact a professional near you.