ACT on Alzheimer's: Keeping loved ones at home when possible

In an effort to raise awareness, reduce the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease, educate our community and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease; this month’s article highlights keeping the person you care for living at home for as long as possible. This is a concern for many families as we continue to deal with the COVID 19 Pandemic. 

Increasing numbers of families are keeping relatives at home longer. In some cases, families can care for a relative at home until the end of life. There are no rights and wrongs in this journey. Each family is individual in how they manage this. There are several key factors that are at work here and can make this possible for families. 

The size and support of network. Those who have large extended families or friendship networks available to help with care are more likely to be able to sustain the person at home longer. 

Financial Resources. It can be costly to keep a person at home and it may be impossible for many families. For others, careful planning and creating a “patchwork” of resources and services can make this possible, affordable, and successful. By supplementing informal support with formal support/services, keeping a person safely at home can become a reality. However, this does require time and effort. 

What do we mean by Informal and Formal Support and Services? Informal support is the people around us; family-based assistance, a combination of family members and non-relatives, such as friends, neighbors, our faith communities, or co-workers.

Formal support and services are those resources that go beyond family and friends. These are private pay services, health care and community-based services. These services can provide hospice services, nursing care, help with shopping and errands, transportation assistance, home delivered meals and help with housekeeping.

Symptoms and medical issues of the person. Some individuals with complex symptoms are much easier to care for than others. People who don’t sleep well at night, who wander, who are highly agitated, or who are medically fragile may be much more difficult to care for in a home setting. 

To find out more about these local services and how to create a plan of care for your relative to safely remain at home, reach out to Jayne Mund, Caregiver Consultant with Family Pathways Aging Services. She can help connect you with our local community-based services and supports. She can be reached at 651-257-7905.

Source: Moving a relative with Memory Loss by Laurie White & Beth Spencer 

FOR MORE RESOURCES and guidance in caring for someone with dementia, contact Jayne Mund, Caregiver Consultant, at 651-257-7905 or email jaynem@familypathways.org.

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