All of us who have dedicated our lives to working with the elderly and improving their quality of life are only too familiar with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. We walk side by side on a daily basis with the courageous older adults and their families who are impacted by Alzheimer’s, and are encouraged by the latest research developments that seem to be drawing us ever nearer to the hope of a cure.
The report 2014 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures, however, presented some sobering facts for women and the disease. Not only are women far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than men (with one in six women over the age of 65 being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s during their lifetime, compared with one in 11 men), but they’re also more likely to be the primary caregivers for a loved one with the disease.
For the primary caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, life is dramatically impacted in a variety of ways, including the potential need to cut back on work, lose benefits or leave a job altogether. This is over and above the physical and emotional toll the disease exacts on the caregiver!
Based on current research, the disease is now considered to be about the third leading cause of death in the United States. Alzheimer’s is also one of the most expensive disease states due to the constant care people need as the disease progresses.
With Nightingale Home Care, however, you can take comfort in knowing that we’re battling the complications faced by those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers head-on! We’re equipping our staff with the latest knowledge and skills to provide compassionate, professional, respectful care, and allowing them to remain in their homes. Each and every one of our caregivers is trained in how to manage the most common challenging behaviors seen in those with Alzheimer’s disease through our Connections dementia care program. In fact, we’re the only Phoenix home care agency providing certified Alzheimer’s Whisperer® care. And, all care is always supervised by a registered nurse.
Don’t face the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease alone; contact us any time at 602-504-1555 and allow us to journey beside you through the ups and downs of life with Alzheimer’s, and find fulfillment and purpose each step along the way!
We all look forward to getting away from it all from time to time – to rest, recharge, and explore an exciting new destination. And those who provide care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease are no exception. The big quandary for these family caregivers, though, is how to manage a vacation with the myriad of unique circumstances surrounding their loved one’s care. Is it even possible to travel with someone struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia?
Dr. Verna Benner Carson, creator of the Alzheimer’s Whisperer® program, shares some helpful suggestions to maximize the enjoyment, comfort and safety for the Alzheimer’s traveler (and those who are providing care):
Take a trial run: A mini “test” trip can provide a good indication of how the person with Alzheimer’s will react to traveling.
Pick an appropriate destination: Selecting a location that’s familiar and not overly crowded can go a long way in reducing stress and complications.
Forewarn all involved: If the trip includes visiting friends or family, it’s a good idea to advise them in advance of any limitations or behavioral challenges that may be experienced.
Safety first: If the person with Alzheimer’s has a tendency to wander, it’s crucial to have a safety plan in place. Enroll him in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return Program, and make sure he wears an ID bracelet at all times.
Consider individual needs: One particular area of concern is bathroom needs. Handling incontinence while traveling can be challenging, and keeping needed items (and a change of clothes) readily available at all times is vitally important.
Pack some distractions: Time flies when you’re having fun! Bring along plenty of activities such as an iPod loaded with favorite music, playing cards, manipulative items, snacks, etc.
Don’t go it alone: Especially for road trips, having at least one additional adult in the car can go a long way in keeping the atmosphere peaceful, allowing for the person with Alzheimer’s to be kept calm, engaged and safe.
If your loved one is in a later stage of Alzheimer’s and would not respond well to travel, call on the certified Alzheimer’s Whisperers at Nightingale Homecare. We provide respite care services throughout the Phoenix, AZ area, ensuring that those with Alzheimer’s or any other condition of frailty are provided with compassionate care to allow family caregivers some much needed time away. Call us any time at 602-504-1555 for a free in-home assessment so we can learn more about your needs and share with you how we can help.
Living at a distance from those we dearly love is never easy. And caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is challenging, to say the least. Put the two together, and you’ve got a recipe for a level of stress and concern that may seem insurmountable.
Dr. Verna Benner Carson, creator of the Alzheimer’s Whisperer® program, shares the following strategies to help alleviate the feelings of helplessness that go hand in hand with trying to manage long distance care:
First and foremost, discuss issues of care with your family, including your loved one with Alzheimer’s, while he or she is in the early stages of the disease.
Engage the services of good legal counsel, preferably an elder care attorney.
Look into geriatric care management in your loved one’s community, for help in accessing appropriate resources as well as locating a qualified home care agency. Certain private duty home care agencies, such as Nightingale Homecare, are licensed by the state Health Department of Health Services, and managed by registered nurses with access to immeasurable qualified resources to support your loved one at home. The Aging Life Care Association is another resource to help you get started.
Keep a list of helpful community-based support providers, such as:
If your loved one is a member of a faith-based community, tap into that resource for possible assistance with transportation, meals, errands, and companionship.
Stay in contact as often as possible with your loved one:
Checking in with brief phone conversations can go a long way in providing peace of mind to a long-distance family caregiver, even when the disease progresses to the point that the person with Alzheimer’s may no longer recognize your voice.
Receiving letters and pictures (clearly marked with names, places, and event details) is always a welcome bright spot in the life of someone with Alzheimer’s.
Easy to use computers with Skype and other communications access are an option for some elders, and can provide instant contact with your loved one.
If your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease lives in the areas of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, or Maricopa County, AZ, we would love the opportunity to partner with you in providing safe, compassionate, and specialized Alzheimer’s home care. As the only agency in the area certified as Alzheimer’s Whisperers, our staff have been fully trained through Dr. Verna Benner-Carson’s unique approach to managing even the most difficult challenges of dementia, including wandering, repetition, bathing and dressing issues, uncooperative behaviors, sundowning, eating and swallowing difficulties, and much more. Call us any time at 602-504-1555, or complete our simple online contact form to let us know how we can help.
A Nightingale representative would be happy to answer your questions or help you arrange for home care that is custom-fit to your needs.