However, there may be any number of reasons you don't yet wish to place your parent into a special memory unit at an assisted living facility or nursing home. If your parent needs medical care you can't provide, you may be at a loss as to how to proceed. Read on to learn more about some ways you may be able to help care for a relative suffering from dementia at home.
What are your at-home dementia care options?
Hiring a caregiver -- someone to cook and ensure your parent eats, perform light cleaning, and otherwise help keep your parent safe and healthy while you're not around -- can be a crucial component of being able to keep a parent suffering from dementia in his or her own home. Taking on this role on a full-time basis yourself can be physically and mentally exhausting, and you may find you don't have the reserves to tend to your own life issues when serving as caregiver to a memory-impaired parent. Without a proper support network to help relieve you from this burden, you could be putting your parent at risk (especially if he or she has already wandered away from home more than once).
Fortunately, there are a number of home care agencies that specialize in caring for patients with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and other degenerative cognitive or memory disorders. Because the employees of these agencies are specifically trained in dealing with those whose memories aren't what they once were, you won't need to worry about your relative's safety while you're away.
What home medical care is available for dementia patients?
In some cases, you and other family members may have round-the-clock companionship or housekeeping covered, but still need some assistance when it comes to providing for your parent's medical needs. If this is your situation, you and your family may benefit from the services of a home health care agency. These agencies provide trained nurses or nursing staff to come to your parent's home once or more per day and administer insulin injections, change wound dressings or ostomy bags, or perform other medical or health-related procedures.
These medical providers don't cook, clean, or perform other domestic chores -- nor do they assist with personal care tasks like bathing or using the restroom -- so it's important to keep this in mind when evaluating the tasks that will need to be divided among available caregivers.