Progress is being made on the homefront for those caring for family members suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. Currently, about two-thirds of Americans with those conditions are cared for at home.
As the disease progresses it carries with it a tremendous burden, both physically and psychologically on the family members-usually the husband, wife or partner–who are doing the caregiving. That is why it is vital that the family access community support systems, such as local Alzheimer’s organizations, that can provide reassurance and support groups.
It is also important that family caregivers seek outside help if they feel they are becoming ill from the strain of caregiving as the disease progresses. The strain can easily become intolerable for spouses trying to cope all alone at home with an Alzheimer’s sufferer and they themselves can have a physical or mental breakdown.
There should be no shame or guilt in seeking respite care from a professional home care agency. People who are not trained professionals often find it a strain to be caregivers, and should not feel that this makes them a bad or unloving partner or child. By turning to outside resources, a family can delay having to place Alzheimer’s sufferers in a long-term-care facility and, instead, keep them in the comfort of their own home.
Interim HealthCare has formed a strategic partnership with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) to support AFA’s goals related to dementia care professionals, including:
- Raise the level of professional care provided to individuals who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia;
- Support professionals as they support those in need by providing practical training;
- Set standards of excellence through the AFA qualification program;
- Offer networking and advocacy opportunities.
Interim HealthCare, a leader in the home healthcare industry, recognizes the special needs of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and their families. Creating an Alzheimer’s- and dementia-friendly and safe environment is an important step in making it possible for people to remain at home much longer and further into the disease.