Although Alzheimer’s disease is a common condition for most families, dealing with a loved one’s diagnosis can still cause uncertainty, anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed. Late onset Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of the disease, meaning the symptoms begin after the age of 60, although early onset Alzheimer’s can occasionally occur at an earlier age. Since the condition is more common in the elderly, many grown children have to face the sudden stress of managing their own personal and professional lives while tending to the needs of a parent with Alzheimer’s. In addition, the spouses of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s have to deal with the grief of watching a lifelong partner change while also offering support and attention to the individual. To relieve this stress and allow both the Alzheimer’s sufferer and his or her family the professional and understanding care they need, personal care services offer the help and care that everyone needs and allows them to lead healthy lifestyles without disruption in their normal routine.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, and results in a gradual deterioration in cognitive function. The earliest symptoms may be too subtle to detect or may mimic typical signs of aging, such as poor memory. Forgetting where one put the car keys is not a cause for alarm, but Alzheimer’s disease gradually grows more severe. The individual may start forgetting major life events or growing confused over basic details, such as the identity of family members or his or her home address. Other possible changes include unexpected changes in attitude and behavior, poor judgment or unusual thought patterns, changes in perception and alterations in language. Due to these significant changes in behavior and thinking, everyday life becomes difficult and sometimes risky for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. For instance, even a trip to the grocery store can result in the person becoming lost and agitated, and simple tasks, such as balancing the checkbook, can be neglected. Other symptoms can include depression, incontinence, sleep problems and swallowing problems, meaning that Alzheimer’s sufferers often need around the clock care and emotional support. The caregiver needs to do everything from administer medications at the right time to accompanying the patient on errands or helping manage household tasks.
Home care services offer an effective, respectful compromise between moving the Alzheimer’s sufferer to a nursing home and placing the full burden on the family and partner. A home care provider allows the person to stay in his or her own home environment without risking their health or safety. Many providers of personal care services have extensive experience working with Alzheimer’s sufferers and other forms of dementia, ensuring that the person is in good hands and will experience a comfortable, dignified lifestyle. To stay connected with the parent or spouse, family members do not have to turn over full care of the patient. Instead, the family can share responsibilities with the home care provider, helping everyone manage stress, time and obligations more easily. Additionally, PCA services may cost less than a nursing home or similar facility, reducing the financial burden that can cause extra emotional stress. When working with a trustworthy, knowledgeable personal care provider, Alzheimer’s disease takes less of a toll on everybody involved and makes a difficult phase of life a little more comfortable and manageable.