How do you know when it’s time for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s to transition to a long term care solution? Generally, the best indicator is an inability to adequately perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are routine tasks including meal preparation, bathing, taking medications, paying bills, and many others that require daily achievement to maintain a basic quality of life. The regressive nature of Alzheimer’s Disease will ultimately lead to struggles with ADLs for all who experience it.
Home care is an excellent solution for Alzheimer’s treatment as its non-medical nature allows the focus to be on preserving one’s daily life rather than the medically dominated feel of an assisted living facility.
Non-medical in home care can be initially regarded as an insufficient solution for the many needs of Alzheimer’s patients while assisted living facilities and the variety of health-related benefits they possess seem a more complete solution. However, the type of care in need must be honestly considered. Assisted living facilities house a number of medical professionals and thus command medical prices. While some with long-term medical conditions are in need of this level of assistance many Alzheimer’s patients are in relatively good physical condition.
Other than strict medical practices like giving shots, dispensing medication, and applying bandages to wounds, non-medical in home care covers a diverse range of services. Anything from watering the flowers in the backyard to assistance with walking up and down stairs can be written into a home care service plan. In reality, it addresses the needs of Alzheimer’s patients far more effectively than a medically dominated service.
Having a caregiver present in the home ensures that the Alzheimer’s patient eats, bathes, and toilets on a regular basis. It prevents the home from falling into disrepair through cleaning reminders and assistance. And while the caregiver cannot give medications, they can assist with reminders and managing often complex arrangements. Caregivers, in a sense, are a backup memory that allow Alzheimer’s patients to continue living in the comfort of their home without all the dangers associated with their condition.
While medical insurance does not cover the cost of home care (due to its strict, non-medical service), there are a number of methods to pay for home care. The two most common are long term care insurance and private funds. Long term care insurance policies vary (talk with your broker about the details of your policy) but commonly reimburse for costs associated with ADLs. As for private funds, home care is a relatively inexpensive option.
Home care provides peace of mind for both you and your loved one as they remain where they find comfort and you are assured that their needs are being met.
For more information on services and pricing, reach out to us at FootPrints. We would be more than happy to assist you in your search for care. And for the most complete information on Alzheimer’s and available care options, visit the Alzheimer’s Association.