When you talk to family caregivers who care for a parent with Alzheimer’s, you start to see how much it can affect a person. In the advanced stages, exhaustion, frustration, anger, joy, and happiness can all become jumbled. Home care services become essential at helping your parent and others in the family with daily care and activities.
What services are most helpful? It varies from one family to the next, but these are some of the services that family caregivers research and schedule most often.
Personal Care and Grooming
In the advanced stages, your dad may not understand how to take care of himself. He may know how to wash his hair, but he’ll forget what he’s doing or forget what products are correct for washing and conditioning his hair. It’s not surprising to see someone with Alzheimer’s use toothpaste for hair gel or use hand soap for toothpaste.
Your dad needs to have a caregiver available to help guide him to the right products. He can shower on his own, but a caregiver can hand him the product he needs when washing his body. The caregiver may need to help him shave and style his hair.
As toileting needs change, caregivers can help him clean up after an accident. If he needs help finding the bathroom, his caregiver can help with that, too.
Meal and Snack Preparation
Even with the best of intentions, the meal you make your dad one day may not be something he wants to eat. He said he wanted chicken stew when you asked that morning. He won’t remember what he said. While advanced planning is easier for you, it won’t always help.
Home care aides can help you get two meal options set. If your dad balks at one when it’s dinner, don’t become frustrated. Instead, let his caregiver make him a sandwich while you focus on eating.
Respite care is one of the most important home care services. You may need to leave for the day to attend a business meeting or meet up with friends. You can’t leave your dad alone, but you can’t bring him. Instead, hire home care aides to stay with your dad while you run errands or take a day off.
If you decide to stop working and care for your dad, you need support from a home care agency. Caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s is hard work. It’s emotionally and physically draining some days and filled with joyous moments others.
You can’t stop living your life when you care for a parent with Alzheimer’s. Talk to a home care agency about respite care services. You’ll be able to socialize with friends and enjoy time to yourself without worrying that you’re leaving your dad alone. Call to discuss your dad’s Alzheimer’s care needs.