Home care is key for seniors with dementia
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By Julie Ann Anderson  June 6, 2014 12:00 am

The first ray of morning sunshine peeks through the curtain and grazes the edge of the bed to gently say, “time to wake up.” 

Birds sing from the tree branches right outside the large window looking out on the yard where the kids loved to run and play. A photo collage hangs on the wall beside the nightstand, testifying to a lifetime of memories.

Home can be a place of comfort and familiarity in so many ways. Naturally, aging adults want to continue living in their own homes, even as their care needs change. According to a Home Instead Senior Care network-commissioned research project titled the “Value of Caregiving at Home” study, 90 percent of seniors say they want to age in their homes for as long as possible. 

For those experiencing memory loss as a result of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, remaining in familiar surroundings is especially helpful in managing the disease.

The “Value of Caregiving at Home” study shows that not only are in-home care services beneficial to individuals with dementia, but they may be an integral part of the entire senior care continuum.

More specifically, the research demonstrates that for these older adults, paid in-home, non-medical care offers several important benefits:

• It can fit seamlessly into a regimen that would otherwise consist of more formal clinical care, especially for those who are older or who need more-intensive levels of care.

 

• It is associated with a lower incidence of doctor visits (between 28 and 47 percent fewer, depending on dementia severity) and hospitalization (half or more less likely), potentially saving healthcare dollars and improving the quality of seniors’ lives.

 

• It results in more hours of care – and in most instances, better care.

 

In addition, the use of in-home care for older adults helps relieve the pressure on the country’s resource-strapped hospitals and nursing homes. As the Baby Boomer population ages, the number of individuals age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s will sharply increase, reaching a staggering 13.5 million Americans by 2050, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and 1.1 million Canadians by 2038, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Many seniors who are aging at home only need the help of paid non-medical workers. These workers assist with daily and weekly routines, which can include trips to the doctor, reminders to take the right medication at the right time, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, shopping and even Alzheimer’s and dementia care. 

The result is companionship that allows seniors to feel safe and independent while they age in place in the home they've lived in for years.

 

Julie Ann Anderson is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park; mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website, www.homeinstead.com/sonoma to educate and encourage seniors and caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern? She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime.

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