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Alzheimer’s In-Home Care

Are you worried because your mom or dad is showing increased signs of dementia or has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and you are not sure how they can be safe at home? Are you unsure if you or your parents can afford in-home Alzheimer’s care? Do you question the minimum amount of hours it might take to keep them at safely at home? Are you concerned about the experience level of caregivers that would be assigned to your case?

 

Since the needs, family dynamic and financial means of every single patient varies, I have created this page to give real world experiences of actual patients and family caregivers who are going through exactly what you are. My hope is that an honest account of their experiences will be relatable to your specific situation and help you decide if in-home Alzheimer’s Care is the right option for you. Of course, their names have been changed but their stories demonstrate how with careful planning, keeping your mom or dad at home for as long as possible is often an attainable goal.

Early Stages Betty

Betty is in her late sixties and lives with her adult son and daughter in-law who both work full-time. Betty has early stages of Dementia and although not safe for her to drive, is high functioning. Betty enjoys lots of conversation, going to get her hair done once every few weeks and uses her aide to go to therapy appointments and go out to lunch. Bettys family found my agency by doing an online home care search after becoming frustrated with a large local agency providing inconsistent caregivers that Betty was unable to form a bond with. Read my page on how we hire caregivers and how we prevent the revolving door of caregivers at our patient’s homes.

 

Betty receives care two days per week, from the same caregiver, for two separate four hour shifts (8 hours per week, TOTAL). Betty loves going out with her caregiver and her caregiver maintains a somewhat relaxed cleaning schedule to help out Betty’s adult children with cleaning bathrooms, laundry, etc., but Betty’s children have asked that Betty’s emotional needs come first and cleaning second. As her disease progresses, Betty will need more care and supervision, but for now she is doing great.

Bill and His Wife Judy

Bill and his wife have made plans for a life that would allow both of them to live at home for as long as possible. Bill has early stages of Alzheimer’s and can no longer be left alone, which has taken its toll on Judy who is vibrant and healthy. Because Bill is still high functioning and resistant to having a “caregiver” in the home, their caregiver is there under the guise of “cleaning”, which gives Judy some time to leave the house and run errands or play Bunko with her girlfriends. Judy’s house was as tidy as can be when we started the case so her caregiver is there primarily for Judy’s needs and has been instructed to “clean real slow” so as not to tip off Bill as to why our caregiver is actually there.

 

Bill is slowly becoming used to having someone else is the house and will be more inclined to accept more care once the time comes. Bill and Judy receive care four hours per day, two days per week.

Moderate Stages Margie

Like Betty discussed above, Margie is in her late sixties but experiences symptoms consistent with more advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Betty lives alone in a condominium but has a large family support group consisting of adult children, grand kids and church friends that all take weekly shifts to make sure Margie is never home alone. Margie receives care 5 hours per day, seven days a week. Most days Margie’s caregiver cleans, walks her dog and cooks lunch for Margie but also spends a considerable amount of time talking and reflecting with Margie about her life. If Margie gets frustrated and needs some redirection as is common with Alzheimer patients, her and her caregiver hop in her car and go get ice cream and a magazine from the book store. Margie’s caregiver also provides respite care for the family if they need extra help.

Late Stages Elsie

Elsie is in her 90’s and lives with her daughter and son-in-law in a house that was purchased for the sole purpose of keeping Elsie at home until the very end. Because of the sheer cost of this endeavor, Elsie’s case is a shining example of a daughter’s love, sacrifice and commitment to keeping her mom out of a nursing home.

 

We started providing assistance to Elsie while she was living in an assisted living facility. At that time, Elsie was a fall risk and was receiving care from my agency a few hours a day Monday-Friday, at the assisted living facility. As many families eventually learn, there is very little “assistance” in most assisted living facilities. As it so often happens, Elsie had a fall while at the facility one night and her daughter made the decision to bring her home to live with her.

 

Elsie is now in the final stages of Alzheimer’s and needs help with just about everything. Elsie receives care during the day time, 10 hours a day, seven days a week. Her daughter takes care of her at night and with the help of medication she sleeps well most nights. Elsie has two caregivers that work opposite days and help with bathing, toileting, cleaning, cooking and companion ship. When the Lord decides for her to come home, Elsie will pass at her daughter’s house.

24-Hour Care Lloyd

Lloyd is a story not for the faint of heart in terms if cost. Lloyd has a debilitating disease that makes him unable to walk, bathe, shower, cook, clean etc. Lloyd lives alone on his farm and although his adult children live close by and are very involved in his care, they work and have responsibilities of their own and are unable to personally provide the 24 hour care their dad requires. After a recent fall and stint at a rehab facility, Lloyd wanted to go home and he now receives care 24 hours a day by six different full time caregivers, each working in 12 hour shifts. Obviously, 24-hour care in this scenario is rarely a long term solution because of the cost. Since coming back home, Lloyd has seen marked improvement and is getting stronger and healthier. Lloyd’s long term plan is to continue to have help at home but will likely scale back on his weekly home care hours as he continues to progress. Lloyd will always require some level of assistance.

Hopefully these stories will help with understanding all the different scenarios people just like you are facing and how in home Alzheimer’s care benefited their lives. One common thread you may have noticed in the stories above is that each Alzheimer’s/dementia patient has amazing family who is committed to keeping their mom or dad at home for as long as possible.

 

It goes without saying that providing quality in home Alzheimer’s care is not financially feasible for every single person, however, as I hear many family members comment, “our goal is to keep mom/dad at home for as long as possible”. Often, providing care just a few hours per day can ease your burden as a family caregiver and allow your mom or dad to stay at home a little longer while not breaking the bank. Our caregivers are patient, professionally trained, reliable, understand and enjoy working with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Please take a few minutes a read more about the services we offer on my home page.

 

For a free in home assessment or just to talk about your options, please call me at 417-865-8812 or stop by office at 1200 Woodhurst Street, Suite B100, Springfield MO.

brooke sutton home

Brooke Sutton, President, R.N