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Getting the in-home care you need for Alzheimer’s or dementia.

As people age, a decline in their cognitive abilities is often evident. Alzheimer’s and dementia are two such conditions associated with aging.

Today, several specialized care options are available for these conditions when you wish to help your loved one age at home.

In-home memory care is an option that allows seniors to stay in the comfort of their own homes and have the safety, assistance, and supervision they may need.

While caring for seniors, you are likely to hear about Alzheimer’s and dementia a lot. These terms are often used synonymously and are associated with cognitive degeneration like memory issues. They have many symptoms in common. In fact, one may cause the other. Dementia is basically a broader term, and Alzheimer’s is a disease that can cause it.

As these are both interrelated and relative, you can arrange a common setup of management for them. In-home care is one such setup, details of which you’ll find in this article. So you can consider it for your elderly loved one in the time of need.

What exactly is in-home Alzheimer’s care and dementia care?

In-home memory care is the trending way to look after the needs of elderly loved ones who are suffering from dementia and doing so within the comfort of their own homes. It includes providing services ranging from simple personal care to skilled medical care and even companionship.

It is appropriate for people who want to age in place but require care most of the time. Providing such care can be hard on the family.

In-home Alzheimer’s care and dementia care have the same concept, and these in-home memory caregivers provide services related to these conditions.

What are some types of in-home memory care?

In-home memory care does not consist of one simple set of tasks. In fact, it comprises multiple services to assist a person according to their needs.

Here are some services a memory care provider might perform:

  • Personal care services:

These services include help with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, exercising, or any other personal care.

  • Companionship services:

These services include help with supervision in any simple task or recreational activities. It might include visiting and spending time with the individual to ensure the person is safe and supported.

  • Homemaking services: 

Such services comprise helping the person with housekeeping chores, shopping, errands, or meal preparation.

  • Skilled care:

It is to help the person with wound care, injections, physical therapy, and other medical needs by a licensed health professional. Often, a home health care agency coordinates these types of skilled care on the recommendation of a physician.

What are the services included in in-home memory care?

In-home care for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia includes a mixture of medical and non-medical services. These are:

  • Support in activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, eating, changing clothes, going to the toilet, etc.
  • Providing companionship and supervision
  • Help with laundry
  • Light housekeeping
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Shopping and errands
  • Transportation

When is in-home Alzheimer’s care and dementia care required?

As dementia and Alzheimer’s are neurocognitive disorders and progress over time, there will come a time when you will need assistance in caring for your senior loved one.

  • You might observe a visible loss in their ability to fulfill their ADLs and notice that they are becoming dysfunctional. This is when you can approach in-home services to help them out.
  • If you are alone in the process and having trouble managing your daily life while meeting the needs of the person with such a condition, you might feel burdened and burned out. This is also an indication that you need help for yourself and your elderly loved one.
  • If your senior loved one refuses to move to facility care and prefers to stay at home, then in-home care is what you can opt for.

What is the difference between in-home care and assisted living (facility care) and which one to choose?

An alternative to in-home care is assisted living, which is also commonly known as facility care.

The fundamental difference between the two approaches is:

  • In assisted care, the senior has to move away from home into the facility care. They live there with other elderly of the society and get a chance to socialize. However, they do get their own space to live in. All the facilities regarding their ADLs, healthcare, and visits from family and friends are carried out within the circumference of a building.
  • Whereas in-home care is a service arranged within the comfort of the home of the senior. The carers customize the services according to the senior’s needs. This is one of the most significant benefits of in-home care. In this way, one can always be a part of a family and its gatherings.

Keeping in view these pros and cons of both care systems, you can choose which one fits with your and your elderly loved one’s needs.

Where to find in-home memory care services?

To find the right in-home care services you can utilize the following resources:

  • Talk to the doctor:

The physician treating the person with Alzheimer’s could recommend home health service providers who have expertise in caring for people with dementia.

  • Use Medicare’s online tool:

Searching for Medicare-certified Home Health agencies in your area can be helpful in the long run. You can do so through Medicare’s online tool Home Health Compare.

  • Use the Community Resource Finder

Search for home care services near you by using the online Community Resource Finder.

  • Call your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter:

The Alzheimer’s Association chapter is another great way of finding referrals. You can find your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter here.

  • Use the Eldercare Locator

You can search for services by zip code, city, or state by calling 800.677.1116 or using the Eldercare Locator Online Tool.

  • Ask friends, family, and neighbors about their experiences:

It is always helpful to get a first-hand opinion from someone who has used in-home care services. So don’t hesitate to consult people around you.

Choosing the right in-home care for your elderly loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Following are some steps that can be helpful in finding the right service:

  • Create a prioritized list of needs.
  • Call first to screen home care providers to know the kind of help they offer and if it is according to your needs.
  • Have a meeting with care providers at your home to rule out misconceptions or apprehensions.
  • Try to take testimonies from people who are already using the services for safety reasons.
  • Share proper information because the more the care providers know about the person they are caring for, the better care they can provide.

What are the costs of in-home memory care?

Costs of in-home care services vary depending on many factors like:

  • What are the services being provided?
  • Where do you live?
  • Whether the expenses qualify for Medicare or private insurance coverage?

Medicare covers certain in-home health care services when the person needing the care meets the eligibility criteria (which includes being homebound and requiring the services of a skilled professional), and if they consider the services necessary for treatment.