If your parent has Alzheimer's, then you likely have taken an active role in helping your family member cope with the disease. If the disease has progressed and you can no longer provide the constant and consistent care that your loved one needs, then it is time to consider hiring an in-home health care aide. This will help your parent retain some of their independence while health care needs are taken care of. However, Alzheimer's patients can become quite stressed when routines are changed. Unfortunately, stress and the release of the stress hormone cortisol have been linked to the formation and worsening of dementia conditions. This means that stress reduction is extremely important if you want your parent to remain healthy. Follow some of the tips below to reduce stress as a home health care aide begins working in the home.
Introduce The Aide Daily
If possible, try to hire a healthcare aide who is dedicated to the needs of your parent. Either request the single aide from the healthcare aide business you decide to use or hire a nurse, CNA, or other type of medical professional privately. Keep in mind that you should look for an individual or service that is Medicare-certified if your parent has Medicare insurance. Otherwise, the care may not be covered. Also, medicare typically does not cover 24 hour care, so you may need to pay some out-of-pocket expenses if you need the aide to stay for a long period of time.
Once you have decided on the aide you want to hire, remain in the home with your parent when the aide arrives in the morning. Introduce the individual daily by their name and inform your loved one that the person is a healthcare professional. Short-term memory is the first to become affected when Alzheimer's disease sets in. This means that your parent will be unable to recall new information like the name of a healthcare worker or the fact that the individual comes to the home each day. Some details may be transferred to long-term memory over time. This means that your loved one may recognize the aide and understand that they are part of their daily routine. However, until this happens, stress can be caused by the presence of the aide and the confusion surrounding them if they seem as though they are a stranger.
Not only should you introduce the aide daily, but you should also place a picture of the professional on the refrigerator with their name, professional title, and the hours and days they will be in the home. Being able to identify the aide and also knowing what to expect can greatly reduce stress concerns.
Adopt A Pet
The inclusion of a healthcare aide in the home is likely to lead to some frustration and anger, and these feelings will cause your loved one stress. The feelings may arise as your loved one realizes they have Alzheimer's disease. The future may seem bleak or uncertain, and the aide will start to complete tasks that your loved one probably cannot on their own, especially activities that involve concentration and the memory. For example, the healthcare individual may cook meals and provide medications at specific times.
Your loved one will be able to complete some tasks, especially repetitive ones for some time. Providing your parent with a pet like a cat or dog will provide them with tasks that they can complete, which can reduce the frustration that other things can no longer be done. Also, this will allow your family member to fit into the caretaker role so that self-esteem can be built up. Pets increase engagement and activity levels too, and they can reduce depression and blood pressure.
Either adopt a therapy pet or pick one out at your local animal shelter. If possible, look for an older dog or cat that will not be nearly as energetic. Work with your parent to come up with a feeding, watering, play, and walking schedule that can be followed daily. Write the schedule down so your parent can follow it. Times should accompany each task on the schedule to reduce confusion.
For help with selecting an in-home health care aide for your parent, contact a company like Ivory House Health Services.