Deciding on when it’s time to hire extra help for your loved one with dementia is no easy task. A good way to think about the decisions that need to be made regarding implementing in-home care is to consider answering the four “Cs” below.
How much can your loved one and/or family members afford to pay for private, professional caregivers in-home? Does your loved one have a long-term care insurance policy that will cover a significant part of the cost? Establishing a budget for these costs and figuring out where that money will come from is an important step in the process.
How much care will your loved one with dementia need? Can that level of care be sustained at home for the foreseeable future? Quality in-home care can go a long way in keeping a loved one with dementia home for a considerable time even as the condition progresses. At that point, community care placement can wait until other medical needs arise and/or the person with dementia begins to have frequent episodes of wandering or elopement which make it difficult to keep them home.
One of the true benefits of in-home care is the one-on-one attention that a loved one receives from their caregiver. This level of care is typically not available in a community setting such as an assisted living or memory care facility. When someone has dementia, it is especially important to have a caregiver who is willing to support the whole person. This involves not just assisting them with the aspects of care such as bathing, grooming, and dressing, but also working with them on continuing to enjoy activities and engagements that have made that individual’s life meaningful and given it a sense of purpose.
Most individuals prefer to stay in their home as long as possible, even once they need assistance. In-home care can support those wishes often up to and including the point the person is approaching the end of their life. However, if the person’s physical or mental condition deteriorates, then you may be more limited on your options for in-home care. Also, families often find that once their loved one with dementia is no longer able to make the same connections with their physical home that the need to keep them in their current residence diminishes.
No one-size-fits-all decision can be made when it comes to deciding whether in-home care is right for your loved one. However, by addressing the areas outlined above, you will be in a position to make a much more informed choice.
If you’d like to discuss your current situation, challenges, and concerns with our Expert on Dementia Care, feel free to schedule a free 30-minute session.