Alzheimer's Care Essentials for Home Health

According to the Alzheimer's Association, one of every 10 people aged 65+ has Alzheimer's dementia. People with dementia and Alzheimer's require specialized memory care to help slow the progression of memory loss and maximize their cognitive function. These are some of the essentials you need to consider when providing Alzheimer's care at home or working with an agency that specialized in-home memory care.

Encourage Family Engagement

Even as memories fade the need for socialization remains high among Alzheimer's patients. It is important to keep them engaged with friends and family for many reasons beyond socialization as well. Effective memory care encourages visits with friends and family throughout the week. Daily visits are best, when possible.

Friends and family know the patient best and can help trigger memories, understand non-verbal cues the patient may be sending, and can help brighten the day of patients who feel increasingly disconnected from the world around them.

Structure in the Day

One of the most important aspects of effective Alzheimer's care is to include a daily structure for patients. This structure can become a constant they depend on, even if they don't understand it. Once they've established a daily routine, it can be upsetting when disruptions occur. Keeping a schedule for things like waking, meals, activities, exercise, naps, music time, or even television time can become a key element for avoiding angry outbursts from Alzheimer's patients.

Consider Art Therapies for Memory Care

Art therapies are highly effective for sparking memory and even inviting communication among non-verbal Alzheimer's care patients. Working with agencies that have someone to provide art therapy can help you bring a hint of life back to your loved one who is living in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease.

What is art therapy? It's a term that encompasses different types of art to help loved ones express themselves even when they can't find the words to do so. It includes any of the following artistic expressions:

  • Music (listening to music, learning to play instruments, and even singing among verbal patients).
  • Dance (creative movement that works with the patient's abilities to do so).
  • Visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.).

While all art therapies can be successful in helping to minimize outbursts and promote non-verbal communication, the most effective art therapies are ones that build on passions memory care patients had before they become ill.

Alzheimer's care in the home can be one of the most rewarding ways to take care of a loved one experiencing Alzheimer's-related dementia. Having the right access to care for your loved one is essential for maximizing quality of life and delaying the progression of the disease.