Often times, patients of Alzheimer or any other chronic disease choose a community living over other options. This is mostly because such patients need more care than it can be provided at home, and a residential facility can provide the long term care. There are a lot of facilities providing long term care in almost every area. The most common of such facilities is called “personal care”. Facilities provides adults or senior citizens help with their daily activities.
Services such as shelter including bathing, dressing, grooming, eating and other relevant activities are included. Depending upon the kind of plan you choose, it may also include services such as 3 meals a day, day care and transportation services.
Home based long term care services
There are home based long term care services if you prefer to live at your home independently but with outside help. Most of such services are provided either at the concerned person’s own home or at a home of a relative. These kind of services are best suited for both short term – i.e. for some who is recovering from an injury or disease or long term – for those who need ongoing help.
All the home based services ensure that the concerned person gets full help with bathing, dressing and taking their medication on time. The supervision is also provided to make sure that they are safe. Such services can be given by unpaid friends, family or relatives and also by therapists, nurses and homemakers. Home based long term care may also involve medical services as requested by a physician. Depending on the case of the concerned person, it may also include speech therapy, occupational and home health aide services.
Since Alzheimer’s patients have difficulties in managing their everyday life, facilities provide services to take care of them. Most of the memory care centers often create a safe and stimulating environment to take care of the seniors. There are trained staff with years of experience in taking care of patients with dementia and its forms.
Most of such memory cares are located right next to a residential neighborhood to provide easy navigation and social interaction to seniors. Depending upon the kind of facility you choose, you may also get to enjoy benefits like separate living areas, memory focused activities and skilled therapists.
When you sign up for a personal care, most of the facilities meet with the resident and their family, prior to moving in. This is for a special care assessment. The facility may then prepare an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) based on the concerned person’s preferences and lifestyle. It does not take much time to learn about the most important needs of the senior person. Moreover, each of resident’s plan is carefully and regularly reviewed to see if there is a need of any changes. [i]
Licensed Medical Professional Care
There are cases where a person is showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s but is overall healthy. However, they may need help with some activities such as paying bills and booking appointments etc. Medical help is not necessarily needed in their case. In such cases, a physician may recommend nurses, occupational therapists and some certified health aides to help the person. Depending upon the requirements of the person, some may require non-medical paraprofessionals care. This includes persona care attendants and homemakers etc. who can provide hands-on care, cooking and doing laundry etc.
Dementia Home Care
Dementia is dangerous from the perspective that it is not a singular disease – it covers several progressive disorders, including varying symptoms. Because the complication involved in such conditions, round the clock care of the patient is required. Detecting the symptoms at an earlier level may help control the condition before it gets critical. The patient may also suffer from memory loss and have hallucinations etc. Such people may attend to their needs on ‘good’ days but need a lot of help with their basic needs too.
There are few things to consider while choosing a home caregiver for your loved ones:
- Look for certifications of work experience in memory care, preferably to the dementia patients.
- Ask for their experience and knowledge of medications. Ability to carefully administer the medicines should be there.
- Ability to work under stress and to calm down the patient with or without medications, as necessary.
- Check whether they are able to provide a supportive and safe environment with the ability to handle anything that the patient is sensitive to.
Cost of Home Care Services
Now the most important question: how much does that cost? Well, it does not have a fixed price based on which you can plan your finances. To give you a general idea, home care services may cost anywhere from $10 to $50 hour, depending upon the type of service you require. This is just a tentative range that should cover most health professionals like licensed nurses and health care aides. Please note that some healthcare professionals may charge more, depending upon their experience and skills.
There may be several factors influencing the amount that the facility may charge for home care. These include local cost of living, level and frequency of assistance needed and more. There are lots of government programs that provide free respite care and meals.
It is easy to get worried thinking about
covering the costs of long term care or memory care. However, in most cases, it
is easier than one expects. It is to be noted that light to moderate care in
home is costs lower than 24-hour nursing support. If it still sounds like too
much for you then know that you can deduct a portion of your medical expenses
thanks to the IRS policy. You could also get assistance for private or
government funds to pay for long term care of your loved ones. [ii]