Regardless of the stage of dementia or the type of care that is required, we help families locate the ideal care providers for their needs at no charge. There are many dementia care services available, and finding the right care provider for your loved one can be a time-consuming challenge. This is especially true for those who already spend much of their time providing care. Learn more below about each type of care available, choose the one you are seeking, and follow the links below to get started.
In-home care, which can be non-medical or medical in nature, is ideal for persons who are in the early to mid-stages of dementia. In addition to supervision and companionship, care providers assist with a variety of tasks, such as bathing, grooming, putting in hearing aids, changing hearing aid batteries, preparing meals, light housecleaning, and transporting persons for errands and appointments. Care providers may also be able to monitor the care recipient’s health, such as recognizing if weight has been lost or if the individual’s memory is becoming worse. For information on how regular home care differs from dementia home care, click here.
For those who have recently been diagnosed with dementia, only minimal assistance may be required for them to continue to live independently. In-home care can make this very feasible. For persons who have middle stage dementia and are being cared for by family, in-home care allows their caregivers to go to work, run errands, or take time for themselves.
As a person’s dementia progresses, unfamiliar settings and routines may cause distress and anxiety for him/her. A benefit of in-home care is that persons with dementia do not have to leave their home and can remain in a familiar environment. In addition, the care provider can stick to the same routine that has already been established. Another benefit of in-home care is that the number of care hours provided is flexible. For instance, care can be provided a few hours a few days a week or nearly every day for several hours. Unfortunately, at a nationwide average of $21 / hour for in-home care, this type of care can quickly add up.
Persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia are sometimes resistant to care providers coming into their homes.
A live-in caregiver is a caregiver who provides 24-hour-care in the home of the person who requires assistance, allowing the care recipient to continue to live in his/her home. In most cases, the caregiver works 4-5 days of the week, although based on the caregiver and the situation, the arrangement may be different from the one mentioned above. As with in-home care, a live-in caregiver provides assistance with daily living activities (bathing, personal hygiene, eating, etc.), housecleaning, laundry, making meals, transportation, and running errands.
This type of care is beneficial for those in middle to late stage dementia and requires nearly constant, if not constant, supervision and assistance. Live-in care allows persons with dementia to maintain their same routine, which as mentioned previously, is important for those with dementia. Consistency with caregivers is also beneficial for persons with the disease, and with live-in caregivers, there is one main caregiver to create a bond with the care recipient. However, a second caregiver may need to be hired if family or friends cannot fill in when the live-caregiver is off.
Live-in caregivers provide peace of mind knowing persons with dementia are supervised and provided with care 24-hours / day. Generally, the cost of a live-in caregiver is not calculated on an hourly basis, which means the cost of care per month may be less than that for in-home care.
Finding the right live-in caregiver is critically important for those with dementia.
Adult day care is ideally suited for those with early-stage or moderate dementia. With this type of care, assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, grooming, eating, and mobility is provided. Meals, snacks, recreational and social activities, and sometimes transportation to and from the facility are also provided.
This type of care allows caregivers to continue to work or simply offers a break from caregiver duties while having peace of mind their loved one is safe and supervised. Some facilities are open as long as 10-hours a day. Unfortunately, adult day care isn’t always available in all areas and some facilities are not equipped to handle persons with Alzheimer’s. In those areas that do have adult day care, new routines and environments can be challenging for those who have dementia. That said, with frequent attendance, persons are able to adjust to the new routine.
Adult day care is a very cost-effective form of care for families who are able to provide care for their loved one at home on nights and weekends. Most cities and towns have multiple adult day care centers and some which specialize in dementia.
Respite care is temporary care (a few hours, a day, a few days, or even a couple weeks) for loved ones with dementia that allow caregivers a needed break from caregiving duties. This break allow caregivers time for self-care, errands, and spending time with other people, without having to worry about your loved one with dementia.
A friend / family member can informally provide this type of care in the home or an in-home care provider is able to provide respite care. It can also be provided in a facility, such as adult day care facility or a nursing home. Depending on the type of respite care, the cost varies from free to rather costly. Learn more about respite care here.
Assisted living residences are long-term housing for elderly persons, including those with dementia. Residents often reside in private suites or apartments, but some do share a living space with another individual. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, of those residing in residential care facilities, 40% have some sort of dementia. Memory care units, also called Alzheimer’s care units, are similar to assisted living, but are specialized units / facilities for persons with dementia, and in most cases, are wings of assisted living facilities or nursing homes. It’s common for dementia care units to have more staff than regular assisted living facilities, and for the units to be locked to prevent patients from wandering.
Regular assisted living may be appropriate for persons in the early to middle stages of dementia, but as the disease progresses, residential memory care is more appropriate for those who require a greater degree of care. Along with services provided in regular assisted living, such as assistance with daily activities (bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, etc.), meals, basic housecleaning, 24-hour emergency care, medication management, and social activities, residential memory care caters specifically to persons with dementia. Staff is knowledgeable about how the disease progresses, common problematic behaviors and how to handle them, and provide activities that engage persons with dementia.
Memory care is more expensive than is regular assisted living, given the specialty training of staff, the higher level of supervision, and the increased patient to staff ratio. Click here to learn more about how assisted living differs from assisted memory care.
Finding the right assisted living / residential memory care community for your loved one is difficult both emotionally and logistically. Many caregivers experience sticker-shock when they realize the cost of residential care. Through two partnerships, we are able to help families two ways.
1) Self-Service: Families that wish to search for assisted living by cost, can do so without having to communicate with a residential care home until they are ready to do so. One can discover residence names, locations and approximate costs.
2) Guided Assistance: Families who prefer guided assistance, an advisor will help the family find care homes in their preferred area. Recognize you will be contacted in short order after completing the form. If this is too much, too fast, we recommend using the self-service model above. Get guided assistance here.
Nursing facility care is ideal for persons who have late stage dementia. As the disease progresses, it’s common that families no longer can provide the level of care that their loved ones require. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is expected for those with Alzheimer’s that approximately 75% be admitted to nursing homes by the age of 80.
With nursing home care, 24-hour supervision is provided, as well as skilled nursing care. In addition, many of the same services as in assisted living are provided, such as assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, grooming, and eating), meals, and regular activities. Unfortunately, the monthly cost of skilled nursing facilities can be very expensive.
Hospice care, which consists of a team of physicians, nurses, clergy, social workers, and others, can play a large role in the end stages of dementia. It is intended for persons who are expected to have six months or less left to live and requires a referral by a physician. The main intention of hospice care is to keep patients comfortable and free of pain. Said another way, the focus is no longer on any sort of treatment. In addition to measures to ensure comfort, counseling may be provided.
Hospice care can provide peace of mind for families knowing that their loved ones are made as comfortable as possible in the final months and days of their lives. While care can be provided in nursing homes and hospitals, it can also be provided in one’s home. In most cases, Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance will cover the cost of this type of care.
For free assistance finding hospice care, click here.