In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. As Alz.org notes, at that time, fewer than 2 million Americans had the disease, but now there are nearly 5.4 million with Alzheimer’s in this country. Early detection and having a clear care management plan are critical for patients and caregivers.
While there is no cure yet, there are treatments that have shown to be effective. Knowing the warning signs can make the difference in seeking a diagnosis early. In our blog, Do You Know the Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s?, we outline some key warning signs such as confusion about time and place, issues with spatial relationships, and changes in grooming habits.
Armed with an understanding of what to look for, patients and their families can have informed conversations with their doctors about a diagnosis. Knowing as much as possible about the challenges ahead, treatment options and care management choices can help pave the way for more productive conversations.
Know Your Care Options
It can be difficult for caregivers to find balance between their work, family and caregiving responsibilities. Caregivers often face increased rates of depression and tend to ignore their own physical and psychological health. Before burning out, considering a plan for more help can be beneficial.
A care management team can develop a customized plan for each client. At Premier Home Health Care, Inc., our team is specially trained to manage the specific needs of Alzheimer’s patients, and will evaluate each person to tailor a plan that meets individual personal needs.
Understanding the pros and cons of particular options, such as nursing home care vs. home health care as well as cost differences, can also help families make clear decisions about care. There are also options that include Premier’s live-in care service that provide overnight or around-the-clock assistance. This can be an affordable alternative to other forms of care and it also allows clients to remain in their communities and homes where they’re most comfortable.
Home Health Care and Treatment
In addition to medication a doctor may prescribe for Alzheimer’s, there are three key recommendations for ways to help manage the condition.
As research continues to show the important role diet plays in health, it’s clear that maintaining a healthy diet is vital for our well-being. But sometimes shopping and meal preparation can be a challenge for patients as well as caregivers who must juggle many roles and responsibilities.
Premier’s trained home health care team can assist with shopping and cooking to ensure clients eat well-balanced meals that follow recommended nutritional plans. Our 5 Nutrition Tips for Overall Health can also be a helpful guide in meal planning.
An important ingredient in the mix is social interactions with others. Our home health aides offer companionship, helping clients get out for walks and interact with neighbors. They also provide transportation to services such as adult day care that offer classes, games and outings with friends.
Walking and exercise programs at adult day care are great options for healthy work outs. Alternative therapies, such as dance, combine elements of socialization and exercise. Programs that offer art and music therapy have also been shown to have significant positive benefits for those with Alzheimer’s.
And exercise for the brain is also critical. Keeping mentally fit can help keep cognitive skills sharp. Check out our list of resources to Create a Regular Brain Workout Routine.
Tools to Get Started
At Premier Home Health Care, we want to provide families with the tools they need to make empowered choices and begin planning. Our Quick Assessment can help determine if it’s time for home health care, and our Starter Guide and How to Start the Home Health Care Conversation in Your Family can help lay the foundation for these discussions. Please call us at 1-866-255-8620 to speak with our care specialists.