Knowing When It’s Time For In-Home Dementia Care 

Updated on June 6, 2024

Watching a loved one’s memory and independence slowly fade away because of dementia can be heartbreaking. As reported by the Alzheimer’s Association, over six million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease in 2023 alone, and one in three seniors dies due to the said disease or to other forms of dementia. As this disease progresses, caring for your loved one at home may become increasingly challenging and overwhelming. (1) 

Naturally, you want nothing more than for them to be safe, happy, and cared for in the familiar comfort of their own home. But as much as you try to keep them for as long as you can, there comes a point when in-home dementia care becomes necessary. It’s a massive decision that needs careful consideration, as it affects your loved one and your own well-being as a caregiver.

The key is to realize the signs when it’s time to hire additional support and be proactive about making that transition. With that said, this article will discuss some of the key indicators that in-home care might be the best action to take.

Escalating Safety Concerns 

Among the biggest indicators that in-home dementia care is necessary is when your loved one’s safety becomes a concern. This could manifest in several ways: 

Wandering Randomly

People with dementia generally experience disorientation, memory loss, cognitive decline, and confusion. They might wander off from home or get lost in familiar or unfamiliar places. This is incredibly dangerous, especially in harsh weather or busy areas. 

Falls And Injuries 

Yearly, about 45.5% of senior adults with dementia experience one or more falls. That’s because as their dementia progresses, balance and coordination can deteriorate. This escalates the risk of falls and injuries, which can be devastating for both the senior patients and their concerned loved ones. (2)

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Difficulty With Daily Tasks 

Activities like cooking, cleaning, or managing medications can be difficult for someone with dementia. This can lead to freak accidents or ignoring their basic needs.  

If you find yourself regularly worried about your loved one’s safety, availing live-in dementia care services can provide you with a safety net. A caregiver can supervise them throughout the day to ensure their well-being and safety, giving you peace of mind. 

Visible Changes In Behavior And Mood 

Dementia can cause significant mood and behavioral changes in dementia patients. You might notice your loved one becoming: 

  • More withdrawn or isolated 
  • Agitated or aggressive 
  • Intense mood swings 
  • Increased irritability

With live-in dementia care, you’ll have in-home caregivers who are trained to recognize and de-escalate behavioral issues. They can provide companionship, emotional support, and social engagement to your senior loved one. Doing so will help them combat the feelings of isolation and loneliness and improve their quality of life.

What’s more, passive patient monitoring can also be a valuable tool in conjunction with in-home care. These systems can track your loved one’s activity patterns and vital signs throughout the day, even when the caregiver isn’t physically present. This can give important insights into their behavior and potential health changes, allowing for earlier intervention and improved medication management. 

Simple Daily Tasks Are Becoming Overwhelming

Dementia can significantly affect a person’s ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). This includes basic tasks like bathing, dressing, eating, using the toilet, and maintaining personal hygiene. Initially, you might be able to assist your loved one with these tasks. But over time, when the dementia symptoms worsen, it can become increasingly difficult, both physically and emotionally, to manage on your own.  

In-home caregivers can be there to assist with ADLs to ensure your loved one receives proper care while maintaining their dignity and independence for as long as possible. This support can also free you to spend quality time with your loved one rather than just the burden of daily care. 

Caregiver Burnout 

Caring for someone with dementia is a demanding job. It can take a huge toll on your physical and emotional health and eventually lead to caregiver burnout, which is prevalent among 60% of caregivers. (3) 

You may experience: 

  • Exhaustion 
  • Stress 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 

In-home dementia care can provide you with a much-needed respite. It allows family caregivers to take breaks, recharge their batteries, seek professional help, and ensure everyone’s in the best possible state to care for the older adults. 

Remember, neglecting your own needs won’t benefit you or your loved one. In-home care isn’t a sign of giving up; it’s a sign of strength that lets you continue caring for your loved one in the best care possible. 

Wrap Up

Deciding on in-home dementia care can be a tough decision. However, by knowing the signs and taking note of your loved one’s needs, you can see to it that they receive the support they need while maintaining a sense of comfort and familiarity in their own home. Overall, dementia home care services allow you to resume your loving role as a family caregiver while ensuring your loved one receives the best possible care. 

References: 

  1. “What to know about the Alzheimer’s drug just given full FDA approval”, Source: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/alzheimers-drug-full-fda-approval/story?id=100836321  
  2. “Nearly 50% of Patients With Dementia Experience Falls”, Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/986898?form=fpf  
  3. “Caregiver Burnout”, Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9225-caregiver-burnout  
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