Category Archives: Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Posts

Our Blog posts with information, options and tips for families and caregivers on caring for those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

 

24 Hour and Live-In Home Care for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Most elderly, including those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, prefer to age in their homes.

The flexibility of in-home care allows for services to easily be increased or decrease depending on the need versus the relatively fixed costs of an assisted living facility, a memory care unit, or a nursing home facility.

Those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias might require only minimal personal care assistance and live-in or 24 hour care is not required.

As people enter mid stage dementia the hours of care and services can be increased to assist with the greater need with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as bathing, personal hygiene, and dressing, and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), such as light housecleaning, laundry, and shopping for groceries.

In late-stage and end-stage dementia and Alzheimer’s, persons need extensive help, as mobility and the ability to communicate can be lost altogether.

Additional caregivers services might be needed such as companionship, meal preparation and clean up, and accompaniment to appointments.

The around the clock care that 24 Hour care provides or the all day care that Live-in care provides might be required.

It can be easy to confuse Live-in care with 24 hour care. While the same services are generally provided with both types of care, there are differences in coverage and costs between them.

With Live-In home care, a single caregiver provides to the needs of your loved one in a 24 hour time frame. The caregiver is scheduled for a maximum of four or five days per week and then switches with a different caregiver for the remainder of the week. Generally, the care is given by only these two caregivers over the course of the week, versus the day.

Over a 24 hour day, the Live-in caregiver is given a 4 hour break to rest and rejuvenate. If the situation requires it, an additional caregiver can cover these 4 hours. The Live-in caregiver also has an 8 hour sleeping period.

With Live-in care, a room and a bed in the house must be provided for the Live-in caregiver to sleep.

Live-in care is billed at a flat per day rate. If needed, any additional coverage during the Live-in caregiver’s 4 hour daily break is billed at an hourly rate.

With 24 Hour care, two caregivers are scheduled daily with each caregiver working a 12 hour shift. In some situations for medical or other reasons, it is better to have three caregivers who each work an 8 hour shift.

Caregivers do not sleep in the home and a room is not provided for them with 24 Hour care.

24 Hour home care is billed on an hourly rate and caregivers usually work no more than 4 shifts per week.

Live-in and 24 Hour care costs are comparable to nursing home and assisted living costs, and provides individual one-on-one care versus shared care.

Live-in home care costs are less than the cost of nursing homes at around $384 a day for the care needs of one person or $504 a day for two people to receive care.

24 Hour in-home care is about $576 a day for the care needs of one person or $624 a day for two people to receive care.

Nursing homes in Greater Boston average about $10,380 a month and range between $7,050 and $13,200 per month.

Annually, the costs of these facilities are $84,600 to $158,400 with the mean cost of around $126,290 for Greater Boston, which is higher than the national mean average of $77,380 a year.

Our caregivers are trained and experienced in Alzheimer’s and dementia care They know how to approach and communicate with persons with dementia. Including how to handle specific behaviors commonly seen in persons with the disease, such as sundowning, wandering, and mood swings.

About Unique HomeCare Services

Unique HomeCare Services provides private in-home care for elders, those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and people who are recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery.

We provide both short-term and long-term in-home care needs from as little as one 4 hour day a week to 24 Hour Care and Live-In Care.

We offer a full range of in-home personal care services including Bathing, Personal Hygiene, Dressing Assistance, Toileting and Incontinence, Feeding, and Medication Reminders.

We also provide support services such as Case Management, Accompaniment to Appointments, Nutrition and Meal Management, Light Housekeeping and Laundry Services, Bed and Wheel Chair Transfers, and Shopping and Running Errands.

Unique HomeCare Services is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts and serves the surrounding communities.

We have an extensive Directory of Online Senior and Caregiver Resources for the information you need.

To schedule a no cost and no obligation In-Home Assessment to determine the home care needs and get a quote, please call us to speak to a Case Manager at (800) 296-9962 or fill out our Free Quote Contact Form.

 

In-Home Alzheimer’s And Dementia Care Services

Dementia is not a single disease. Dementia is a broad term that encompasses several types of progressive disorders. These disorders have a wide range of symptoms.

Most people have heard of the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the Alzheimers Association of the estimated 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2017, an estimated 5.3 million are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 and have what is called younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer's & Dementia Care in Norwood, MA Forms and Types of Dementia

In addition to Alzheimer’s Disease, some other forms and types of dementia include:

• Parkinsons Disease
• Huntington’s Disease
• Dementia with Lewy Bodies
• Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
• Frontotemporal Dementia
• Mixed Dementia
• Vascular Dementia
• Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
• Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other related diseases are progressive biological brain disorders and get worse over time. Years ago, almost all of those with dementia would end up in a long-term care facility as their symptoms got worse.

However, now there is a range of support and medical services available to help people stay in their homes.

Care At Home vs Long Term Care Facility

While a long-term care facility option may still be the best option for many, for others receiving dementia care at home may provide more significant benefits. This doesn’t mean that family members or friends need to be the only caregivers.

A reputable and experienced home care program can help your loved one with dementia live at home, safely and comfortably.

Some will benefit from having a light housekeeping visit a few hours a week to help with keeping the house clean and others may need help with shopping and meal preparation.

Others may require a full-time caregiver to provide support 24/7.

Reasons to consider in-home care for seniors with dementia include:

• People with dementia often have difficulty dealing with change. Helping them to remain at home, in a familiar setting can prevent negative behaviours that may be triggered by a change

• People with dementia need help to remember to do basic self-care tasks. A home care aide helps the person with bathing, toileting, and other hygiene needs.

• Home care aides provide respite services for family and friends, especially those who serve as caregivers

• People with dementia may also need help outside the home, and an aide can help with additional support such as accompanying them to doctor’s appointments, recreational activities, and social groups

• Help with medication reminders and make sure their other medical needs are met.

Challenges of Dementia For Families

The decision to care for a loved one with dementia at home poses many challenges for families and caregivers. Having brain disorders makes it increasingly difficult for those affected to think, remember what they need to do, take care of themselves and communicate with others.

Dementia can also change a person’s personality, cause mood swings and change behaviours. Because these behaviours are new to family members, they may not be prepared psychologically and physically to help their loved one.

Stages of Dementia And Care Needed

The Early stage of dementia requires help with medication management, organization, money management, keeping appointments, and developing coping strategies to maintain independence. During this stage, it is crucial to make care plans for the future as the disease progresses.

The Middle stages of dementia typically last 2 to 10 years and additional care is needed than in the Early stage of the disease. Memory is significantly affected and the individual may not recognize familiar faces, or they may become lost in an area in which they know. It is vital that an individual with dementia in this stage follow a structured schedule, which can aid in reducing feelings of anxiety and stress commonly associated with dementia.

Mood and behaviour become more erratic. There may be occasional aggression or uninhibitedness because they are losing the ability to reason.

Individuals often have difficulty with coordination and physical movements. In this stage, dementia patients need more assistance with what is appropriate clothing to wear and activities of daily living, such as feeding and dressing.

Late-stage dementia typically lasts 1 to 3 years or more. Individuals require intensive 24-hour-a-day care.

Late stage is characterized by people showing extreme confusion, both in present circumstances and remembering past events. The ability to process information becomes impaired, and the individual will have a very difficult time communicating verbally if they can do so at all.

Behavior and mood are usually unpredictable and they may even experience hallucinations. Commonly, an individual in this stage will need to move to a facility, such as a Memory Care Unit to receive the extensive care that they require.

In-Home Care For Dementias

Our staff is trained on Dementia and its progression, as well as how to handle the erratic behaviour and moods.

We how to maintain low-stress levels for the affected individual, instead of unintentionally escalating the stress.

Our home care staff cater to the specific needs of individuals with dementia. We work with each individual to learn about and incorporate fun activities to stimulate their memory.

We also assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as dressing, shopping, preparing meals, room modifications, medication reminders as well as helping to provide the family with support and respite for the family.

We understand that it is difficult to know when to seek outside help. For quality care, it is essential to find a home caregiver who is experienced and qualified to handle the various and ever changing challenges of people living with dementia.

About Unique HomeCare Services

Unique HomeCare Services provides in-home care for elders and people who are recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery.

We offer a full range of in-home care services such as personal care, grooming and incontinence care, bathing and dressing, post-hospitalization care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, and medication management.

We also provide non-medical support services such as meal planning and preparation, light housekeeping, caring companionship, shopping/errands, accompanying to medical and other appointments, as well as case management services.

Our services are available for long-term and short-term care needs from as little as a one 4 hour day visit a week to 24 Hour and Live-In Care.

We also offer Respite Care services to assist family caregivers going away or with caregiver fatigue.

It is our pleasure to assist our veteran clients with VA Aid and Attendance Benefit approval at no cost.

We have an extensive Directory of Online Senior and Caregiver Resources for the information you need.

Our service area is Boston, Norwood, Dedham, Westwood, Walpole, Canton, Sharon, Stoughton, Avon, Braintree, Easton, Milton, Quincy, Weymouth, and surrounding towns.

To schedule a no cost and no obligation full In-Home Assessment to determine the home care needs of you or your loved one please call us at (800) 296-9962 to speak to a Case Manager or fill out our Free Quote Contact Form.

 

Options When 24 Hour Care Is Needed

The advantages of 24 hour in-home care or Live-in home care over an assisted living facility or nursing home are lower costs, one-on-one-care versus shared care, and the ability of the person to stay in their home.

24 HOUR CARE

24 Hour Care

Typically 24 hour care is given by two caregivers who are scheduled daily and each working one 12 hour shift. In many cases, it makes more sense for medical or other reasons if there are 3 caregivers who each work an 8-hour shift.

These shifts do not involve a caregiver sleeping in the home to provide care. With 12 hour shifts, the caregivers usually work no more than 4 times per week.

24 hour care is billed at an hourly rate.

Advantages of 24 Hour Care

With 24 hour care, a caregiver will be with your loved one at all times, day or night.

The caregivers are awake all night and day to ensure that your loved one has someone there to give care 24 hours a day.

Many people prefer this option, especially if your loved one has a condition in which they wander or need care at all hours of the day or night.  24 hour care allows caregivers to be more alert because they are replaced with another fresh caregiver every 8 or 12 hours.

Disadvantages of 24 Hour Care

The disadvantage of 24 hour care is the higher cost versus Live-in care, as 24 hour care is billed at an hourly versus a flat rate with Live-in rate. Live-in care is about half the cost of 24 hour care.

Additionally, 24 hour care has less continuity of caregivers, making this less desirable where the client wants or needs the same person providing all the care.

About Unique HomeCare Services

Unique HomeCare Services provides private in-home care for elders, those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and people who are recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery.

We provide both short-term and long-term in-home care needs from as little as one 4 hour day a week to 24 Hour Care and Live-In Care.

We offer a full range of in-home personal care services including Bathing, Personal Hygiene, Dressing Assistance, Toileting and Incontinence, Feeding, and Medication Reminders.

We also provide support services such as Case Management, Accompaniment to Appointments, Nutrition and Meal Management, Light Housekeeping and Laundry Services, Bed and Wheel Chair Transfers, and Shopping and Running Errands.

Our service area is Boston, Norwood, Dedham, Westwood, Walpole, Canton, Sharon, Stoughton, Avon, Braintree, Easton, Milton, Quincy, Weymouth, and surrounding towns.

It is our pleasure to assist our veteran clients with VA Aid and Attendance Benefit approval at no cost.

We have an extensive Directory of Online Senior and Caregiver Resources for the information you need.

To schedule a no cost and no obligation In-Home Assessment to determine the home care needs and get a quote, please call us to speak to a Case Manager at (800) 296-9962 or fill out our Free Quote Contact Form.

 

Options When Live-In Care Is Needed

Advantages of in-home live-in care or 24 hour home care over an assisted living facility or nursing home is are lower costs and the ability of the individual to stay in their home.

LIVE IN CARE

Live-In Care

Live-In care involves a single caregiver providing care to the client in a 24 hour time frame. Typically, the caregiver is scheduled for a maximum of four or five days per week. For the remainder of the days of the week, a different caregiver attends to the client.

In a 24 hour period, it is customary for a 4 hour break to be given to the Live-in caregiver. One must decide if they would like to provide additional home healthcare coverage for these 4 hours.

The caregiver for the Live in shift is provided with an 8 hour sleeping break and a bed must be provided for the caregiver.

Billing for Live in caregivers is done at a flat rate per day.  Coverage for the 4 hour break if needed is paid on an hourly rate.

Advantages of Live-In Care

Live-in caregiver rates are half the cost of 24 hour care.

With Live-in care the number of caregivers is reduced. Ideally, two caregivers are scheduled for the whole week coverage. This provides the client with the consistency of care and gives the senior, disabled, or post hospitalized person an opportunity to get to know and build a relationship with their two caregivers.

Disadvantages of Live-In Care

One disadvantage of using Live-in care is that there is a 4 hour break given to the daytime caregiver. You have to decide if care during the break period is needed and if so, who provides this care, a family or another caregiver. If care is provided during the break, there is an additional hourly cost on top of the flat live-in rate.

As the caregiver is given a mandatory 8 hour sleeping break, there is no direct care or supervision during this 8 hour time frame.

How To Decide Which Type Of Care Is Better

To determine which option, Live-in care or 24 hour care is needed, we suggest you have an In-Home Assessment. Then together we can help you determine the best type of care for you or your loved one.

We also recommend getting the input of your medical care team so that you can make an informed decision that takes into account your medical, emotional, and financial considerations.

About Unique HomeCare Services

Unique HomeCare Services provides private in-home care for elders, those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and people who are recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery.

We provide both short-term and long-term in-home care needs from as little as one 4 hour day a week to 24 Hour Care and Live-In Care.

We offer a full range of in-home personal care services including Bathing, Personal Hygiene and Grooming, Dressing Assistance, Toileting and Incontinence, Feeding, and Medication Reminders.

We also provide support services such as Case Management, Accompaniment to Appointments, Nutrition and Meal Management, Light Housekeeping and Laundry Services, Bed and Wheel Chair Transfers, and Shopping and Running Errands.

Unique HomeCare Services is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts and serves the surrounding Greater Boston communities.

It is our pleasure to assist our veteran clients with VA Aid and Attendance Benefit approval at no cost.

We have an extensive Directory of Online Senior and Caregiver Resources for the information you need.

To schedule a no cost and no obligation In-Home Assessment to determine the home care needs and get a quote, please call us to speak to a Case Manager at (800) 296-9962 or fill out our Free Quote Contact Form.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease And Caregiving

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and irreversible disorder of the brain that slowly destroys thinking, memory skills, and eventually the ability to carry out simple tasks.

Among older adults, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who in 1906 noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included language problems, memory loss, and unpredictable behavior. Dr Alzheimer found many abnormal clumps called amyloid plaques, and tangled bundles of fibers called neurofibrillary, or tangles.

These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered the main elements of Alzheimer’s disease. Another is the loss of connections between nerve cells called neurons, in the brain. Neurons transmit messages between different parts of the brain and from the brain to muscles and organs in the body.

Although treatment can help manage symptoms in certain people there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.

home care for alzheimers disease

What Are the Behaviors Of People With Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias cause people to act in different and unpredictable ways. Some individuals become anxious or aggressive. Others repeat certain questions or gestures. Many misinterpret what they hear.

These types of reactions can lead to misunderstanding, frustration, and tension particularly between the person with dementia and the family caregiver.

It is important to understand that the person with Alzheimer’s Disease is not trying to be difficult and that their behavior is an attempt to communicate.

Tips For Caregivers In Dealing With Loved Ones Who Have Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association® offers some helpful suggestions for responding to dementia related behaviors.

The following three-step approach can help you identify common dementia-related unpredictable behaviors and their causes:

Examine The Unpredictable Behavior:

• What was the behavior?
• Was it harmful?
• Did something trigger it?
• What happened immediately after?
• Could something be causing the person pain?
• Could this be related to medications or another illness? Consult a physician to be sure.

Explore Potential Solutions:

• Are the person’s needs being met?
• Can adapting the surroundings increase the comfort of the person?
• How can you change your reaction or approach?

Try Different Responses:

• Did your new response help?
• Do you need to explore other potential causes and solutions and if so, what can you do differently?

Why Does My Loved One Do These Negative Behaviors And How Can I Help?

Although it can be frustrating to deal with a loved one with Alzeheimer’s, you shouldn’t take it personally, or think the person is doing their unpredictable behavior intentionally.

Negative Behavior May Be Related To:

• Physical pain or discomfort
• Illness
• Medication
• Hunger or thirst
• Overstimulation from loud noises or a busy environment
• Unfamiliar surroundings such as new places or their inability to recognize their home
• Complicated tasks such as activities or chores
• Frustrating interactions, such as an inability to communicate effectively which may cause fear, anxiety or sadness

Once you understand what the person is trying to communicate, you can try and provide them with what they need and this typically helps stop or lessen their unpredictable behavior.

Resources

For more details on how to respond when dementia causes unpredictable behaviors, download the full Alzheimers Association guide here: https://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure_behaviors.pdf

Additional information about Alzheimer’s disease can be found in our Directory of Online Resources.

About Unique HomeCare Services

Unique HomeCare Services provides in-home care for elders and people who are recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery.

We offer a full range of in-home care services such as personal care, grooming and incontinence care, bathing and dressing, post-hospitalization care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, and medication management.

We also provide non-medical support services such as meal planning and preparation, light housekeeping, caring companionship, shopping/errands, accompanying to medical and other appointments, as well as case management services.

Our services are available for long-term and short-term care needs from as little as a one 4 hour day visit a week to 24 Hour and Live-In Care.

We also offer Respite Care services to assist family caregivers going away or with caregiver fatigue.

It is our pleasure to assist our veteran clients with VA Aid and Attendance Benefit approval at no cost.

We have an extensive Directory of Online Senior and Caregiver Resources for the information you need.

Our service area is Boston, Norwood, Dedham, Westwood, Walpole, Canton, Sharon, Stoughton, Avon, Braintree, Easton, Milton, Quincy, Weymouth, and surrounding towns.

To schedule a no cost and no obligation full In-Home Assessment to determine the home care needs of you or your loved one please call us at (800) 296-9962 to speak to a Case Manager or fill out our Free Quote Contact Form.