Are you overwhelmed providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia? All of us need a break sometimes. That need is even more critical if we are responsible for providing care for another person.
Respite care, whether in-home or at an adult day center, gives the caregiver time to work or do personal tasks, to spend time with family or friends, or to take a break, all while knowing the person with dementia is receiving professional care. Respite care also benefits the person with dementia by providing safe, supportive interaction with others in enjoyable activities matching their abilities and needs.
You should explore respite care if you:
-Feel you are alone in providing care, but that you still should do more
-Have withdrawn from people and activities you previously enjoyed
-Worry whether the person for whom you provide care is safe
-Are anxious about financial and healthcare decisions
-Deny the impact of dementia on your family
-Feel grief that your relationship with the person for whom you care is diminished
-Get frustrated or angry dealing with dementia
-Have health problems of your own that are draining you mentally or physically
If you experience any of these signs on a regular basis, it’s time to get help. Help is available through a variety of organizations, professionals, and respite care resources.
The Alzheimer’s Association is a national non-profit organization that works to enhance care and support for those affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias; the Association has a Fort Wayne office and an informative website at www.alz.org. Aging and In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana is the local Area Agency on Aging and sponsors the Aging & Disability Resource Center, for information visit www.agingihs.org. Elder law attorneys provide advice and services concerning wills, living wills, healthcare powers of attorney, and other matters.
Respite care services include in-home care and adult day centers. In-home care options include:
-Companion services offer company and supervision
-Personal care and home health aide services assist with bathing, dressing, bathroom, and exercise
-Skilled care services help with medication and medical services
An adult day center is a facility where persons with dementia gather for socialization, stimulation, and recreational activities in a safe, closely supervised, and well-structured environment. Before selecting an adult day center, you should arrange a meeting with the staff at the center and ask:
-What are the hours, fees, services, and amenities?
-What programs are offered?
-Is the staff trained in dementia care?
-What healthcare professionals are on staff?
-How is the staff screened?
-How are emergencies handled?
-How does the center ensure the safety of participants?
-Does the center offer transportation?
Finding and using appropriate respite care services can enhance your ability to care for your loved one in the home.
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