As the population of Americans age 65 and older is projected to grow from 56 million in 2020 to 88 million by 2050, the increasing need for care for people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia is sure to increase.
An estimated 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia in 2020. This American population is dependent on family and other caregivers to live safe and healthy lives. The overall quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia can be influenced by the type of care and support that they receive. While it may be difficult to imagine that people living with cognitive diseases can live happy lives, it does happen. One of the best ways to support these adults is by establishing a safe and impactful in-home care program designed to meet individual needs.
"In-home caregivers understand that how patients are responded to can profoundly impact the quality of life."
Although “quality of life” can be defined differently by different types of people, there are common factors that influence the quality of life for most. In-home care can help facilitate various aspects of Alzheimer’s/dementia patients that can help them live happier and safer.
How In-Home Support Encourages Quality of Life During Alzheimer's/Dementia Care
- Supporting and Facilitating Relationships And Family Bonds – Many adults with Alzheimer’s live alone or a long distance from family. In-home support can help patients set up communication through phone calls and video chats that may be difficult for them to set up and initiate on their own. This can help keep family connections closer and decrease feelings of isolation for the patient.
- Encouraging Engaging Activities – The goal should not necessarily be to keep the adult occupied, but engage them in a meaningful activity in which they can participate. Patients with vision impairments may enjoy crossword puzzles but can’t read or write the answers. In-home aides can read the questions aloud and fill in the puzzle, encouraging the client to participate in finding solutions.
- Exercise – Exercise, as we know, is excellent for boosting physical and mental health. This can be challenging for people with Alzheimer’s struggling with executive functioning. In-home support can establish and help the patient maintain exercise schedules that are fun and productive while helping to keep the patient safe.
- Spiritual/Religious Involvement – Though spiritual and religious activities are not something that every patient may need. Many people report that practicing their faith is imperative to the quality of life. Many people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia find familiarity and comfort in participating in community church events as they have their entire lives. While the coronavirus pandemic has thwarted traditional in-church services, in-home aides can help patients find online spiritual and religious services to stay active.
- Respite Care for Family – Family members who take on the role of caregiver often find that the daily responsibilities of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s come with tremendous pressure and stress. No matter how fulfilling they find caring for their loved ones, they are often juggling their own lives, spouses, and children on top of the adult care they must provide. In-home care can offer respite to those who need a break and more. This break for caregivers allows much needed time to rest and relax – making upcoming responsibilities easier to manage and can positively affect the relationship between the adult patient and the loved ones supporting them.
- Appropriate Response to Difficult Behaviors – People with dementia or Alzheimer’s suffer from confusion, memory loss, anger, and other challenging behaviors. In-home caregivers understand that how patients are responded to can profoundly impact the quality of life. Positive responses can help ease patients out of erratic behaviors and help transition a client from an outburst to a relaxing activity.
Quality of life is affected by many different factors. When in-home support is being put into place, focusing on each individual’s specific interests is the best way to determine what a good quality of life looks like to them and how to implement that lifestyle. While the number of people living with or affected by these conditions is rising, the resources and information are more abundant than ever. If you have questions, give us a call today!