Dementia Care: How to Know When Help is Needed

dementia careIf you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia it can be difficult to determine if it is still safe for them to live independently. Often family members worry but the loved one insists everything is fine and help is not needed. News stories of dementia patients wandering away from home and requiring a search and rescue effort increase concern for family members. No one wants their loved one to become a missing dementia patient. How do you determine when dementia care is required to keep your loved one safe?

First, you should be aware that it is possible to provide dementia care in home. In other words, it is not necessary to move your loved one to an assisted living facility especially at the early stages of dementia. If your loved one strongly desires to stay in their own home it can be achieved. In addition, you do not have to provide the care yourself. It can be exhausting and overwhelming caring for a dementia patient especially if you do not have the appropriate training.

To determine if your loved one needs dementia care you should ask yourself the following questions:

How do they spend their time during the day?

* Are they still able to successfully shop and cook for themselves?

* Are they consuming nutritious foods? Do they need help eating?

* Are they able to keep their house clean or are dishes and laundry piling up?

* Do they keep up with paying bills on time?

* Have there been any instances in which the water was left running or the stove left on?

* Are they able to adequately maintain their personal hygiene?

* Do they tend to wander?

* Do they wear inappropriate clothes for the weather or wear the same clothes for days?

* Do they take their medication as prescribed or do they have trouble keeping track of what to take when?

If any of the above questions were answered in a way that makes you realize your loved one is no longer capable of living independently contact us at Endeavor Home Care. We offer home care services that include errands, light housekeeping, meal preparation, grocery shopping, medication reminders, transportation for doctor appointments, and companion care in Arizona cities including Tuscon, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler and more.

Should I pay my home senior care provider “under the table?”

The last thing you need when a loved one is in need of at home senior care is to be audited by the IRS. OK, it’s not exactly something anyone wants, but the short-term savings of hiring a helper under-the-table will be quickly overwhelmed by the costs of penalties and possibly legal fees if you are caught not paying required taxes.

at home senior careA home-care agency will work with your budget and identify the best personnel to care for your family member in a home setting. And you will know that you and the care givers who are working in your home are in compliance with federal and local laws. And important, too, you will know that the people who are working on your family’s behalf are contributing to their own social security retirement accounts.

It’s not just celebrities and politicians who get caught up in “nanny-gate” situations through inappropriate hiring processes. Essentially the government likes to keep “off the books” employment to a minimum, so unless you are running a lemonade stand someone needs to be paying taxes. Your legal options are to hire a care giver directly and take responsibility for filing tax reports (which you either have to do yourself or pay your own tax provider to handle) or you can contract with an at home senior care agency and be confident that payroll and taxes are handled in a professional manner.

If you would like to consider the option of professionally managed compassionate at home senior care please contact us.

Senior Care at Home: Establishing a Safe Environment

senior care at homeMany seniors desire the ability to live at home for as long as possible. Often they would like to live in the same home they have lived in for years and possibly even raised a family in. Providing senior care at home is achievable. One of the first steps is making sure the home environment is still safe as the needs of the senior changes over time.

Bedrooms and bathrooms tend to be the most unsafe areas of the home for seniors with falls being the most common home accidents for older adults. Conducting an annual safety check is important to help prevent falls and allow seniors to remain at home. Here are some suggestions for things to evaluate during a safety check.

Bedroom

Look for throw rugs or torn carpet which can create a tripping hazard. Remove or attach to the floor with double-sided tape, glue or carpet staples to minimize the hazard.

Verify access to a telephone is available for night time emergencies. Consider installing a cordless phone, cell phone or emergency alert system.

Verify bed height is appropriate. It is too low if the knees are above the hips when sitting on the bed and is too high if the legs do not touch the floor when sitting. Add risers to raise the height. Remove the bed frame to lower the height.

If electrical cords present a tripping hazard because they run along the walking path use extension cords to run them behind furniture and rearrange furniture as needed.

Bathroom

Add grab bars near the shower and toilet to prevent falls.

If the bottom of the tub is slippery use a rubber mat or adhesives on the bottom of the tub to reduce the risk of a fall.

Check that the tub and toilet are at the correct height. If the toilet is too low add a raised toilet seat.

Consider using a medication organizer for pills and setting it on the countertop so it can be easily reached.

General

Do all stairwells have sturdy handrails? Ideally handrails should be located on both sides of every set of stairs. Consider having them installed or replaced if they are not present or not sturdy.

Is emergency contact information easily accessible by the senior if needed? Consider posting this information in multiple locations throughout the home.

Check for working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of the home.

If taking care of oneself has become a challenge for a senior you love, it is worthwhile to look into in home care options. Advantages of in home care include:

Hygiene assistance
Companionship
Medication reminders
Light housekeeping
Meal planning and cooking
Complete home safety evaluation performed by an occupational therapist
Physical therapy exercises
Peace of mind for you and your loved one
And more

Having help at home can reduce the risk of accidents or injuries and extend the length of time a senior is able to continue to reside in their own home. For more information about at home care contact us. Endeavor Home Care provides quality care service in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tuscon, Mesa, Sun City and other Arizona communities.