Home Care Blog | July 28, 2016
What is Dementia Care? | When most people think about dementia, they likely think about Alzheimer’s disease. This is not surprising since three-quarters or more of dementia cases are Alzheimer’s-related. Alzheimer’s disease is not the only type of dementia, however. In its simplest terms, dementia refers to a progressive cognitive impairment, and one-quarter of people over 80 years of age have it. This increases to nearly 40 percent for seniors over 90. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 25 percent of family members providing care for a senior loved one are looking after a senior with dementia.
The prognosis for dementia depends on its type. While the most common dementia is Alzheimer’s, other types include Lewy body dementia, which accounts for up to 20 percent of the cases, vascular dementia (caused by strokes or other blockage in the brain), and frontotemporal dementia – one of the least common in older seniors, but the most prevalent in seniors under 65. Dementia may also be related to diseases such as Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis.
The development of each type of dementia is slightly different, but each one is progressive in nature. As the disease advances, the senior is able to do less by themselves and requires more care and supervision.
Dementia care is a specialized set of services designed to help your senior loved one maintain their independence and freedom while maximizing their dignity and quality of life. For seniors who choose to remain at home, dementia care may start with basic services, such as light housekeeping and transportation, and work its way up to 24-hour home care.
The most common services offered with dementia care include meal preparation and eating assistance, housekeeping and laundry, medication management, personal care (bathing, toileting, grooming, dressing), and social support or companion care.
Since the care for a person with late-stage dementia is non-stop, family members often need a break to take care of personal business or look after their own physical and mental health. Dementia care usually involves respite care provisions to ensure the family can have time away.
While nobody looks forward to dementia, the good news is that many advances have been made in caring for those with dementia. There is not a cure at present, but the earlier treatment and care start, the greater the likelihood that the progression can be slowed.
If your senior loved one is in need of dementia care, Comfort Keepers has specialized and trained staff. In addition to maximizing your loved one’s quality of life, our care provides you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is receiving proper and compassionate care.