CAREGIVERS – CARE OPTIONS
Home Sweet Home
Many African American caregivers choose to keep their loved ones at home when faced with a debilitating illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Many believe caring for a loved one with dementia is their responsibility. However, providing home care for prolonged periods of time can take its toll on the caregiver. Unfortunately, many African American caregivers are unaware of the home and community-based services available to assist them and their loved ones. In many communities, dementia capable services are provided by workers who are knowledgeable about the various services available and are trained in assisting caregivers by providing linkages to agencies and community organizations that can assist them.
There are a number of factors to consider when looking at care options for your loved one ranging from behavior challenges to safety concerns to the decline in the ability to perform daily living activities. It is important for the person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, caregivers, and other family members to know and understanding care options that may be available and other resources to provide assistance as the disease progresses.
The following are types of care options available for both the person living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and caregivers:
- At Home Care – this type of care involves care and services provided to both the individual diagnosed with dementia and the caregiver. At-home care can be provided by healthcare and other trained professionals and can be tailored to meet the needs of you and your loved one. Common types of At-home care can include:
- Home health aides
- Companion services
- Homemaking and housekeeping services
- Outpatient and Community-based Care (Adult Day Centers) – this type of care occurs outside the home and can be a great way to keep your loved one engaged and active during the day. Adult day centers provide a structured environment to strengthen and support persons living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia related diseases with activities of daily living, physical and cognitive function, and social interaction.
- Inpatient/Facility-based Care – this care option can vary in the kinds of services and support they provide and are based on both the persons needs and preferences. Care in residential or facility-based settings is not always permanent and can be temporary to help support caregivers or to provide rehabilitation and treatment services. Types of facility-based care include:
- Assisted living facilities
- Nursing home facilities
- Long-term care facilities
- Respite Care – this type of care supports both the caregiver and the person with Alzheimer’s disease as it aims to provide opportunities for relaxation and time to destress. This care can be provided by local agencies and community service providers and is especially helpful to caregivers who are burnout or overwhelmed.
- Hospice Care – this type of care is often times a difficult kind of care to consider for loved ones. While it can take place in the home, it is care that typically happens during the final months of life for persons suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementia related diseases. This care is palliative and seek to ease the burden of the caregiver and the family as focus shifts to end of life preparation and coping with the grieving process.
The chart below can provide caregivers highlights some of the potential benefits and challenges related to these care options.