Dementia Care: How Home Healthcare Services Can Help
Dementia is a progressive illness that affects a patient’s cognitive function. It affects their ability to perform routine activities and live a fully functional life. This can affect the patient psychologically making them susceptible to depression, anxiety etc. and can strain relationships. The constant stress of caring, the frequent hospital visits, the clinical coordination – all this can make caring for dementia patients very exhausting. Depending on the dementia stage, the patient may also need medical and nursing care to help them manage their illness along with coexisting medical conditions. A personalized home care plan for dementia can not only benefit the patient but also offer support to the caregiver.
Personalized Dementia Care
In order to create a personalized dementia care plan, one needs to know the stage of dementia, their clinical history, the treatment plan that they are on, etc. We usually categorize patients into two broad categories.
Young Onset Dementia Patients
Many people believe that only the elderly suffer from dementia. But that’s not true. Many people who are in their 40s or 50s are also known to have experienced early onset of dementia. Dementia diagnosis hits harder for this patient group. We work with such young onset dementia patients and offer them services like
Care Navigation: We work with them to help them deal with their diagnosis. We help them understand the illness, what they can expect to happen, and how to prepare for it. We provide them the resources that help them as they live with the illness.
Counselor Services: Some patients grapple with intense feelings after getting the diagnosis. They may experience debilitating anxiety or panic attacks and may need professional help. We provide them counselors who can help them cope with their feelings.
Elderly Dementia Patients
When it comes to elderly dementia patients, things are a little complex. Elderly patients rarely have just dementia as an illness. They have other pre-existing medical issues or comorbidities like BP, diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid, etc. in addition to dementia. This makes it all the more crucial for them to have medical services included in their care plan.
Manage Comorbidities & Medication Side Effects We provide doctor services to such patients at home to help them manage their comorbidities along with dementia’s progression. Sometimes the patients also experience side effects like nausea, vomiting, dizziness etc. Our doctors help with that as well.
Monitor Patients & Manage Complications Elderly dementia patients also suffer from complications like urinary tract infection, urinary incontinence, constipation due to dehydration, etc. Our doctors can help them treat these complications and offer relief. We further provide nurses to elderly dementia patients at home to monitor their condition on a daily basis and identify any signs of complications setting in.
Administer Medication & Deliver Clinical Interventions Elderly dementia patients often forget their medications which can affect their overall health. Our nurses help with administering the medication as prescribed by the doctor and reduce medical non-adherence. Our nurses can also offer clinical interventions to the patient under doctor’s supervision to address any onset of complications. These timely clinical interventions can help prevent the condition from worsening and reduce avoidable hospital visits.
Personal Hygiene We additionally provide male and female caretaker services to help dementia patients with their routine life and personal hygiene. Our caretakers further help patients maintain mobility as much as possible.
Food & Nutrition Elderly people can also fall prey to malnutrition due to various reasons. Plagued with dementia they can easily forget to eat or stay hydrated. Our nutritionists create meal plans for such patients to ensure they get the required nutrition and hydration.
Objectives of Our Home Care Program
A lot of dementia patients experience what can be referred to as clinical fatigue. The long-term nature of the treatment and the number of hospital visits creates an aversion in them to medical treatment which in turn affects their quality of life. Our home care plans are designed to help them with all this. The objectives of our dementia care plans are to:
Meet the patient needs at home and reduce hospital visits as much as possible
Help patient retain their functional life as much as possible as their illness progresses
If the patient is in palliative stage, to offer symptom relief and ease their distress
To create a support system for the family caregivers to depend on and be able to live their own lives