When a patient should go into care depends on two factors. The first is the stage they are in. The second has to do with the home caregiver and how much support they can offer.
There are three stages that an Alzheimer’s patient will go through. The first is mild, involving some memory issues, as well as difficulties with concentration, problem-solving, and writing. Despite these issues, the patient can usually maintain their independence.
In the moderate stage, there are more significant changes. They may have difficulty remembering loved ones, following instructions, or performing normal daily tasks. They may also have sleep issues or wander off. Even their personality can be affected.
If you can create a routine and provide them with constant supervision, you can still keep them at home at this stage. Of course, this can be overwhelming, especially since the patient will get progressively worse. If you’re unable to give them the required support, they may need to go into care at this time.
Alzheimer’s patients in the severe stage require constant care since they can’t perform most activities on their own. They have little to no memory left and may not even be aware of where they are. These patients need around-the-clock care that can rarely be managed at home.
The type of care that is needed for an Alzheimer’s patient depends on their stage. Those in the mild stage may only need some gentle reminders and support when their memory or functions fail. The moderate stage requires more care since the patient will require near-constant supervision.
For the severe stage of Alzheimer’s, the patient will need constant supervision to ensure their safety. They will be unable to perform even simple tasks on their own, requiring assistance with walking, eating, and sitting up. Not every family has the ability to care for these patients, so a care home may be needed.
If you plan to keep an Alzheimer’s patient at home, there are specific measures you can take. First, create a routine for daily tasks, with some spontaneous activities available. There should be minimal distractions during meals and limited naps to help them sleep at night. Most of all, the patient needs love and gentle support.
An Alzheimer’s patient also needs a safe environment. Handrails and grab bars in critical areas are a must. There should also be nothing to trip them up, like rugs or clutter. Keep anything dangerous, like firearms, chemicals, lighters, or medicines locked up. Prevent burns by checking the water temperature or installing a lower thermostat on the water heater.