Caring for an aging adult with Alzheimer’s disease can be one of the most difficult things that you can face in your caregiver experience. For many caregivers, the most challenging part of this journey is late-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Also referred to as advanced Alzheimer’s disease, this is the last stage of the progression and features the most extensive needs and limitations from your aging parent. During this stage, your parents cognitive and physical functioning will be dramatically diminished and they may no longer be able to interact with the world around them. This can be extremely difficult for you as their caregiver and it is important that you take time to prepare yourself to give them the care that they need while also ensuring that you take proper care of yourself as well.
Some things that you can do as the caregiver to someone in the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Create a care team that will ensure that your parent has ongoing care 24 hours a day. This can include you and other family members, but elderly care can be instrumental in the success of this care.
- Give yourself permission to need breaks and time away form the challenges of this care. Respite elderly care can be an incredible option for letting you get a break when you need it and giving you the opportunity to participate in other activities and events in your life as well.
- Remember to take care of yourself. Be sure that you are getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and stimulating your mind in positive ways. This stage will not last forever and you want to have a healthy, strong outlook when the time comes for you to move into the next chapter of your life.
- Consider hospice care. With this type of care your parent will have support aimed not at preserving life, but rather creating comfort for them and for you just before the end-of-life transition. This can occur right at home and in conjunction with the care from you and their elderly care provider.
- Pay close attention to germ control. Elderly adults at this stage are particularly vulnerable to illness and infection such as pneumonia. Be sure that everyone who comes in contact with your parent washes their hands, keep the home clean, and use respite care if there is any chance that you are or have been ill.
- Take careful care of your parent’s skin. It will be fragile and delicate, putting them at risk of injuries such as scrapes, scratches, and bedsores, which can not only be painful, but can make them vulnerable to infection.
- Continue to spend time with and talk to you parent. Even if they do not communicate back with you or seem as though they do not even know that you are there, this can help to maintain the bond that you feel with them. There are also suggestions that it continues to stimulate the person and can provide them reassurance and comfort as well.
- Begin to prepare for the end early. Though this can be an upsetting process, putting as much into place as early as possible will make the actual transition smoother and less stressful so you can focus on your grief and spending meaningful time with those around you rather than trying to make seemingly impossible decisions.
Making elderly care a part of your care routine with your aging parent can be an exceptional way to meet their needs and challenges, address their limitations, and help them to live the highest quality of life possible as they age in place. An elderly home care services provider can offer your parent a highly personalized set of services designed specifically for your parent according to their needs as well as their opinions, goals, and preferences. This means that they will receive the support and assistance that is right for them while also encouraging a lifestyle that is independent, engaged, and fulfilling. These personalized services can include everything from safe and reliable transportation to allow your parent to handle more of their errands on their own and participate in activities outside of the home, help with activities of daily living, including keeping the home clean and healthy, assistance with personal care needs such as bathing, toileting, and grooming, meal preparation, and medication reminders to keep them compliant.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Santa Rosa, CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.
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