Alzheimer’s disease, also referred to as Alzheimer’s, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens over time. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example.
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia and is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common and early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events.
What kind of care is available?
There are quite a few options of care available to you and your loved ones, depending on the level of cognitive degeneration.
Many families initially begin their care journey with home care by trying to look after their loved one themselves, but soon realise the care required can be 24/7. They may then seek out the assistance of an Alzheimer’s sitter, nurse or live in carer.
Alzheimer’s sitters are a popular option for those in the early stages of the disease. Alzheimer sitters are not necessarily trained nurses, but can be. Sitters are mostly people who assist you and your loved one in daily living. This can include being available if you have to go to work, or at night time when you need a helping hand with your loved one while you get some rest.
Alzheimer’s carers similarly to sitters are more often trained in medical care or physical therapy, but may also not necessarily be a qualified nurse. Alzheimer’s carers can also be available part of the day, or live-in your home with you to provide round the clock care and assistance. Home assistance may even include everything from helping with the supervision of your loved one, participating in activities with them, bathing, personal grooming and exercise to housekeeping, meal preparation, wound care and physical therapy.
Alzheimer’s nurses are qualified and skilled medically trained professionals who would provide skilled care rather than assistance. Alzheimer’s nurses would cater more towards progressed patients where help is needed with wound care, injections, medications and even physical therapy. Alzheimer’s nurses typically check in on patients once or twice a week or as required, whereas sitters and carers can provide more full-time care.
When you and your family are ready to look at dementia and Alzheimer’s care facilities for your loved one, we encourage you to contact one of our villages. Our villages compromise of trained and qualified staff including nurses, carers, occupational therapists and more that are specially trained to care for people living with Alzheimers and dementia.
Some senior assisted living homes may have wings that cater for Alzheimer’s or dementia patients, however it is not their speciality, and may not be able to cater to the full spectrum of care needed by Alzheimer’s patients.
Livewell Villages is a dedicated Alzheimer’s and dementia care facility that caters uniquely to our residents needs.
Where can you find support
Having a loved one be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia is generally an overwhelming experience, but you don’t have to face it alone.
There are many Alzheimer’s support groups throughout the country, as well as online support groups on Facebook, where other families in similar situations get together to discuss how the disease has affected them and their loved ones, and how to cope with such a diagnosis.