Do you or someone you love have dementia? Caring for an individual with dementia requires distinct skills and a lot of patience, which is where dementia care professionals can come in. The problem is that there is a shortage of these caregivers widely in the US currently. The tasks and hats that these providers wear are varied, and every June is dedicated to recognizing and honoring the achievements of these professionals. Could your loved one benefit from a dementia care professional? Here is what you should know!
Dementia is often associated with aging, and in fact, Alzheimer’s dementia is most common afflicting around 80% of those diagnosed with dementia. This typically involves changes in brain function, memory, and motor skills. In most instances, there are mobility aids that can improve quality of life, while protecting and assisting caregivers. Since dementia is usually a progressive condition, the needs of a patient can vary over time requiring managing more severe or frequent symptoms and situations. Are family caregivers the best option for consumers with dementia? If not, who can effectively and safely provide care for individuals afflicted with this condition? What about as the dementia progresses? Here is what you should know:
There are obstacles facing family caregivers, and around 70% report a decline in their mental health since providing care, including an increase in stress, anxiety, and depression. It is not unusual for the family caregiver to experience compassion burnout. Some signs of burnout include moodiness, hopelessness, and social withdrawal. Many may not realize that this added stress and anxiety can take a toll on the loved one with dementia, too, which is why it is most prudent to consider professional dementia care.
If you are experiencing signs of caregiver burnout, talk with your doctor right away.
So, what is dementia care and how does it differ from senior care, in general? Since dementia is a progressive condition with symptoms that can worsen or exacerbate over time, the needs and services evolve and change. A dementia care professional is familiar with this pattern and progression, with experience in managing the symptoms and needs of the client over the span of their illness. Furthermore, they bring a range of support service networks to the table to meet the client where they are in terms of their dementia diagnosis.
Wondering what kinds of services a dementia care professional provides? Here are just a few, though the roles may vary depending on the situation, symptoms, and severity:
- ADLs, Activities of Daily Living
- Grooming and personal care
- Reminders to take medications
- Assistance with physical activities, transfers, and other mobility needs
- Transportation to and from appointments, activities, and more
- Dementia-related activities and therapies
- Social engagement and activities
- Housework, chores, and errands
- Meal prep, nutrition counseling, or assistance, as needed
- Transportation and errands
- Assistance with hobbies, vocations, volunteering, or activities, as desired
Dementia Care Professionals
A better alternative to family caregiving situations may be a dementia specialist. A dementia care specialist is a professional with distinct experience and skills suited to managing symptoms, behaviors, and situations that may arise related to dementia. This may include expertise in providing care for clients with cognitive disorders, like memory loss. These professionals are compassionate, patient, and caring.
Typically, a care plan will be developed by the care expert based on a strengths assessment and the results may point toward the best living situation and resources for the client or patient. Many may be able to age in place and remain at home with some dementia caregiving or home health care in place. Talk to your medical provider to find out more about obtaining an assessment and consultation for your loved one with dementia.
Some other services provided by dementia care experts include these:
- Assistance navigating the healthcare system
- Empower clients, consumers, and caregivers
- Family advisor
- Wellness checks
- Care coordination
- Information and insight for decision-making
- Elder care plans
- A liaison between clients, family, and providers
The main goal of a dementia care professional or specialist is to improve the life of the individual receiving care, as well as seniors, in general.
Dementia Care Professionals Month is observed in June. This offers the perfect opportunity to recognize those that care for individuals with dementia. Did you know that over 10% of Americans age 65 and older are afflicted with dementia? Women and people of color are most at-risk, according to statistics.
There is a shortage of professionals in this field and caring for someone with dementia requires patience and skill. Honor dementia care professionals widely this June.
For mobility aids that can assist those with and those caring for individuals with dementia, talk to the team at Pacific Mobility We offer quality mobility aids that provide accessibility, convenience, and peace of mind. Call or visit today.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)