Resources and Support for Late-Stage Alzheimer's
Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can be difficult. This is especially true as the disease gets worse and the person needs more specialized care.
Knowing what is available when it comes to getting extra support is helpful. And understanding the differences between types of care can help you make the best decisions for yourself and your loved one.1
Choosing a late-stage support provider
One of the most important decisions you can make as a caregiver is choosing the right support for your loved one. Some things to consider might include:1
- Looking at your loved ones' needs to find a resource that can meet those specific needs
- Finding a provider that is compatible with your loved one's personality
- Ensuring the support provider is reliable and has a good reputation
By taking the time to research your options and choose carefully, you can ensure that your loved one will receive the best possible care. Remember, your needs as a caregiver are important. Finding resources that meet and exceed your needs is possible.1
Social services are available for people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Some examples of these services are respite care and adult day centers.
Respite care provides support for both caregivers and care recipients. It can help improve the quality of life for the caregiver and the person receiving care. Respite care can also help to prevent burnout.2,3
Respite care can take many forms, but one common type is in-home respite care. This type of care provides support to caregivers in the home of the person who has Alzheimer's. In-home respite care can include things like:2,3
- Providing meals
- Doing light housekeeping
- Providing transportation to doctor's appointments
No matter what form it takes, respite care is an integral part of the caregiving process.2,3
Adult day centers
Adult day centers provide a safe, structured environment for people with Alzheimer's. These centers offer activities and social interaction to help stimulate the mind. They also provide a respite for caregivers. Day centers can be an important resource for the person with Alzheimer's and their family.4
Other community-based social services include:5
- Meal programs
- Transportation and access
- Home safety assessments and repairs
- Chore services
- Financial services
Home-based healthcare services include:5
- Home health
- Personal care
- Durable medical equipment
Palliative care and hospice
Palliative care focuses on relieving the symptoms of a severe illness, such as Alzheimer's. Hospice is a type of palliative care for people who are terminally ill and who are not expected to live more than 6 months. There are different places where hospice care can be provided. These include the person's home, a hospice center, or a hospital.6
Tips for finding late-stage support
Finding support might seem overwhelming at first. Some tips to make the task easier include:1
- Check with your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. They may be able to provide referrals to support groups or care facilities.
- Search online for support groups specifically for caregivers of those with Alzheimer's. These can provide an invaluable source of support and information.
- Ask the person's doctor for recommendations. They may be aware of resources that can help in the late stages of the disease.
- Check with your local Area Agency on Aging. They may have information about services available to help those with Alzheimer's and their caregivers.
- Reach out to friends and family members for support. They may be able to offer practical help or simply provide a shoulder to lean on.