Home Care and Home Health Aides in Middle Stage Alzheimer's
As your loved one's Alzheimer's progresses from the early stages to the middle stages, you may notice that they require a lot more help with their daily activities.
Maybe they are no longer able to prepare meals or bathe and get dressed on their own. They may not be able to help with the household chores, such as cleaning or doing the laundry. They are likely not able to drive anymore so they rely on you or someone else for any transportation.
This is a great time to start utilizing the help of professional in-home care.
For my mom's middle stages of Alzheimer's
There are several types of home care to choose from, such as a private caregiver or a home care agency. Whatever type you choose, it will be up to you to assign tasks and responsibilities to the caregiver you hire.
Many times, people put off hiring home care because they aren't sure exactly how it works or what the caregiver will do for your loved one. It can be overwhelming and hard to know what to expect when a home health aide shows up at your house.
A home health aide for mom
In my family's case, we used a home care agency that provided a home health aide to help care for my mom. We introduced the aide to my mom as a housekeeper, knowing that she would be resistant to the idea of someone coming into her home to care for her.
We also started out slowly with only three hours, three days a week. After several weeks, we increased the number of hours and days per week as my mom began to adjust to having the aide around.
At first, we did not have the home health aide doing any of the personal or intimate care. Although my mom already needed assistance with toileting, bathing, and getting dressed. We took care of those needs to give my mom time to warm up to the aide.
To start, the aide mostly provided companion care.
After a few months, we felt comfortable enough to transfer all of my mom's personal needs to the aide. She began to take my mom to the bathroom, bathe her, and dress her.
The timeline will likely be different for everyone, but this was just what my family felt comfortable with.
The role of our home health aide
The home health aide also assisted with household chores, laundry, and preparing meals.
She typically did a load of laundry two or three times a week, cleaned the bathroom once a week, and wiped the kitchen down daily.
She fed my mom breakfast and lunch and prepared something for dinner before she left for the day.
When the weather was warm enough, she took my mom for a walk to the neighborhood pond to feed the ducks after lunch. Some days, they would just sit outside on the screened-in porch and listen to music.
She became part of our family
We were fortunate to have a very special home health aide who became part of the family. She helped decorate the house for holidays and bought my mom little gifts every now and then.
She was also a big help when my sister would visit with her two young girls. She paid constant attention to my mom so that she never felt left out and always tried to make her smile.
She became more than a home health aide — she was my mom's friend.
Home health aides for middle-stage Alzheimer's
When utilizing home care, you get to decide on a schedule that fits your needs. You also dictate the tasks that the home health aide will be responsible for.
They don't have to do anything you aren't comfortable with and you can always add to their list of responsibilities as time goes on. Although it can be overwhelming at first, you will get used to it and find yourself so grateful to have the help.
Have you utilized a home health aide in the middle stages of Alzheimer's? Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or share your story with the community.
Are you a male caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer's disease?