What is the Meaning of Elderly Assistance?

What is the Meaning of Elderly Assistance?

Recently, while her son and I were going through a divorce, my ex-mother-in-law declined quickly with dementia. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in communication with her at the time, but we lived in the same town. Before her decline, we ran into each other at the local grocery store and decided we would stay in touch despite the divorce because we genuinely care for each other.

And so we did. I had her over to my home for holidays and other times to keep an eye on my then teenagers while I was working outside of the home. Mainly because since my sons were born, she came over each Thursday to babysit; Thursdays were Grandma’s Day, so we tried to rekindle a routine.

For a while, things were going well, and she was making friends and enjoying her new senior community, which, by the way, was only three miles away from her grandsons. She was still driving and mostly caring for herself with minimal home health support from an eldercare Detroit based company. However, because the disease is progressive, she required more help as time passed.

According to an organization called Contessa Health, “At home, a patient’s support system is more inherent, and they are more likely to be able to participate in their own care. By being treated at home, people living with dementia remain familiar with the details of their surroundings, such as the floor plan, furniture and bedrooms,”.

Contessa cited a few expert studies stating that, “A report published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry notes that people living with dementia have a “significantly higher risk for all-cause hospitalizations and longer hospital length of stay.” The Alzheimer’s Association points out that people living with dementia have twice as many hospital stays per year as other seniors and are more likely to have chronic conditions,”.

Eldercare is an umbrella term for a wide array of services intended to help older people live as comfortably and independently as possible. Examples range from basic transportation, cooking, or cleaning to complex medical care.

Sadly, my ex-mother-in-law quickly went past receiving home health care services in a senior community to full-time nursing home care, being heavily medicated. I receive updates on a regular basis from my adult and teen sons on how she is doing. It is heartbreaking to watch and to see the effects on my sons her closest grandsons.

Emotional impact of dementia on family

While watching my sons go through stages of grief with their grandmother’s dementia, I am reminded of when I was a little girl and I watched my mom go through a similar situation with her grandmother. Sadly, my great-grandmother (Grammy) had Alzheimer’s disease.

When she was receiving senior care here in Michigan, my mother would go and sing to her. They loved musicals and knew all the words to so many from beginning to end! It would be so calming to my Grammy, and she would hum along. It was beautiful what my mother did for her grandmother, whom she loved immensely.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), dementia affects both the patient and their family members because most patients are cared for by family members and depend on their assistance and support for individual care and family activities [9]. Most caregivers experience stress, loneliness, and social rejection during the caregiving process. Compared with family caregivers caring for patients without dementia, those who care for patients with dementia often report more negative impacts,”.

Alzheimer’s Society of Canada suggests that some of the most common feelings families and caregivers experience are guilt, grief and loss, and anger. They urge family members to know they are not alone, and there are community outreach programs that can support family members during this arduous path in which they have no control over outcomes for their loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

Taking care of a loved one with dementia is emotionally and physically draining. As a caregiver, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being to avoid burnout. Here are some self-care tips that can help you navigate this challenging journey with more resilience:

Take breaks: It’s okay to step away for a while to recharge and take care of yourself.

Seek support: Connect with other caregivers or join a support group to share experiences and resources.

Practice self-care: Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as meditation, exercise, or hobbies.

Set boundaries: Establish limits on your time and energy to prevent overwhelm.

Ask for help: Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks or seek professional assistance when needed.

Stay informed: Educate yourself about dementia and available resources to better navigate the caregiving process.

Prioritize your health: Make sure to attend your medical appointments and prioritize your physical and mental well-being.

Stay connected: Maintain relationships with friends and family members who can provide emotional support.

Be kind to yourself: Remember that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and seek help when needed.

What are the signs dementia is getting worse?

As my mother-in-law got worse, things like getting lost driving started to happen. For example, one day, my adult son got a panicked call from his grandmother saying she was lost and did not know how to get back home.

Apparently, she drove to her previous address thirty miles away from her current address. She parked in her old spot and went to walk up to the door, only to realize she was in the wrong place, but she could not remember why.

To add insult to injury, she suddenly remembered that her husband had passed away over a year ago, which sent her into a tailspin of grief and feelings of hopelessness. We really need to find a better way to help our loved ones struggling with memory diseases.

Here are a few signs to watch out for:

  • Memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
  • Increasing confusion
  • Reduced concentration
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Apathy and withdrawal or depression
  • Loss of ability to do everyday tasks

(Signs of late-stage dementia)

  • Speech is limited to single words or phrases that may not make sense
  • Having a limited understanding of what is being said to them
  • Needing help with most everyday activities
  • Eating less and having difficulties swallowing
  • Bowel and bladder incontinence

What is the meaning of elderly assistance?

Elderly assistance is crucial for those with dementia, impacting families emotionally. Recognizing signs of worsening dementia is essential for caregivers.