Action Plan for Living with Alzheimers

Memory Care Options:

Community Living Environment, In-Home Services, Adult Day Centers

There are a variety of services available to assist and enrich the lives of those with Alzheimer’s and it begins with choosing whether to be a member of a community living environment, receiving in-home services, or participating at an adult day center. Consulting your doctor and encouraging family members as well as the person with Alzheimer’s to participate in care planning can keep everyone involved in the process.

community living

Community Living Environment

Living in a community provides a higher level of care and attention than can be provided in-home and can be a long-term solution. Continuing Care Retirement Communities provide a continuum of care (Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Senior Rehabilitation) based on the individual needs. The resident is able to move through the different levels of care within the same community, keeping them settled in once place. Assisted Living can bridge the gap between living independently and living in a place specially designed for Memory Care residents. Make sure to inquire about family inclusion within the services, communities who include family into their overall care plans see a large change in the residents’ quality of life.

Memory Care services are securely supervised 24/7 with staff who are trained in dementia care. Staff members are able to provide personalized care, meet specific needs, abilities and interests. Most families pay for residential care costs out of their own pockets. Types of benefits that may cover nursing care include long-term care insurance (check the policy as certain requirements may need to be met before receiving benefits), Veterans benefits, and Medicaid.

Include family in care plans Falling is the #1 cause of death and injury in seniors
 
In-Home Services

In-Home Services

In-Home services vary and can be medical (with a licensed health professional) or non-medical. Services include Companion Services (Help with supervision, recreational activities or visiting), Personal care services (Help with bathing, dressing, toileting, eating exercising or other personal care), Homemaker services (Help with housekeeping, shopping or meal preparation), and Skilled Care (Help with wound care, injections, medical needs by a licensed professional). Depending on the situation, family or relatives can be the in-home caregivers. Costs for home care services vary depending on many factors, including what services are being provided, where you live, and whether the expenses qualify for Medicare or private insurance coverage.

Live Long Well Care® at Brightwater is dedicated to providing the best supportive care for seniors in the comfort of their own home. And, we are providing this high-quality care with an Industry Best Hourly Minimum. Learn more
 
In-Home Services

Adult Day Centers

Adult day centers are a program where those with Alzheimer’s and dementia can participate in activities in a safe environment. This can be a much needed break for caregivers who are utilizing at-home services for loved ones. Services within the day centers include counseling and support for people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and their families, health services, nutrition, personal care, activities, behavior management, etc. Many centers offer their services based on a sliding scale, where caregivers pay according to ability or income. In some states, Medicaid covers cost for people with very low income and few assets.

33% of seniors in adult day care have Alzheimer's
 
To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors
– Tia Walker
Action Plan for Living With Alzheimer's

Action Plan for Alzheimer’s

Creating an action plan for Alzheimer’s after being diagnosed is imperative. Early planning allows the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia to express his or her wishes for future care. Additionally, early planning allows time to work through the complex legal and financial issues involved with caring for someone in long-term care. While emotionally coming to terms with the disease can be a lengthy process.

The two initial steps to take include deciding on a caregiver or care services and evaluating you or your loved ones financial assets to ensure a solid plan is in place as the disease continues to develop.

1. WHERE TO START, WHO CAN HELP?

Receiving a diagnosis that you or your loved one has Alzheimer’s is never easy. The person who has been diagnosed, along with their family and friends can experience a challenging range of emotions in reference to the diagnosis. Emotions include those of Anger, Relief, Denial, Depression, Resentment, Fear, Isolation and Sense of Loss. Coming to terms with the diagnosis and those emotions will be different for everyone. Many people begin to feel alone, disconnected, isolated or abandoned from others during this time and it’s imperative to remember that nobody is alone on this journey.

83% of the help is provided by unpaid caregivers
Staying connected to the individual, family & friends during this time is crucial

Being socially connected and supported whether it’s through support groups, doctors, counselors, clergy, etc. can help put the disease into perspective and provide the support and encouragement necessary to move forward. Your doctor is an important member of your care team, they’re able to answer all of the questions that you may have regarding the diagnosis, the disease, treatment, clinical trials, care and support as well as your care team moving forward.

2. FINANCIAL PLANNING

Financially planning for Alzheimer’s is a necessary ‘next step’ in the process to take with family, friends, a financial appointee and/or lawyer. Putting financial plans and estate planning into place as soon as the diagnosis has been made can help secure a healthy financial future. Taking the time to identify costs of care, reviewing government benefits, long term care insurance policies, Veterans benefits and coming to a conclusion on who will handle financial responsibilities is imperative for you or your loved one to plan for the future.

Plan early to secure a financial future

As Alzheimer’s begins to progress, the tasks of daily life, including financial responsibility can become hard to manage. Having a plan in place can ensure that care needs are met is essential. You and your loved ones will need to consider the costs that might be faced currently and plan for future costs.

CARE COSTS CAN INCLUDE

  • – Medical treatments and doctor visits
  • – Medical equipment
  • – Safety-related expenses
  • – Prescription drugs
  • – Personal Care supplies
  • – In-Home and Daily Care services
  • – A full-time Memory Care residence
The average household spends $97,455/year on senior care

Part 2B – Memory Care Options (In-Home, Facility, Day Centers)

Resources for financial planning include the National Council on Aging, a Financial Advisor, and Elder Law Attorneys. Make sure to check qualifications such as professional credentials, work experience, educational background and areas of specialty.

Visit ALZ.ORG for more information.

How to identify Alzheimers

How to Identify Alzheimer’s and Dementia in Your Loved One

Dementia is a generalized term for a mental decline which is severe enough to interfere with daily life.

It impairs mental functions such as memory, thinking, and reasoning.

Understanding that your loved one may have a form of dementia can be a difficult and trying time. While there is no single test that can diagnose a person, it’s vital to identify and become aware of the symptoms attributed to dementia. There are various cases of dementia and on average, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases, while Vascular dementia (which occurs after a stroke) is the second most common form.

Dementia can manifest differently in each person effected and symptoms can vary greatly. The Alzheimer’s Association, the leading advocate for Alzheimer’s and dementia, lists the ten early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s as:
  • 1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • 2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • 3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or during leisure
  • 4. Confusion with time or place
  • 5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • 6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • 7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • 8. Decreased or poor judgment
  • 9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • 10. Changes in mood and personality
Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's
While many people experience memory loss issues in aging, this does not necessarily mean that they have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Once symptoms have been identified as possible dementia, it’s necessary to go through a careful medical evaluation from a licensed doctor. Encouraging your loved one to seek medical help may be difficult but it’s crucial to diagnosis. Doctors can diagnose dementia and Alzheimer’s through a careful look at medical history, physical examination, neurological exam, laboratory tests, everyday behavior, and function.

Once successfully evaluated, Doctors can determine that a person has dementia with a high level of certainty. It’s hard to determine the exact type of dementia because the symptoms and brain changes of different dementias can overlap. In some cases, a doctor may diagnose “dementia” and not specify a type. In this case, it may be necessary to see a specialist such as a neurologist or gero-psychologist.
  • According to The Alzheimer’s Association, there are seven stages of Alzheimer’s:
  • Stage 1 No Impairment
  • Stage 2 Very Mild Decline, Normal age-related changes or early signs of Alzheimer’s
  • Stage 3 Mild Decline, Friends and Family begin to notice difficulties in memory or concentration. Noticeable problems coming up with the right name or word.
  • Stage 4 Moderate Cognitive Decline – Able to detect clear cut symptoms. Forgetfulness of recent events.
  • Stage 5 Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline – Gaps in memory and thinking are noticeable, need help with daily activities. Unable to recall their address or high school they attended.
  • Stage 6 Severe Cognitive Decline – Personality changes, require extensive help with daily activities. Lose awareness of recent experiences as well as their surroundings.
  • Stage 7 Very Severe Cognitive – Individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, carry a conversation or control their movement.
Heart Disease deaths -11%, Alzheimer's Disease deaths +123%
1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer's
2/3 dementia patients are women

Part 2A: Create an action plan for your loved one living with Alzheimer’s

A Memory Care guide for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, provided by Brightwater Senior Living Care Services.

What is Memory Care? Memory Care is a specialized, secure care for those with varying degrees of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. In-home care may not accommodate the special needs of those with memory loss while a licensed memory care facility will provide around the clock staff in a secure environment. Memory Care focuses on slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s or dementia through specialized programs. Often times it’s difficult to find a memory care facility in your local area with your loved one’s best interest. We’re proud to provide a Memory Care Resource Guide with informative articles and facts on Identifying Alzheimer’s, an Action Plan for Living with Alzheimer’s, a Transition Checklist, and Life with Alzheimer’s.

Brightwater is an upscale senior living community offering an unparalleled lifestyle for seniors with Memory Care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia.