At some point, most Alzheimer's patients end up requiring specialized care at a memory care facility. However, in the early and middle stages of this disease, patients can often be cared for at home by their family members. While some families are able to handle this care independently, there are some very real benefits associated with hiring a home care nurse to at least come in part-time or for a few hours a week. Take a look at those benefits below:
You don't have to be fully responsible for your loved one's medications.
Administering medications to a loved one with Alzheimer's can be difficult. Sometimes they may insist they already took the medication because their faulty memory tells them this is the case. Other times, they may not remember why they have to take the medication, so they refuse to do so. It can be really frustrating to family members to have to deal with this, and it can put a wedge in the relationship with the patient. Having a home care nurse manage and administer your loved one's medications can take the pressure off of you. Not only do home care nurses know tactics to help encourage medication use in Alzheimer's patients, but the fact that they are a nurse can help patients take them more seriously.
The nurse is more likely to notice when your loved one needs additional care.
When you are around your loved one all the time, it is easy to overlook when they start going downhill. You may brush things off as daily variations that really are warning signs. Many home care nurses are trained to recognize when an Alzheimer's patient is no longer safe to remain at home and can gently guide you towards the best memory care facility options when the time comes.
You get to take breaks and avoid burnout.
Caring for a loved one—especially a loved one with Alzheimer's—is a full-time job. It's really common for caregivers to become burned out. If you hire a home care nurse from the beginning, you will have a better chance of avoiding burnout. Even just knowing that there are a few hours a week during which you are not in charge can really lighten your load.
Hiring a home care nurse for a patient with Alzheimer's is simply a smart thing to do, both for the patient's own health and for your own mental well being. For more information, contact a home care facility.