Caregiver helping a resident

Posted: October 14, 2020

Memory Care

How to Choose the Type of Dementia Support Your Parent Needs

By: Heather Waymire, Memory Care Director

Finding support for your parent or loved one that shares your values and meets your family’s needs can be confusing at best. Here are some of the options that are available and how to decide what will work for your needs.

The first step is identifying what you need. This can difficult, especially when so many of us want to help our loved one remain in their own home for as long as possible. Once you have decided that you need help, you have to decide what type of help will best suit. Laying out your values and priorities in caring for your loved one will help you navigate the care that is available. Some things to consider include how much engagement is important, personal relationship with caregivers, professional oversight and much more.

Home Care Services

If you have never used care services, you may not be familiar with what to expect or even what is available. Assistance ranges from options for in home care to various levels of care in a new home. Often, families start by looking at Home Health Agencies. Many agencies provide skilled services, meaning your loved one requires a service that it takes special training to provide. This can include complicated wound care, Physical Therapy, and other services. While your loved one is receiving this service, they can also receive other care such as assistance with bathing. Skilled Home Health care typically provides a task focused visit, the provider will come to your loved one, provide the identified care need and the visit will end. This service is typically covered by insurance and lasts for the duration of the need.

Non-skilled care, also referred to as Companion Care, can provide a wide variety of in home assistance. Because this service is very often paid for privately, they are able to work with families to identify exactly what the in home needs are and tailor services accordingly. They can typically provide CNA care to assist with bathing and dressing; non medical care to provide engagement, supervision and companionship; assistance with light housekeeping and meal preparations; and, even, transportation to the grocery store or doctor appointments. Taking the time to speak with several providers about the range of services you need now and what you might need in the future can help you identify a company that can be flexible as the needs of your loved one changes. Also, speaking to them about their response should your loved one need hospitalization or to change homes.

Deciding that your loved one would be best cared for in a different setting can be an emotional time. Once you have made that decision, you are then faced with many options and choosing the best fit can feel daunting. Knowing what your goals and values are will help guide your decision.

Assisted Living Community

Assisted Living can help a loved one who is spending most of their time and energy on surviving. It isn’t uncommon to meet someone who says they do one major chore such as laundry or cleaning the bathroom, make their meals and do basic grooming only to end up to tired to do anything social or enjoyable. Assisted Living can put the life back into their day. Reaching the golden years should mean finding new passions, enjoying family and just relaxing. And, many times, Assisted Living can provide enough support for someone in the early stages of dementia that they can keep more independence. Learn the difference between a nursing home and assisted living.

Memory Care

Memory Care can help a loved one who needs more support and supervision to stay safe. Of course, this is the assistance that has my passion and I could go on indefinitely, I will try to be succinct! Our Memory Support Neighborhood can work with Community Members with various needs, often people assume that we can only care for folks in early stages. We are able to modify our living space to help ensure safety while keeping a home like environment. We work with families on what their priorities for loved ones are and ensure that our care matches. Check out some of the activities community members in our Memory Support Neighborhood enjoy.

Knowing what is available and understanding the mechanism will go a long way toward deciding what best fits your needs. Taking time to interview and investigate the providers in your area before you have a need will give you an idea what matches your values.

Changing Roles

Changing roles with the people we love can be one of the most difficult times in the relationship. As a Memory Support Director, I know that children and spouses find themselves redefining the relationship with their loved one who is experiencing dementia. This is very often a time of sadness and loss, and the person who you might have relied on in the past is the very person changing from the disease. Navigating this change and finding new ways to relate can be done, but it takes some patience and often some guidance.

As children, no matter our age, we are accustomed to our parents being able to manage their lives without our direction. It comes as a surprise that our assistance is needed and that it might have been needed for a while now. And, as a spouse, we might grow impatient and frustrated with our loved one as they seem to be careless with their role in the marriage before we realize that this is coming from a diseased brain. So, at the moment when we are faced with this new diagnosis, we are also trying to navigate the practical tasks our loved one was responsible for.

Early on, this can be daunting and result in many tears and frustrations. There is a time of negotiation and balancing where we try to determine how much help is needed and how much help should be given.

At Sugar Fork Crossing, we are here to help! Learn more about the types of services available, our signature programs and amenities and dining. Contact us for more information or to schedule a live virtual tour.

Smiling employeeHeather Waymire is a Memory Support Director, theater buff and avid knitter. She is often seen at the local theater cheering on the latest production or scouting the next professional show to stop near Indiana. Heather finds time to visit the latest restaurants and is anxiously awaiting a time we will be able to savor each exotic offering. Passionate about excellent Dementia Care, Heather seeks out the most up to date care philosophy and is diligent about providing inclusive care that supports and honors Elders.

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