What is Dementia?
Dementia is really an umbrella term that covers over 100 conditions of brain disease. The shared symptoms are progressive loss of cognitive function and memory which impairs behaviors and thinking. While we may tend to associate dementia with its symptoms of “memory problems”, it is a brain disease and not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia which accounts for 50-70% of cases. Vascular dementia, Lewy Bodies, Fronto-temporal dementia, and Parkinson’s are all different types of dementia. It is also common for individuals to have a combination of dementias.
Dementia is the second largest contributor to death among older Americans, second only to heart failure. It is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent it, cure it, or even slow its progression (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014). Finding quality care for individuals with this disease is the best action we can take for our loved ones.
Unique Model of Dementia Care
There is a big difference between care that keeps someone alive and care that brings someone to life. At Sound Options, our holistic approach addresses the many needs and desires that make up an individual’s life from healthcare to cultural and social needs. With the right professional support, we believe that aging in place is still possible for those living with dementia.
Dementia is a demanding disease that incrementally requires more and more care. Spouses and adult children are often at risk for burnout while they suffer the incremental loss of a loved one. Our elite team of Geriatric Care Managers and In-Home Caregivers accompany aging adults and families on their journey with dementia to ensure they receive the customized and compassionate dementia care they need. Their dementia training allows them to appropriately and compassionately address the difficult behaviors that arise as symptoms of brain disease. We believe it is important for families to exchange the “do-it-all” model of care for a support system model that surrounds families with the education, healthcare, professionals, resources, and the everyday care they need. By relieving family of the role of managing and guiding the care of a loved one, Care Managers allow family to just be family.
As Registered Nurses and Masters of Social Work, Geriatric Care Managers:
- Educate family on the disease, understanding difficult behaviors, and communication
- Create a plan of care for the present and help family plan for the future
- Advise family and provide mediation for difficult decisions
- Navigate family through the healthcare maze such as Medicare, Long-Term Care Insurance, etc.
- Monitor progress of disease and proactively adjust care
- Manage medications and care for chronic diseases
- Liaison between the multiple doctors and professional involved in care
- Arrange appropriate services as needed
- Partner with hospice and arrange end-of-life care
As Certified Nursing Assistants, Caregivers provide:
- Day-to-day personal care such as dressing, feeding, bathing, toileting, etc.
- Household support: grocery shopping, housekeeping, transportation to appointments, etc.
- Activities appropriate for level of dementia, engagement, and companionship
- Compassionate and professional attention given to disease symptoms and progression
- Patient care backed by education on latest dementia care and communication techniques
For more resources about Alzheimer’s and other dementias visit our SoundLife Blog: http://www.soundoptions.com/blog/dementia-alzheimers
Published on August 21, 2014.