Options For Help When Your Husband Has Alzheimer's Disease

Health & Medical Blog

If your husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, you should prepare for the day you need help with his care. Although you may not want to deal with things such as finding a good facility and getting your legal and financial matters in order, it's better to do it early rather than put it off. That way, you won't have to make difficult decisions when you're stressed out from the daily weight of being a sole caregiver. People progress through the stages of Alzheimer's at different rates, so it's difficult to predict ahead of time when your husband will need full time care. You don't need to wait until the end stages of Alzheimer's to get help. These are some options that are available.

Adult Day Care

Look for an adult day care in your city. Some nursing homes offer this service, or you might find one that operates independently. Just be sure the day care has experience with Alzheimer's patients, and is set up to care for them. People with Alzheimer's tend to wander. Your husband could wander off and get lost if the facility you choose does not have locked or guarded doors. The advantage of an adult day care is it allows your husband to socialize with other people. This helps keep his brain active and may ward off depression that comes from isolation. It also benefits you by allowing you a few hours of freedom each day to work, shop, or just rest.

Home Sitter

If you don't want to take your husband out of the house, you can arrange for a sitter in your home. While you may be able to hire a friend or a general sitter at a more affordable price, you should consider your husband's special needs first. It's common for people with Alzheimer's to become agitated and combative. When your husband goes through a phase like that, it's better for a trained health care aid to be at his side than a friend who might get hurt or escalate the problem. The advantage of hiring a home sitter is your husband can stay in familiar surrounding, which helps if he becomes anxious in loud or strange surroundings. Plus, you may feel more secure knowing your husband is at home. You can even install a remote camera, so you can keep an eye on him while you're at work or on the go.

Alzheimer's Care Facility

When your husband reaches the later stages of Alzheimer's, he may have trouble walking and standing. If he is bigger and heavier than you, he may be too much for you to physically handle. Unless you have home care around the clock, you may need to put your husband in an Alzheimer's care facility. These are set up to care for the special needs of Alzheimer's patients and are much more suitable than putting your husband in a general care nursing home. For one, the facilities are locked down, so your husband can roam if he is still able to walk, but he won't get lost. Another benefit is the staff is trained to work with patients that have behavioral problems associated with dementia, as well as the physical problems that develop such as incontinence and difficulty swallowing.

You may wish to care for your husband at home for as long as you can. You should still be able to get help from the Alzheimer's Association, your local hospice, or your local council on aging. These organizations may be able to offer respite care and arrange for medical equipment you may need such as a lift or hospital bed. Make connections with services in your community now, so you'll know where to turn later when you're overwhelmed with the emotional and physical drain of daily caregiving.

For more information, check out companies such as Bethesda Health Care Facility.


4 May 2015