Late-stage dementia can be horrible to watch, much less experience as it’s characterized by a significant decline in cognitive and physical function. Individuals may have difficulty communicating, become bedridden, and may require assistance with all daily activities, such as eating, dressing, and bathing. They may also experience personality changes, delusions, and hallucinations. All of these can be incredibly difficult for any loved one, no matter how prepared, to deal with on their own. Big changes are coming, and to prepare for them, you’ll want to use this guide.
Consider the Care Options
As dementia progresses, it’ll become critical to consider care options such as care homes, in-home care, or at the very least, respite care:
· Respite Care
Respite care is available to patients at all stages of dementia. Hiring respite care can mean getting respite for an afternoon, or even for weeks. With respite care, you can take the afternoon off for date night, or take a week off to take your family on vacation. As your loved ones’ needs develop, you’ll find that you rely more on respite care than ever before. Eventually, you’ll need to transition into full-time in-home care, or into a dedicated care home.
· In-Home Care
In-home care can be a good option for families who wish to keep their loved ones at home. In-home care can include assistance with daily activities, medication management, and companionship. In short, you bring the professionals to you. This can be a much more expensive option, since you’ll need to upgrade your home so that it’s appropriate to care for your loved one. This will include making it safe, upgrading it for accessibility purposes, and housing all the necessary medical equipment. If you’re limited on the space or means to make these accommodations, then a care home is ideal.
· Care Home
Care homes such as St. Peter’s House care home that specialize in dementia patient care are usually one of the best options for families. Not only are they well-designed, comfortable, and offer all the services necessary to keep your loved one healthy, but they’ll also manage wellness activities and work to keep your loved one active (and on a schedule). The combination of activity and routine—all amongst a safe environment surrounded by professional carers—means your loved one will be well cared for.
Consider Legal and Financial Planning
As dementia progresses, it may become necessary to consider legal and financial planning. Families should consider discussing matters such as wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives with an attorney. Families should also discuss financial matters with a financial advisor, as dementia can have significant financial implications.
Take Care of Yourself
Caring for a loved one with late-stage dementia can be emotionally and physically exhausting. It’s important for families to take care of themselves and seek support when needed. Consider getting counseling for yourself, join a support group, and rely on the carers at the care home or respite workers to take the heavy lifting.