August 3, 2016
Isolation ultimately affects nearly every family grappling with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Families can become disconnected from the outside world as they struggle to provide adequate care to their loved one, often with no outside assistance.
That was the situation for Barbara, recipient of a home care grant through the Home Instead Senior Care® partnership with Hilarity for Charity®, who moved her mother into her home to care for her by herself. “People who don’t know anything about dementia do not understand the all-encompassing stress of it. It is too much,” she says.
A dementia diagnosis often highlights a number of resource gaps for the family: financial, emotional, knowledge. Care partnerships serve families by weaving a matrix that brings the right resources to bear at the right time. Here are four specific ways partnerships can improve dementia care.
1. Care Grants Provide Financial Resources
Home Instead® partners with Hilarity for Charity and the Alzheimer’s Association to provide free care through the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Relief Grant Program . These home care grants awarded to eligible families affected by the disease provide up to 25 hours per week of care over 52 weeks—a significant benefit for those in need.
Grants are funded by Hilarity for Charity, an organization founded by comedian Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller Rogen, to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s within the millennial generation. Miller’s mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 55, so the couple have first-hand experience with the caregiver life. To date, Hilarity for Charity has raised more than $5 million for Alzheimer’s research and care grants.
Home care grants improve dementia care by making professionally trained CAREGiversSM available to families who may not otherwise be able to afford this level of expertise. Learn more about how the grant program could benefit your clients.
2. Financial Partnerships Cascade Into Emotional Support
“It is so hard to watch someone you love waste away,” Barbara said. “After my mom went on hospice, she became so emaciated. I honestly could not take care of her, looking like that. It was priceless to have someone else do it.”
When a beloved spouse or parent is in the end-stages of dementia, no family member should have to fulfill the caregiving role; they should be allowed to simply be the loving husband, wife or adult child they are. As Barbara attests, a home care grant can allow these devoted family members to do just that and give their loved one a dignified death.
The professional CAREGivers matched with families through home care grants can provide support for both the individual and for family members. Often, caring for the family involves connecting them to community programs and other resources for emotional and spiritual support. In facilitating these partnership opportunities between families and the community, Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers help elevate the art of dementia care.
3. Partnering to Bridge the Knowledge Gap
Home Instead CAREGivers can opt to complete a dementia care curriculum that focuses on the unique needs of individuals with memory issues. In collaboration with experts on Alzheimer’s disease, Home Instead created a training program called Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education®. This relationship-centered approach to Alzheimer’s caregiving focuses on delivering personalized care that addresses each individual’s specific needs. This training has received the endorsement of many senior care experts over the years.
The CARE program proved so valuable that portions of it are available to family caregivers for free online, to help them better understand how to provide care to their loved one with a dementia disease. The CARE program represents just one way partnering with experts helps bridge the dementia care knowledge gap for families and helps them feel better equipped to meet the challenges that lie ahead on their journey.
4. Partnering with Families for Excellence in Care
The ultimate partnership in any dementia care scenario lies in collaborating with the family.
“I made a deal with the caregivers,” grant recipient Barbara said, “I would take care of the housework, as long as they took care of Mom. And they were really good at it, bathing and dressing her and everything.”
Each caregiving family knows what they need and want from a dementia care provider. Respecting their wishes and delivering personalized care creates a winning environment for the individual with dementia. Taking a team approach to caregiving creates connections between senior care providers, community agencies, educational materials and social opportunities for families.
Partnerships of all kinds can enhance the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s and their family members. We consider it our mission to deliver exceptional care to every Alzheimer’s family by bringing together the exact resources they need, when they need them.
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