Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects memory, cognitive function, judgment and the ability to perform simple tasks. A progressive disease that worsens over time, the stages of Alzheimer’s range from mild symptoms initially (such as difficulty remembering names or making decisions), to the critical stage and complete dependence. For an aging loved one with Alzheimer’s, the changes are subtle at first. For example, you may notice your dad can’t remember if he ate lunch or if he has taken his daily prescriptions. Perhaps he can’t understand why he has gotten lost driving to the gas station or the grocery store, places he’s been many times. Most likely, your dad will be embarrassed and frustrated as his memory, confusion and disorientation worsen. With disease progression, physical abilities are also affected – and he may forget how to bath and dress, even how to eat. He may become agitated during a meal when he cannot hold a fork or cannot swallow. He may not realize when it’s time to use the toilet and incontinence becomes a concern. Caring for an elderly loved one with dementia and Alzheimer’s is overwhelming, especially as the diseases advance. When safety becomes a factor, though, such as wandering from the home or using appliances unattended, it may be time to seek additional help at home.
BrightStar Care in Boca Raton offers in-home Alzheimer’s care, with home caregivers that assist with activities of daily living, ensure adequate nutrition and hydration, and protect from unsafe situations such as wandering, with compassion and skill. Another member of our home care team is Cooper, our pet therapy puppy-in-training. Pets bring joy and smiles to our homebound patients, and as Cooper grows and learns his duties, he is sure to bring comfort and fond memories to our patients.