Caring for someone with dementia means attending to an onslaught of changes day and night. As the disease advances, there comes a point when around-the-clock dementia care becomes not just worthwhile but necessary for ensuring the safety, well-being, and quality of life for the individual.
How can you tell when it’s the right time for full-time care? These key indicators signal the appropriateness of transitioning to around-the-clock care:
- Safety Concerns: Are you having safety concerns about the person with dementia throughout the day and night? Wandering, forgetting to turn off appliances, or experiencing challenges with activities of everyday living increases the risk for injuries or accidents.
- Sleep Challenges: Dementia often disrupts a person’s normal sleep patterns. Nighttime confusion, wandering, or agitation may lead to sleep deprivation for the individual and you as their caregiver, impacting general health and well-being.
- Struggling to Perform Basic Tasks: If the person starts to need extra help with tasks that were once taken for granted, such as bathing, dressing, or eating, 24-hour care ensures steady support for these activities, promoting dignity and empowering the individual to maintain the best possible quality of life.
- Decline in Physical Health: Dementia can affect an individual’s physical health, resulting in challenges with coordination, mobility, and self-care. Round-the-clock care ensures prompt assistance with any physical needs which could arise.
- Medical Monitoring Requirements: Some individuals with dementia may have underlying health conditions that necessitate regular monitoring. Continuous care allows for close observation of medical needs and timely intervention.
- Frequent Hospitalizations: If you notice an influx of hospital visits because of dementia-related issues, 24-hour care might be essential to provide consistent monitoring and preventive measures.
- Communication Challenges: Communication issues are expected with dementia. Professional caregivers experienced in communicating with those with dementia can enhance the person’s overall quality of life and minimize frustration.
- Caregiver Burnout: Caring for someone with dementia is taxing. If you are experiencing exhaustion or any other signs of caregiver burnout or depression, it may be an indication that 24-hour care is needed.
- Increased Behavioral Challenges: Agitation, aggression, or other challenging behaviors may intensify as dementia progresses. Professional caregivers trained in managing these behaviors can provide a more secure environment and prevent potential harm.
Note that if the person’s behaviors are causing you or the individual to be at an increased risk of harm, it’s a good idea to check out care home options, where multiple caregivers are readily available to ensure everyone’s safety.
At Golden Harmony, we provide specialized dementia care from skilled, trained, and experienced caregivers, customized to the needs of the individual. During the early stages of the disease, this could mean just a few hours of help and support. Once the disease progresses, we can increase the amount of care to ensure safety and comfort, up to and including around-the-clock care.