Mobility pressures come as people age. Simple daily activities that are normally and easily done become tough hills to climb. Going out for a simple walk in the park or visiting friends may seem out of hand. If your loved one is battling to survive even the daily mundane of living, probably it’s time for you consider getting a caregiver to assist your elder and make his aging life as comfortable as possible.

How do I get a caregiver? This is perhaps the next question on your mind. With the increasing trend in the population of seniors especially in developed countries, caregiving service also becomes a growing business. You can definitely find a caregiver easily but you have to be cautious because it isn’t just a piece of commodity you find in a grocery. Caregiving entails a great deal of responsibility that getting a caregiver also requires a great deal of thinking.

To help you out in the process, these considerations might help you in hiring the best person for your loved one:

Assess you elder’s needs. Choosing the right caregiver for your elder depends on his present condition. It is easier if he is mentally sound and just needs physical assistance because a non-medical personal care will do, but if your loved one is suffering from any forms of mental disorder, you might need a more skillful and trained caregiver. Consider also the physical disability of your elder. If he has trouble in walking unassisted or has difficulty getting out of bed, your caregiver should be physically able to carry your elder’s weight.

Appraise your financial capabilities. Needless to say, hiring a caregiver accompanies financial concerns. The cost of a caregiver depends on the needs of your elder. If your finances can sustain for an in-house caregiver, it would be a viable choice. If your working hours is flexible, you can also go for a cheaper per-hour basis and take care of your elder once you get home from work.

Ask your friends and relatives for referrals. This may be the most sensible option you should consider. More than good credentials printed on the caregiver’s resume, it’s good to know that the caregiver you’ll get has worked satisfactorily for someone you’re acquainted with. In this way, you’ll somehow have peace of mind that your elder is in good hands even when everybody in the house is out.

Arrange for interview. It’s always good to interview applicants personally because you’ll have your own assessment of the candidates’ personality during the course of questions and answers. Before conducting the interview, you should have prepared the necessary questions to be asked to make the process smooth and easy.

Assess your candidate’s character references and criminal background. The idea of having a stranger to live with the family is always risky that’s why it’s very crucial to get a background check of your potential caregiver. More than just skills, you would want a caregiver who is emphatic and compassionate. Somebody who cares for your loved one more than for the paychecks she receives.

When all of these A’s don’t work out well, you still have the other option of getting a caregiver from an agency. In doing so, you need to be extra cautious and choose one with unblemished reputation. The idea of having a complete stranger living with the family is somehow scary but you’ll do away with the risks by your careful decisions.

 
Dementia Care 04/23/2012
 
What is Dementia?

Dementia is one form of cognitive dysfunction wherein affected area of the brain can cause serious problems to a person’s memory, language, attention and sometimes can cause inability to solve simple problems and perform daily activities. Unfortunately, dementia is incurable and progressive although the progress can be a little bit slowed down by  medical treatments. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 35.6 million people worldwide affected by dementia as of April 2012 and each year 7.7 million of new cases are found. Alzheimer’s disease, which is a common form of dementia, contributes to the 60% - 70% of the cases.

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Although dementia can occur to younger people, this syndrome mainly affects the older population but it is not considered as part of aging. Forgetfulness is the most common symptom at an early stage. As dementia progresses, affected persons become more disoriented forgetting even the most recent events and names of immediate family members. They lose track of date and time, have problems with language and communication and sometimes keep on recalling selective past events. As the syndrome advances, behavioral changes and mood swings are very evident even to the point of aggression. Disorientation has  fully developed resulting to being unaware of time and place. At this stage, personal care and assistance is greatly needed.

Caring for a Person with Dementia

There’s no doubt that having a member of the family with dementia can provide physical, emotional and economic pressure because he needs all the support he could get from the able family members. The first step towards caring for a loved one with dementia is acceptance. Once an elder is diagnosed with the syndrome, other members of the family should acknowledge that there are no clinically proven medications to cure it. The next best thing to do is to educate the rest of the family members about the syndrome, its signs and symptoms and the underlying effects of dementia on their elder.

As an elder with dementia can hardly attend to his physical and emotional needs, the family should decide what type of care they would give him. Needless to say, professional help could be very  advantageous to him but, of course,  more expensive . It’s not only attending to the normal daily life activities of feeding, bathing and grooming but more on the specialized care in times of the elder’s depression and behavioral disturbances. Effects of dementia vary that is why individualized attention in a home care is greatly recommended. The family could also decide to house their elder in a Nursing Home, which also provides the necessary care for elders with dementia and nowadays, these homes are equipped with better faculties, facilities and amenities that could make elders comfortable.

Whatever care the family has decided for their elder with dementia, it is very important to note that family members and friends play a very important role in caring for their elder. They can make a valuable contribution in alleviating the condition of their elder by the love, understanding and support they could give.