Your mom is one of the 6.5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s. It’s hard on her, but it’s also hard on the entire family as you watch the disease progress. It’s time to talk about Home Health Care in the latter stages.
What is Personal Care?
Personal care is a level of home care that focuses on personal care needs like hygiene, grooming, and toileting. In the middle and end stages of Alzheimer’s, your mom is going to be unable to do tasks she used to do with ease.
She may still be physically able, but her mind will wander due to the loss of focus. She’ll start a task and forget what she was doing, so she never completes the task. She needs someone to help her stay focused and complete these important aspects of care.
Personal care includes all of these aspects of home care.
1. Toileting and Incontinence Care
People with Alzheimer’s have a higher risk of UTIs because they often fail to properly clean themselves after using the toilet. Personal care attendants help with toileting care. If your mom has an accident due to incontinence, which is also common, her aide is there to help her change her clothing and clean up.
2. Skin Care
Aging skin is drier anyway due to changes in collagen stores. But, your mom isn’t going to remember how to take care of her skin. It’s not surprising to find her trying to use toothpaste for eye cream or mouthwash as a toner.
You have to keep products out of her reach. After a shower, her caregiver can get the right cream and help her apply it to her skin. Her caregiver helps her apply deodorant, hand lotion, and foot cream to help keep her skin from being too dry.
3. Oral Care
Brushing and flossing her teeth will become impossible for your mom. She won’t be able to remember how long to brush or where she’s already brushed her teeth. With a home care aide’s help, your mom’s oral care needs are met.
Make sure your mom has dressed appropriately. If you’ve noticed her coming out in jeans and sweaters on the hottest day of the summer, she needs help picking out the right clothes. A personal care attendant helps her choose clothes and get dressed.
Her care aide can help her tie shoes, button buttons, and zip zippers. As the disease progresses, consider clothing that is easy to get on and off like yoga pants, sweaters with ties rather than buttons, and slip-on shoes.
Your mom will need help washing her hair and body. A shower seat and a hand-held shower wand are essential. Her caregiver can help her get showered and dried off.
Use Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month to discuss your mom’s care needs with the family. If everyone brings one of her favorite dishes for a conversation, she’ll have the chance to enjoy time with family. She may not be open to the idea of needing to rely on others for her personal care needs, but it’s important for her safety.
Once you’ve gotten questions together, call a Home Health Care specialist. You’ll find out more about the services, schedules, and prices. Your family needs support and personal care at home is one way to ensure your mom is cared for, which gives everyone peace of mind.