Alzheimer’s Patients Turn To Stories Instead Of Memories

Posted on May 18, 2012

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Great story from NPR on Alzheimer’s and storytelling therapy.

Alzheimer’s Patients Turn To Stories Instead Of Memories : Shots – Health Blog : NPR.

You may also be interested in another blog entry about Alzheimer’s and story telling.

If you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia know that there are resources to help you.

Respite Care

If being a caregiver is becoming overwhelming and you have some of these symptoms, some form of respite care might be a valid option:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Change in eating habits
  • Feeling tired or without energy most of the time
  • No time or loss of interest in activities you used to love such as going out with friends, walking, or reading
  • Easily irritated or angered
  • Frequent headaches or other physical problems which did not exist before

Situation or Circumstance of Your Loved One

Certain situations might arise where you might need immediate home care help like

  • A medical emergency
  • Progression of an illness
  • Side effects of age-related conditions

What is Home Care?

Home Care is a care alternative that allows the patient to remain home to receive a wide range of treatment and care by health professionals, family, friends and/or voluntary health caregivers. Most people wish to stay in their homes as long as possible – in fact, an AARP study indicates that 82% of seniors would prefer to remain in their homes. The support given to patients to live independently can vary, from help with activities of daily living include bathing, dressing, and meal preparation to assistance with transportation, paying bills, making appointments, and simply being there to provide companionship and emotional support. Home care is a good alternative arrangement for seniors who do not want to live in a nursing home.

Medical home care refers to highly skilled care professionals providing care to anyone who needs it – from infants to seniors; medical services tailored to your loved one’s needs. Highly skilled services, like high-tech nursing for those in need of specialized neurological care, blood sugar testing, home infusion therapy, hospice assistance, a wide range of services for people with disabilities and/or special needs, pediatric nursing as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

For detailed information please visit elder homecare services.

What are the Different Care Options, and when are They Viable for Consideration?

There are many options out there but not all of them may be viable for your particular situations. Finding the best care option is not a simple task. With so many senior housing options available, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed by all the different kinds of communities. It’s important to understand the differences between the many solutions that are out there so you can make the right choice for your loved one.

There are 4 high level categories of solutions available to you:


  • In-Home Care
  • Senior Community
  • Senior Care such as Assisted Living or Nursing Homes
  • Alternative Micro Communities

Based on the health of your loved one, there maybe a need to choose solutions that provide Alzheimer’s Care, or in certain situation a Hospice maybe the best solution.

We’ll start by explaining what these options represent, or you can use the OurParents Care Options Advisor™ to help you better understand your options.

In Home Care

This is a good solution for seniors who can take stay at home, and receive applicable care in their own home. Care could be Home Health Care (medical,) i.e. doctor-prescribed provided by skilled personnel such as nurses or physical and occupational therapists, or Intermediate Care (non medical) such as transportation assistance, help with meals, light chores, companionship, etc.

Home Health Care (“Skilled Home Care Services”)

Home health care agencies provide in-home skilled nursing and other home health care services, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy. Home health care agencies are licensed by the state, but must adhere to federal regulations as well. Home health must be prescribed by a physician. Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) provide the care, sometimes in conjunction with other health professionals. These providers may also enlist the assistance of a home health aide who can help with personal care such as bathing and using the toilet. Home health aides can also administer medication under the supervision of a nurse.

Intermediate Care (“Custodial Home Care Services”)

This is a type of in-home nonmedical care provided in the home. It includes custodial care and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing and providing medication reminders. Homecare workers are professionally trained caregivers who provide companionship and are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for the person receiving care.

Homecare can be arranged without a physician’s order and is different from home health care, in that caregivers do not provide nursing care. For example, while they may provide medication reminders, they are not allowed to administer medication. Neither are caregivers housecleaners; although some light housekeeping may be necessary and appropriate, heavy housecleaning is normally not expected. In-home caregivers may provide care within a facility setting to help supplement for extra needed care.

Directed care services

Programs and services, including personal care services, provided to persons who are incapable of recognizing danger, summoning assistance, expressing need or making basic care decisions.

Personal care services

Assistance with activities of daily living that can be performed by persons w/o professional skills or professional training and includes coordination or provision of intermittent nursing services and the administration of medications and treatments by a licensed nurse.

Supervisory care services

General supervision, including daily awareness of resident functioning and continuing needs, the ability to intervene in a crisis and assistance in the self-administration of prescribed medications.

Payment & costs:

Usually paid for privately, although some medical services are covered by Medicaid. The prices vary, and are usually an hourly fee. For more detailed information, you may review Evaluating In-Home Care Services – A Check List. You can find options for In Home care providers on Ourparents’ directory.

Senior Communities (Independent Living / Retirement Communities)

Senior Communities are for seniors who can take care of themselves but just need someone who will check-in with them sparingly through out the week. This looking after takes place in one’s home or apartment, a retirement community, or there are independent living apartments.

Congregate Care

This is very similar to independent living complexes. It has the aspects of community environment, with one or more meals per day prepared and served in a community dinning hall. Transportation, pools, a convenience store, bank, barber/beauty shop, resident laundry, housekeeping, and security, are all services and amenities that may be provided there.

Payment & costs:

Usually paid for privately, although some services are covered by Medicaid. The prices vary between $1,500-$3,000 per month depending on level of care. For more detailed information, you may review Senior Communities. You can find options for Senior Communities on Ourparents’ directory.

Assisted Living Facility

Assisted living facilities are an apartment-style habitat designed to focus on providing assistance with daily living activities. They provide a higher level of service for the elderly which can include preparing meals, housekeeping, medication assistance, laundry, and also due regular check-in’s on the residents. Basically they are designed to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing home facilities.

Payment & costs:

Usually paid for privately, although some services are covered by Medicaid. The prices vary between $2,000-$4,000 per month depending on level of care. Alzheimer’s Care would range from $2,500 to $4,500 for a shared suite.

For more detailed information, you may review How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility. You can find options for assisted living on Ourparents’ directory.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are often known as are traditional nursing facilities. They provide medical nursing service for seniors with serious illnesses or disabilities twenty-four hours a day. The state and federal governments have to license these facilities in order for them to provide by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse aids.

Nursing care facilities cater to several types of patients: some patients require short-term rehab while recovering from surgery; others require long-term nursing and medical supervision. In addition, some nursing homes offer specialized care programs for Alzheimer’s or other illnesses, or short-term respite care for frail or disabled persons when a family member requires a rest from providing care in the home.

Payment & costs:

Can be paid for privately, but often covered by Medicare or Medicaid. The prices vary between $4,000-$8,000 per month depending on level of care.

For more detailed information, you may review the guide to nursing homes. You can find options for nursing homes on Ourparents’ directory.

Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s Care facilities are for senior who require special care due to dementia. They are often set with special safeguards for wandering and caregivers are trained in handling dementia behaviors. Alzheimer’s Care is delivered in assisted living settings and in nursing homes.

Payment & costs:

Can be paid for privately, but often covered by edicaid. The prices vary between $3,000-$7,000 per month.

For more detailed information, you may review the Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease. You can find options for facilities with Alzheimer’s Care on Ourparents’ directory.

Micro Community

A Micro community is a category that encompasses various types of smaller senior communities. They are known by different names and are often referred to as residential care homes, adult family homes, personal care homes, adult foster homes, group homes, or board and care homes. Typically they all have the same things in common: they provide care for seniors in a homelike setting that’s very much like a family. They may serve as a good solution for your loved one.

Adult Day Care

Adult day care programs work just like any other day care programs you may send your child in a safe and caring setting for adults. The program provides meals and care services to seniors in a community setting during the day if the caregiver needs time off or must work. Programs are structured and designed, often through the development of a personal care plan, to cover the daily individual needs of each participant, including a variety of social and supportive services. Participants may be physically, mentally or functionally impaired, or they may simply need companionship or supervision during part of the day. Many programs offered specialize in participants needing Alzheimer’s care.Usually 4-5 adults.

Adult Day Health Care

Like adult day care, adult day health care provides a safe, caring setting for adults who require supervision or care during the day. Adult day health programs are designed for individuals who require a more skilled level of care. These programs offer medical services, like rehabilitation, therapy, nursing care and special nutrition. The programs are structured and designed, often through the development of a personal care plan, to cover the daily individual needs of each participant. Participants of adult day health care require some health care, unlike adult day care participants.

Payment & costs:

Usually paid for privately, although some services are covered by Medicaid. The prices vary between $2,500-$4,500 per month for a shared suite.

For more detailed information, you may review Evaluating a Micro Community (Residential Care Facility) – A Check List. You can find options for Micro Communities on Ourparents’ directory.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

These are communities operated and planned to offer a fourth dimension of service. Starting out, most elderly people only need the bare minimum of solicitude and don’t require to have someone with them at all times. This allows individuals to never have to change their environment and get the specific care that they require throughout stay. For more detailed information, you may review Aging in Place – Explanation of Continued Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). You can find options for Continuing Care Retirement Communities on Ourparents’ directory.

Hospice Care

Hospice care is an infusion of home care and facility care provided to benefit terminally ill patients and support their families through their tough times. For more detailed information, you may review The Role of Hospice in Elder Health Care. You can find options for Hospice Care on Ourparents’ directory.

BrightStar Care

Our in-home services are personalized to fit the specific needs of the client.  We work with clients and their families to design a customized care plan, and we match each client with a qualified, pre-screened caregiver.

From childcare to elder care, the BrightStar of Downtown Houston team provides peace of mind. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our Director of Nursing ensures that each client receives the highest level of care administered by highly qualified personnel.

Home Healthcare and Staffing Services Provided

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care
  • Shopping and Transportation Services
  • Newborn/Multiples Care
  • Sitting/Companion Service
  • Nanny Service
  • And much more

About Our Home Healthcare and Staffing Providers
The answer to your question is “Yes, we can!” Just tell us what you need; we’ll custom tailor a service plan and make all of the necessary arrangements. We are here to help our clients and their families live their best. Let us know how we can be of service.

Proudly serving Bunker Hill Village, River Oaks, Bellaire, West University, The Heights, Hunters Creek, Midtown and the Medical Center.

BrightStar Care of Downtown Houston

BrightStar is an in-home health care company designed to help, give us a call at 832-730-1255.

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