Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Need Help Caring For A Parent With Alzheimer's Disease? 3 Tasks A Home Care Worker Can Assist Your Loved One With

by Hugh Larson

Caring for an aging parent with Alzheimer's can be extremely exhausting, especially if you have a demanding career or other commitments that keep you pretty busy. Individuals with Alzheimer's required approximately 17.7 billion hours of care in 2013 -- and that large figure only includes the unpaid time put in by family members, friends, and other caretakers. Many free caretakers end up declining social invitations and giving up hobbies to focus on caring for a parent with Alzheimer's, which is unfair to the caregiver and may cause feelings of anger, depression, or resentment. Whether you feel like you're sacrificing too many of your own needs to care for your elderly parent or feel guilty because you wish you had more time to offer, a senior home care aide can help create the balance you desire.

Personal Care

If your loved one has severe Alzheimer's, remembering to bathe regularly or change into a new outfit each day might be a challenge. Volunteer aides are not always legally able to help with personal care tasks due to licensing and certification issues, but research to see if your state's laws allow these activities. Paid health care aides usually undergo thorough training on the proper techniques for bathing, grooming, and taking elderly clients to the bathroom, and are not allowed to work if their certifications expire. 

An experienced health aide can assist your parent with the following types of personal care:

  • Combing, brushing, or styling hair
  • Applying lotion, deodorant, and body spray
  • Trimming, filing, or painting toenails and fingernails 
  • Brushing teeth or cleaning dentures
  • Changing soiled pads or diapers

How will you know if a caretaker actually does any of the things listed above if your parent has a limited short term memory due to the Alzheimer's? You can ask the health aide to keep a daily care log that details everything that was done. The log should include a date, time, and short description of each activity that takes place. 

Medication Management

There are numerous medications and supplements that your loved one's doctor may recommend for Alzheimer's treatment or other health conditions that your parent may have. After a doctor prescribes the medications, it may be difficult for your parent to remember to pick them up from the pharmacy, swallow the capsules on schedule, or store the tablets properly. A certified caregiver can develop a system that helps ensure that your mother or father takes prescribed pills on the schedule set by the doctor. Having someone track the pills your parent takes can help prevent the risk of an accidental overdose and eliminate the unpleasant symptoms that flare up after a missed dose of medication. 

Errand Assistance

Although their job title implies that care is limited to your mom or dad's residence, home health aides are usually allowed to leave the client's house during a scheduled shift. Your state may require paid caregivers to have a chauffeur license, so mention your transportation needs to the agency you use to ensure they send an aide with the right qualifications. 

Many caregivers who specialize in senior care are happy to take your parent anywhere they want to go as long as it isn't too far away. A home health aid can travel with your loved one to:

  • Medical appointments
  • Grocery stores, shopping malls, or restaurants
  • Religious services or ceremonies
  • Leisure activities, such as musicals or Bingo competitions 

Caring for a parent with Alzheimer's is a time-consuming job that can leave you feeling mentally drained and physically fatigued. Before you pull another overnight shift or cancel plans with your friends, contact a trusted agency at that specializes in home care services to set up a meeting with an experienced aide. 


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.