Tag: dementia care

Chadds Ford, PA Dementia Care

Dementia Care in Chadds Ford, PA

Care. Connection. Companionship.

2Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be a challenging journey. Chadds Ford, PA Dementia Care understands that dementia poses many changes that require personalized care, expertise, and compassion. Chadds Ford, PA Dementia Care is an option for providing support to individuals, without moving them from their current residence.

NursePartners’ approach to Alzheimer’s and Chadds Ford, PA Dementia Care is based on The GEMS™: Brain Change Model created by Teepa Snow. NursePartners recognizes Teepa’s positive approach to care as an effective method to provide care for loved ones affected by dementia. This approach categorizes dementia stages with six different gemstones, defined by unique characteristics. Click here for an overview of the classification system.

 

1Trained carepartners are knowledgeable and experienced with dementia and adjust care accordingly. After an initial assessment, we create a plan of care to help your loved one live comfortably and safely. This positive approach allows carepartners to fill their time together with meaningful activities and positive interactions to best support every stage.

Our Chadds Ford, PA Dementia Care carepartners are dedicated to improving quality of life. By keeping a record of everything from mood behaviors, health complications, and daily activities, we begin to understand what factors contribute to positive moods and overall happiness.

By appreciating and understanding what is changing and what is still possible, we generate a plan of care that is positive and productive

Some of the services we provide are:

  • Companionship
  • Meal preparation
  • Bathing, grooming, and hygiene
  • Mobility assistance
  • Transferring and positioning
  • Feeding / diet monitoring
  • Toileting and incontinence care
  • Light housekeeping
  • Errands and shopping
  • Medication reminders
  • Incidental transportation

Best Chadds Ford Dementia Care

Alzheimer’s disease and the Ability to Walk

Dementia inhibits the ability to walk

Dementia can affect areas of the brain that are responsible for movement and balance. Many individuals affected by Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia gradually lose the ability to walk and perform everyday tasks. Knowing what to expect can make an easier transition for you and your loved one in the late stages of dementia.

Understanding balance and gait

One of the first signs of loss of mobility, is walking unsteadily and shuffling. Your loved one may seem slow or clumsy, causing more accidents and bumping into things. This “slowing” is typically associated with a syndrome called “parkinsonism.” Other signs of Parkinsonism include the shortening of steps, “stooped” posture, and the narrowing of the space between feet. Turning can become more difficult, because the person no longer pivots on their heels, but instead turn in a series of short steps. During the turns, their balance can become unstable, increasing the changes that they fall backward.

Apraxia is another condition associated with dementia and the ability to walk. An ataxic gait is characterized by imbalance, and abnormal, uncoordinated movements. Typically the individual can stand, but is very unsteady, taking small irregular steps. Very early in the course of apraxic walking in dementia, a cane or a walker can help. It is not uncommon to see a person go from a slow, cautious gait, to a normal walking pattern simply by taking up a cane.

How you can help

  • It is important to note that people with dementia can have problems with walking that are not associated with dementia. Exhaustion and pain can limit how far a person can walk. Sometimes that pain can reflect an unattended problem in foot care or muscle fatigue.
  • The person you care for may also require a mobility aid, such as a walking cane or a wheelchair in order to feel secure. Sometimes just being physically present can provide your loved one with the confidence and security to walk.
  • Consider a physiotherapist: They can help with anything from exercises to strengthen muscles to walking aids.

It is not easy to care for someone with mobility constraints!  Unfortunately, this issue is usually compounded with others, including constipation, blood clots, and pressure sores.

It takes a team

We can be your team.  Falls can happen at any time, leading to permanent deteriorations in health, and it only takes a moment.  Let us be there when you cannot.  Call us today to learn how we help: 610-323-9800.

Sources:

Understanding Dementia: Balance and Gait Examination – DementiaGuide.com. DementiaGuide, 2001. Web. 23 June 2016.

Understanding Alzheimer’s and other dementias: Hand Under Hand™ Approach

As dementia progresses, it is vital to appreciate the changes in a person’s ability to be able to connect. One critical element that is often missed when trying to share information is the value of changing our delivery process. Dementia care pioneer Teepa Snow developed the hand-under-hand technique, as a guiding and assisting technique that provides family members and caregivers with an amazing connection. It promotes a physical touch connection that is friendly, comforting, and successful, without being intrusive or overbearing.

 

 

 

The hand-under-hand technique also provides a system of feedback and communication between the a loved one living with dementia, and a caregiver. It uses the much practiced and automatic connection between the eye and hand to form a closed circuit between the person who is struggling to understand words and tasks and the care partner. It provides a comforting and calming human connection using a familiar grasp and proprioceptive (deep pressure) in the palm at the base of the thumb.

This eye-hand connection is one of the very first sensory-motor loops established in infants is used endlessly throughout our lives. By using the palmer surface of the hand, and taking the person through the desire motion or movement, we are communicating with touch and movement, without the need for words.

It’s also important and helpful to position yourself below the eye level of the person with dementia. By lowering yourself to their eye level and by using hand-under-hand, you will be able to accomplish your caregiving goals and form a meaningful connection in the process.

Remember: the purpose is to control the situation, not the person. Dementia care partners are in the process together: always do whatever you can to respect the independence, rights, and dignity of the person with dementia.

The use of hand-under-hand is multi-faceted:

  • It is used when greeting someone to sustain a physical connection, allowing the person to become more comfortable with your presence in their intimate space. It differs from a normal handshake that can be uncomfortable to sustain. By having a hand-under-hand rap, you will be able to tell if the person is enjoying your presence and wants you to allow them more space. If they keep trying to let go you, let go and move back further. They may need a break or may not want you in their intimate space at that moment.
  • It can be used when helping your loved one move around. It provides greater stability and support as well as a feedback loop.
  1. Since the arm is the rudder that guides the ship, by rotating the foreman outward or inward you can direct the walking path.
  2. By tipping the forearm down you can indicate physically the cue to sit down in a seat or on the bed.
  3. By tipping the forearm upward you can help the person stand upright.

When used in combination with a gesture or point, it can help provide directions and reassurance when moving through the environment in the later stages, or when in an unfamiliar setting. Because a family member or caregiver is close to the person, the awareness of balance, coordination, fear, or distress is telegraphed can be responded to in a timely manner.

  • Hand-under-hand is essential during the Amber, Ruby, and Pearl gem stages. It allows you to use their dexterity to operate the tool or utensil while your loved one is still actively participating and moving their body parts toward their body (hand to mouth, hand to chest) as they have done for their entire lives. This automatic loop allows people living with dementia a sense of both control and involvement.

Finally, it provides the care partner or family member a way to get feedback on preferences, understanding, readiness, and willingness to participate. It provides a way to do with, not to do or do for.

Home care services can alleviate loneliness

Loneliness and Isolation are Preventable

As family members and caretakers, we all have a role to play in supporting our loved ones. Loneliness and isolation is a problem for many seniors, but it’s particularly difficult for those struggling with dementia.

Reading together to alleviate loneliness

Loved ones suffering from dementia are more likely to experience loneliness for a number of reasons, including:

  • Loss of confidence after diagnosis
  • Mobility difficulties and other physical impairments
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction
  • Chronic illnesses that affect daily activities
  • Not remembering visits from friends (not perceiving social contact)

The Danger Loneliness Poses

Feelings of loneliness negatively affect both mental and physical health. Studies have found those without adequate social interaction are twice as likely to die prematurely. Isolation impairs immune function, leading to diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other serious health conditions.  Perceived loneliness also directly contributes to cognitive decline and puts seniors at risk for dementia. A care professional can reduce the feeling of isolation by offering companionship and access to services not regularly available.

Health Risk

Many times, individuals who lack daily social contact may be at increased risk of death because of health-related injuries. A care professional can provide the necessary support to help your loved one live healthy and happily.

Each NursePartners clinician possesses the knowledge and experience to provide care for your loved one. NursePartners works diligently to ensure carepartners promote health, safety, and comfort. The goal is to provide better support, helping them live fully in their moment.

Transportation Challenges

Adequate transportation can reduce the risk of isolation and loneliness. Having access to transportation allows seniors to feel a sense of community. It can provide the opportunity for your loved one to feel connected to a variety of programs, activities and events that will keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

NursePartners staff are insured privately, and will transport and accompany your loved one to care services, including grocery shopping, medical appointments and shopping trips.

Activities to Enjoy Together

A caregiver can be a viable solution to alleviate your loved one’s loneliness, by offering companionship and home care assistance. Even if you’re loved one isn’t housebound, a caregiver can provide companionship, from as little as a few hours a day to around the clock care.

Keeping loved ones stimulated and providing ability-based care and support cannot be overstated. Care partners can participate in many activities with your loved one, including:

  • Playing and listening to music
  • Preparing and cooking meals
  • Arts and crafts projects
  • Scrapbooking, and looking through photo albums
  • Crosswords, puzzles, cards, board games
  • Gardening, dancing, swimming

Our carepartners are dedicated to improving quality of life. NursePartners works diligently to ensure carepartners fill their time together with meaningful activities and positive interactions. By keeping a record of everything from mood behaviors to daily activities, we can begin to understand which factors contribute to positive moods and overall happiness.  Our carepartners are trained in the Positive Approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care (GEMS™) and work with families to enable safety, comfort, and happiness through home-care services.

If your loved one need home care assistance or relief, our team would love to help.
Contact us today.

caregiving, carepartner, companionship, NursePartners
Nana and Angie in the snow

Is it time to find care for your loved one?

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Many families struggle to make decisions about the best living situation and care for their loved one. There are many signs that indicate your loved one might benefit from home care services:

  • Confusion and uncertainty when performing once familiar tasks;
  • Unexplained weight loss;
  • Spoiled food in the fridge;
  • Difficulty standing and walking;
  • Forgetfulness and loss of interest in favorite activities;
  • Neglected personal hygiene;
  • Inability to keep up with house maintenance;
  • Missed appointments, unpaid bills, and late payment notices.

Seniors who live alone often experience isolation and poor nutrition, contributing to depression, cognitive decline, and a lower quality of life. It may be time to consider home care if you find your loved one with some of these symptoms.

In-Home Care Offers Independence

Many individuals, if given the choice, would choose to remain in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. In-home care is an option for providing support, without moving them from their current residence. A plan of care can be tailored to meet the likes and needs of your loved one.  This is the superior option to scheduled activities and regimented care that is often provided in assisted living facilities.  At home, your loved one can set their own schedule and find comfort in the familiarity of their surroundings.

NursePartners works with each family to enable safety, comfortability, and happiness through home care services. As part of this process, we match your loved one’s needs to a select group of compassionate carepartners.

Our carepartners are dedicated to improving our clients’ quality of life. Our approach to Alzheimer’s and dementia care is based on The GEMS™: Brain Change Model created by Teepa Snow.  

The GEMS™: Brain Change Model

NursePartners recognizes Teepa’s positive approach to care as an effective method to provide care for loved ones affected by dementia. This approach categorizes dementia stages with six different gemstones, each defined by unique characteristics. Understanding each stage of the process allows carepartners to gain a deeper insight into what your loved one is experiencing.

After an in-home assessment, we work to create a plan of care to help your loved one live comfortably and safely. By keeping a record of everything from mood behaviors, health complications, to daily activities, we can begin to understand what factors contribute to positive moods and overall happiness.

In-home care offers independence, and NursePartners delivers with flexible, customized solutions. Ready to learn more? Our care team would love to offer a complimentary in-home care consultation. Contact us today.