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Why Adult Day Care is Important

Thursday, July 27th, 2017 7:45:22 PM
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Adult day care services benefit seniors and their family caretakers

If you have a senior parent or loved one with dementia, you know how challenging providing adequate care can be. Even if their disease is not yet severe, the changing needs of seniors with memory illnesses are hard to keep up with. You may be caring for a senior parent, raising a family, focusing on a career, and trying to maintain your own health. If you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone.

Adult day care has become a solution for many family caregivers seeking senior care assistance. While adult day care offers interim care for family members, this care option also benefits seniors. The physical activity, social stimulation, and emotional connections help seniors with dementia connect to the world around them, which often feels like a frightening or unfamiliar place.

What is Adult Day Care?

Typically, adult day care refers to nonresidential senior homes or community centers that are focused on the needs of elderly adults. These care centers are open during regular business hours, accommodating the busy schedules of adult children who may be caring for an aging parent.

Adult day care relieves primary caregivers while ensuring that senior loved ones are still receiving proper attention and assistance in a friendly, safe, and nurturing environment. [National Caregivers Library]

Benefits for Seniors

Family caregivers, especially adult children, often feel guilty placing their senior mom or dad in an adult day care facility. The truth is that the mental and social benefits a care facility can bring are far more than in-home care alone. Adult care programs give seniors an opportunity to socialize, resulting in increased alertness and activity.

Professional care providers at specialized adult day care facilities are trained to meet the unique needs of seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory illnesses. This means that they are equipped with the proper tools to monitor and manage memory illness symptoms. These caregivers can monitor your loved one’s mental health and know when to recommend more advanced care.

Adult day care facilities offer services such as assistance with eating, exercise programs, crafts, bus trips, holiday parties, and transportation help. Adding activities to a senior’s schedule provides more structure, giving them things to anticipate and look forward to.

Benefits for Family Members

Caring for a loved one with dementia is mentally and emotionally demanding, frequently requiring numerous hours each day on top of professional and family obligations. Adult day care services give primary caregivers much-needed assistance. Senior loved ones are still receiving high-quality care in a compassionate and attentive environment.

Making sure to care for yourself is essential to helping others. If you are feeling stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed, your loved one’s care will suffer. If you are caring for an aging parent, utilizing adult care can have a significant impact on your personal relationship. Instead of seeing one another as caregiver and patient, you can focus on reconnecting as child and parent.

Having a parent that suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult situation and you must make sure you care for your emotional and mental well-being as well as your loved one’s.

Making Adult Day Care Work for Your Family

For grown children working full-time jobs, raising families, and caring for aging parents, schedule flexibility is everything. Most adult day care centers offer full-day and short day programs that allow seniors to be active when it works best for them. This gives seniors an increased sense of independence, helping them feel more confident.

As your loved one’s dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other memory illness progresses, their care needs will become more specialized. Moving from home into a nursing facility can be a shocking and stressful event for seniors, especially those with dementia who prefer familiar surroundings. Utilizing an adult day care facility while your loved one is still lucid creates a transition phase from home to a full-time dementia care facility.

Adult day care programs can assist family members in finding the right resident care facility when the time comes. Until then, the benefits of day care for you and your senior loved one are too great to be ignored. Consider working these services into your mom or dad’s dementia care plan for a better quality of life for you both.

 

To learn more about adult day care in Wichita, KS, please call ComfortCare Homes of Wichita at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website by clicking here.

 

ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.


Resources:

Adult Day Care in Wichita, KS

What is Adult Day Care?

Benefits of Adult Day Care

A New Breed of Dementia Care: Benefits of Pets in Alzheimer’s Facilities

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 7:21:44 PM
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Alzheimer’s facilities with therapy pets may be more beneficial for seniors

You are probably aware of service dogs being used to assist humans with disabilities ranging from deafness and blindness to social anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.  But did you know that the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of service dogs apply to seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia? Companion and service pets have become integrated into the care plans of Alzheimer’s facilities as a result.

Companion pets and service dogs can be beneficial for dementia and Alzheimer’s facilities residents because interacting with the animals is cognitively and tactile stimulating. This means that petting, walking, or simply being around animals engages a senior’s mental and physical abilities. For seniors with dementia, continuing to work with as many senses as they can is incredibly important. Interacting with a therapy pet is a natural, comfortable way to exercise a variety of senses.

Benefits of Pets for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients

According to independent Alzheimer’s disease research, therapy pets can reignite the interest of a patient in the world around them [Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation]. Many seniors in Alzheimer’s facilities may become withdrawn, disinterested, and even depressed. While human interaction may seem intimidating or overwhelming, the unconditional love of an animal is welcoming to seniors with dementia.

A pet is a natural companion and always a good listener – they are unconcerned with memory loss and hearing the same story over and over. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may feel compelled to talk to pets, which is healthy and encouraged.

Therapy pets or service dogs may invoke happy familiar memories for seniors who feel as if their entire world is changing. Similar to music therapy, which uses sounds to bring back feelings of happiness, therapy pets can remind them of pets they once had. For seniors in Alzheimer’s facilities, residents often seek the comfort of familiar places, objects, and people they once knew. A pet becomes a new familiar friend of sorts, one that provides companionship and joy.

In addition to the numerous mental benefits of service pets, trained pets can also offer physical assistance. A therapy dog can physically support an owner that has trouble balancing while walking, going up stairs, or sitting down.

Alzheimer’s facilities with resident therapy pets, such as cats, dogs, or birds, can be a meaningful way for senior residents to interact with one another. The behavioral issues that come with dementia, including aggressiveness and anger, may be eased by caring for a creature with other residents. While favorite movies and hobbies are no longer daily conversations for seniors with dementia, the daily presence of a resident therapy pet becomes a communal joy.

Finding the Right Pet

Determining what type of pet will be a good therapy or service animal for a senior with dementia can be tricky. An ideal therapy pet enjoys being petted and can adapt to the mood changes of seniors with dementia. For active pets, such as dogs, it is important that they are well-trained to follow commands. Cats and birds that are more independent can offer companionship and mental benefits without the training a dog may require.

Alzheimer’s facilities that keep resident pets offer the dementia care benefits pet therapy provides without the responsibility of caring for a pet independently. Moving into a long-term memory care facility can be a difficult transition for seniors with Alzheimer’s. The familiarity and comfort that only a companion pet can provide may ease this transition.

To learn more about how pets can benefit Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, please call ComfortCare Homes in Wichita, KS at (316) 444-0532 or visit our site by clicking here.

 

ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.


References:

Alzheimer’s Disease: The Magic of Pets

Canine Caregivers for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients

How Can Pets Benefit Alzheimer’s Patients?

Holistic Dementia Treatment: Professionals, Seniors and Relatives Improve Care Together

Thursday, July 13th, 2017 4:18:00 PM
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How dementia treatment is enhanced through holistic care

Alzheimer’s disease care and dementia treatment plans are created to meet the unique needs of every senior. The causes, symptoms, and long-term care plan for seniors with dementia varies greatly from case to case. As medical researchers and doctors continue to learn about dementia and perform studies to determine the best dementia treatment methods, new approaches have become common.

Holistic care is a method of treatment that focuses on the whole person, not the only internal workings of the disease itself. This technique focuses on the senior’s emotions, strengths, and remaining abilities to provide comprehensive care. Holistic dementia treatment incorporates the medical advice of your senior’s doctors with emotional support to provide a nurturing environment for seniors with memory illnesses.

How Holistic Care Works

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia often feel confused, anxious, or frustrated. The person-centered approach to dementia treatment uses positive reinforcement to meet the emotional needs of seniors and helps them rediscover their identity [Source].

Implementing person-centered holistic dementia treatment into your loved one’s care plan requires communication between professionals, seniors, and you! A doctor can explain the severity a senior’s dementia, identifying their limitations and remaining abilities. They can also make prescribe medications and approve any integration of holistic care into the medical care plan. This allows caregivers and family members to create a plan for implementing successful person-centered care.

4 Pillars of Holistic Dementia Treatment

Environment, language, nutrition, and activity are the four corners of holistic, person-centered care. [Source] Creating a comfortable, safe, and nonjudgmental is necessary for this type of treatment to be successful. Caregivers can create a welcoming environment by organizing family gatherings.

Using language that is simple and comfortable lessens agitation and frustration for seniors with dementia. Remember that language includes verbal and non-verbal communication; seniors with dementia are often very susceptible to negative body language and will become upset if they feel as though they are a burden.

While a well-balanced diet is important for all aging adults, receiving the proper nutrients is an essential part of a holistic dementia treatment plan. Hunger and dehydration can exacerbate discomfort and agitation. Maintaining a regular eating schedule and encouraging social interaction during mealtime can enhance your loved one’s well-being.

Finally, activities can be a great way to implement person-centered care into your senior loved one’s dementia treatment plan. Holistic care is based on the belief that those with dementia can still live meaningful and fulfilling lives. Keeping your loved one active in gardening, drawing, music, or other hobbies that once enjoyed promotes a meaningful lifestyle and discourages depression, loneliness, and boredom.

A holistic approach to dementia treatment involves the professionals, family members, and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Together, an effective care plan can be developed and carried out.

ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.

Testimonials

I will always be grateful for the founder’s presentation to Downtown Wichita Kiwanis 20 years ago. His (Charles Stark) comments stayed with me, making the choice of care providers easy for me. Smaller really is better. I am familiar with several “retirement” communities and “memory care” services. Very few match the quality of care provided my ComfortCare Homes. Thank you.

- Barrick Wilson

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