Specialized Care for Dementia

Forgetful or a Problem

Did You Just Forget, or Is It Something More Serious?

Can’t find the car keys?  Call your wife by your daughter’s name?  Should you be worried?  Or are these just a normal lapse in memory?

Many episodes of memory loss are entirely normal, especially as we age.  Once you reach your 40’s, the average person starts experiencing a decline in memory.  Absentmindedness or forgetting details are often considered normal memory lapses.  Some scientists believe the sheer volume of memories contribute to this.  Fatigue and stress also contribute.  So, when should you worry if you or a loved one are experiencing something more?

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.  For instance, forgetting where you put the car keys is normal, forgetting what car keys are for is not.  Getting lost in familiar places is another warning sign.  The Alzheimer’s Association has published a helpful table to highlight the differences:

Signs of Alzheimer’s/dementia

Typical age-related changes

Poor judgment and decision-making Making a bad decision once in a while
Inability to manage a budget Missing a monthly payment
Losing track of the date or the season Forgetting which day it is and remembering it later
Difficulty having a conversation Sometimes forgetting which word to use
Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them Losing things from time to time

 

If you notice some warning signs in yourself or someone you know, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.  They can help determine if there is an issue.  If the diagnosis is dementia they can determine the form.  Many forms are treatable.  

Even if the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s, with early detection you can get the maximum benefit from available treatments – You can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence longer. You may also increase your chances of participating in clinical drug trials that help advance research.

Seniors Helping Seniors of North and East Raleigh is owned and operated by dementia certified practitioners and participates in the effort to obtain a dementia friendly community status for the Wake Forest community.  If you have questions or need help, visit our website inhomecarenc.com or call 919.761.5346.

Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).

Care options for a loved one in North Carolina

Care Options Seniors Helping Seniors vs Other Agencies

Seniors Helping Seniors of North and East Raleigh vs Other Agencies

There are many choices for your loved one’s care. We know from personal experience how overwhelming and stressful it can feel to make these choices.   At Seniors Helping Seniors of North and East Raleigh our aim is to help you sort through all the options so you can make the most prudent decision for your family.  It would be best to have us come out and spend a little time with you and your family to talk about what options are available for you.  The visit is free; just call us at 919-761-5346 or visit inhomecarenc.com to learn more and schedule a visit. Meanwhile, the comparison table below will help you start thinking through some of the various questions to consider and help you prioritize the ones that are most important to you in making your decisions.

Seniors Helping Seniors of North and East Raleigh Other Agencies
Cost for 24 hour care $18-22 $17-25
Will I have the same caregivers every week? Yes No/Unlikely
Will the caregiver be hand-picked to be a similar age and have a similar background? Yes No
Loneliness is clinically proven to cause declines in health.  Will the caregiver become a true friend? Yes No/Unlikely
Do I have unlimited access to the Owners and Client Services Director? Yes No/Unlikely
As a family member do I have instantaneous access to visit records? (click to see) Yes No/Unlikely
Will I have access to proven, unbiased assistance in all my senior care decisions? Yes Possibly
Will I have Handymen who will take care of my home maintenance and repairs? Yes No
Will I have access to a proven network of senior specific advisers (financial planners, attorneys, trust planners, etc)? Yes Possibly
Will I have expert assistance in talking my parents through these difficult decisions when they are resistant to change? Yes Possibly

 

Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).

in home safety for seniors

Safety vs. Independence

Safety vs. Independence

in home safety for seniorsYou are probably reading because Mom or Dad wants to stay in their home. And they feel they are doing well.  But, you are concerned. You have seen some signs lately and you feel it is time to do something. You think that it’s only a matter of time before something happens.  You want to keep your loved ones safe.  What do you do?

100 years ago this wouldn’t be a problem.  The elderly moved in with their family members who looked after them.  Today, families are scattered and the elderly are left to age alone.  In many cases, they wouldn’t have it any other way.  Today’s seniors are more independent than ever and don’t want to adjust their lifestyle to fit into their family members’ routine.  Social scientists even have a name for this.  It’s called “intimacy at a distance”.  The remaining options seem to be for your loved one to go into independent living, assisted living or a nursing home so there will be someone there to look out for them.

There are wonderful facilities in our area, (and some not so wonderful).  Many get top ratings for safety and care.  But the complaint we hear over and over from the seniors living there is, “It just isn’t home”.  To them, giving up their home means giving up the life they have built for themselves over the years.  Even in an independent living situation, there is more structure and supervision than they’ve experienced since they were a child.  While reassuring to their children this feels like a cage to many seniors.  While the children’s goal for their loved ones is ‘caring’, this doesn’t come close to ‘living’ to your loved one.  They expect and want more from life than safety.

You want your loved ones to be safe.  Who hasn’t heard the story of the elderly person who fell and laid helpless in their home for hours until found?  But your loved ones don’t want a life whose primary goal is safety.  They want to be able to live with some independence and dignity.  So, how to resolve this dilemma?

First, there are many products out there to help seniors be safe in their own home.  Fall and medical alert technology, home activity sensors, step in shower modifications, elevated toilet seats, senior-friendly cell phones, and others are valuable tools to allow your loved one to age at home.  

Seniors Helping Seniors of North and East Raleigh is another valuable ally to help keep your loved ones safe while they enjoy life on their terms.  Here are some of the services we can provide:

  • Perform a safety assessment of the home
  • Remediate many of the identified safety issues.  For example, install hand rails in baths, remove throw rugs, replace light bulbs, shovel sidewalks, cook meals.
  • Check in on a regular basis.  We make sure everything is ok, food is being eaten, medication is being taken, heat or air conditioning is working, etc.  

You are on the right track—a little help now goes a long way in staying independent while staying safe. Let Seniors Helping Seniors of North and East Raleigh partner with you in making it happen.

Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).