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Living Better with Dementia

By Village Home Health and Village Helpers In-Home Care

Q. What is the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?
A. Dementia is a group of symptoms, while Alzheimer’s is a disease that can cause dementia. Other common causes of dementia are Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Living Better with DementiaHow Can Home Health Care Help Those Living With Dementia?
A good home health team, like Village Home Health, can first help by ensuring that you understand what dementia is and how it affects a person’s behaviors, their ability to function in the world, and, of course, their memory and thought processes. Armed with this information, the patient, family and home health team can work together to establish expectations, set treatment goals, arrange for therapy visits, monitor medication and perhaps arrange for some help at home. Understanding the reasons behind the patient’s behaviors can help family members and caregivers provide better care – and to have better daily interactions and experiences living with that person.

Assessment & Goals:
Village Home Health therapists can use a variety of tools to assess a patient’s cognitive ability. These tools make it possible to tailor routines to meet the needs of each patient and  establish realistic treatment goals and strategies such as keeping the patient living at home longer, and developing family/caregiver education and involvement. The overall goal of the treatment program is to promote active participation, safety, and an improved quality of life. The focus is always on the individual’s remaining abilities.

Medication Management
Medication safety is vital, and a management system can be helpful for patients and caregivers alike. Caregivers should know the purpose of each medication, how often it should be taken, how it works, interactions, side effects, whether the medication should be taken with or without food, and so on. Village Home Health provides thorough medication education, for the caregivers and for the patients. The right management system may be as simple as a pillbox or as high-tech as an automated medication dispenser, which can be pre-loaded and locked, and beeps when it dispenses the pills.

Home-Based Therapy
Many dementia-related conditions can benefit from home-based therapies to help improve their abilities or make them stronger.
•    Speech-Language Therapy:
If an individual has swallowing problems, a speech-language pathologist can work with the person to ensure safe swallowing. They can also help
preserve communication and cognitive function for as long as possible.
•    Occupational Therapy:
The main objective is to help maintain functional independence as long as possible, with a focus on activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, grooming and dressing. Occupational therapists also provide direction in altering the home environment to accommodate the person living with
dementia and to improve home safety conditions.
•    Physical Therapy:
Physical Therapy assists through improving flexibility, balance, muscle strength and mobility, each of which can, in turn, help manage pain and help in maintaining independence. Other benefits of regular exercise for people with Alzheimer’s disease can include maintaining motor skills, decreasing falls, and reducing the rate of mental decline associated with the disease.
Village Home Health and Village Helpers In-Home Care
Services Available 24/7

In addition to services like these that the Village Home Health therapy team can provide in nine Missouri and Kansas counties, the professional services of Village Helpers In-Home Care also are available to those in the Kansas City metro area. Their assistance, such as personal care, companionship, meal preparation, or even light housekeeping, can be provided using consistent,
compassionate interventions. Their services are available up to 24/7,
including holidays.

Visit our website at www.JKVHealthServices.org to learn more about Village Home Health and about Village Helpers In-Home Care. Or call Village Home Health at 816-524-1133 and Village Helpers In-Home Care at 816-524-2676 to set up an appointment today.

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Living Better with Dementia

Living Better with Dementia

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