Posts Tagged ‘Dementia’

Getting Help for Dementia in Your Community

Getting Help for Dementia in Your CommunityAt Emory’s Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC), we know that caring for family members or loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias can be challenging, especially on your own. Thankfully, options for care exist within the community. Different options will be right for different patients, as some patients in the early stages of dementia won’t need nearly as much assistance or supervision as people with advanced dementia. We’ve included several options for community-based care below, ranked from the options with the least restrictions that provide the lowest amount of hands-on care to those with increased security and restrictions that provide the highest level of hands-on care.

Senior Centers

The Older Americans Act (OAA), originally enacted in 1965, provides resources for Senior Centers. There are currently more than 10,000 centers in the U.S. serving more than a million adults each day. These centers offer services like meal and nutrition programs, health, fitness, and wellness programs, transportation programs, social activities, education and arts programs and public benefits counseling. These are a good option for people in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s or related dementias.

Adult Day Programs

These programs offer a place for your loved one with dementia to go, interact with others, socialize and engage. These programs typically exist in a secure environment so patients can’t wander off and leave the facility. This becomes important for patients with cognitive impairment who could become lost in unfamiliar settings. The programming at facilities like these is created specifically for people with limited attention spans and cognition, so your loved one won’t become frustrated, and will be able to enjoy the activities.

Adult Day Programs are focused either on a medical or social model. Most programs are the social version. Adult Day Programs designed with a medical model can provide a higher level of care. For example, patients experiencing urinary incontinence will typically need to be in a program with a medical model.

Hours and days of the week vary by program, some offer weekday care only and others offer care on weekends. These programs typically offer a more affordable option to in-home care, as you can expect to pay anywhere from $35-$80 a day vs. paying in-home help a higher hourly rate.

Adult Day programs help keep dementia patients in their homes longer by keeping them socially engaged and giving them a structured routine. This may help your loved one sleep better, improve their health and give caregivers like you a much-needed break.

Respite Care: Residential or in-home

Respite care is very time-limited and can happen either in-home or in a residential facility. It provides temporary care when family members or caregivers need a break, has an emergency or needs to travel. You can arrange for shifts with home care to ensure coverage while you’re gone, and some assisted living or personal care homes do offer respite care in their facility. In this scenario, the patient would move into the community for a set amount of time, sometimes into a fully furnished room. Expect to pay for this out of pocket.

Assisted Living/Personal Care Home

These facilities can vary in size and in the level of care they provide. They can be large 100-apartment senior living communities or small 4-bed home with one person providing care. The biggest difference between the two is the ability of assisted living facilities to provide more help for people needing a higher level of care. And while these facilities can provide care for a loved one who needs more socialization or is difficult to care for at home, they still feel like homes, not skilled nursing communities. Larger communities can have activity directors with daily programming. These homes can have secure memory care units that include extra staff and increased security.

Skilled Nursing

Long-Term Skilled Nursing facilities (SNF) provide nursing home level care and are staffed with nurses and a medical director. These are usually the last option for many families, but they can be the best option for medically complicated patients or patients who can’t walk, transfer and ambulate. For bed-bound patients living outside their home, this level of care is almost required.

When IMCC patients move to Long-Term skilled nursing facilities like these, we transfer their medical care to the facility. From that point on, the SNF medical director manages all of the patient’s care. Medicare does not cover custodial care, and it can be expensive. Medicaid can pay for care in a skilled nursing facility. This can become the only option available for many families.

The Integrated Memory Care Clinic

The Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC) is a nationally recognized patient-centered medical home that provides primary care individualized for someone living with dementia and is designed to replace your current primary care provider. Our goal is to provide the best dementia-sensitive primary care. If you’d like to learn more about the IMCC, or think one of your patients or family members could benefit from our services, please contact our patient services coordinator at 404-712-6929.

To learn more, please visit the Integrated Memory Care Clinic.

Help at Home for People with Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias

Dementia, Memory careAt the Integrated Memory Care Clinic, we often field questions from family members and caregivers who are confused about the types of in-home care available for their loved one with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. It can be difficult to know where to start. But you’re already on the right path—learning more about the types of care available is a great first step. If you’ve already decided to support your loved one with care in their home, there are many great services available to give you much needed support. We’ve outlined the differences in types of care available below, and are happy to help our patients and their families navigate the options.

Home Care

Home Care is the basic level of 24/7 care that many people with dementia need. This companion care typically involves making sure your loved one has meals, gets to where they need to go, and can involve help with feeding, getting up and around, and personal care like showers and hygiene.

Medicare does not cover Home Care. You will have to pay for this privately, but it may be covered by long-term care insurance policies or VA benefits. Medicaid waiver programs also provide vouchers for in-home care for low-income patients and families.

Home Care can be hired privately or through an agency. Each has benefits and drawbacks. When hiring through a Home Care agency, you’ll have a large pool of people to pull from, so if your caregiver has an illness or needs to miss work, other team members can fill that shift. The agency will handle the liability insurance, payroll, and other issues that come with hiring an employee. You will, however, pay more for these added benefits.

If you hire someone privately for Home Care, you’ll probably pay less and have more flexibility. You may also have more options for a better personality fit when hiring privately. However, you also assume the responsibilities of an employer. You’ll need to have liability insurance, manage payroll and resolve the other issues that come with having an employee.

Home Health

This type of care requires a doctor’s order and may be provided by registered nurses and physical, speech, or occupational therapists. It includes services like changing IV fluids, injections, physical therapy, monitoring of vital signs and wound care. We often see a need for Home Health Care after a dramatic change in condition. Medicare does provide coverage for these kinds of services on a very time-limited basis.

Aging Life Care Managers

Aging life care management is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges. This service will be private pay. The service provider may act as a case manager that will coordinate care between doctor’s appointments, arrange for transportation, serve as a high-level patient advocate if needed, and even provide services like making sure there’s food in the house. This can be helpful when your loved one can’t always remember their doctor’s instructions or if you are providing long-distance caregiving. Visit the Aging Life Care Association’s website for more information.

Home Delivered Meals

This service can help keep your loved one in their homes longer, as people suffering from Alzheimer’s and related dementias often struggle following recipes and preparing meals. It will include delivery of hot, cold or frozen prepared meals. This service is not covered by insurance. Organizations like Meals on Wheels or other private community-based organizations will also deliver meals for low-income patients who cannot afford this service.


The Integrated Memory Care Clinic

The Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC) is a nationally recognized patient-centered medical home that provides primary care individualized for someone living with dementia. The IMCC is designed to replace a person living with dementia’s current primary care provider. Our goal is to provide the best dementia-sensitive primary care. If you’d like to learn more about the IMCC, take a tour of our facility, or think one of your patients or family members could benefit from our services, please contact the IMCC at 404-712-6929.