Dealing with aging parents and where to find help
This month, Home Care Assistance recognizes family caregivers to raise awareness and bring attention to their significance in Canada and worldwide.
Are you volunteering as a caregiver to a loved one? Did you unexpectedly have to step into this role? How much help is needed?
According to StatsCan’s most recent population projection, there are almost 6 million seniors (adults 65+) living in Canada with more older adults diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s than ever before. The care and responsibility to look after an aging parent or both, throws day-to-day lives unexpectedly off the rails. It is a child’s natural reaction to care for their aging parent, but the job as ‘caregiver’ can be an overwhelming responsibility.
If you have recently found yourself in this situation, take whatever solace you can in knowing you are not alone, and you don’t have to carry this burden all by yourself.
A community of care team providers.
There is still no cure for any of these diseases and disorders, but they can be managed.
Medical specialists and healthcare professionals are committed to finding solutions. They bring in-depth experience that can help guide you or anyone through the various stages of age-related diseases and illnesses.
Some of them will be:
- Social workers
Advises on financial and family concerns; helps with accessing resources and services in your community.
Will help patients with physical limitations due to illness, injuries, disability or aging.
- Dietician & naturopath
Advises on how to plan healthy dieting and maintaining ideal weight; helps with dietary issues caused by medications.
Pharmacists are a great source of knowledge when it comes to caring for the elderly, especially where medications and drug reimbursements plans are concerned.
Build a care team that will be with you through this journey.
Specialized care for dementia & alzheimer’s disorder.
- Primary Care Physician
The most important relationship is the one with the primary care physician. Unless someone is looking at the whole picture, the disease will be extremely dangerous to manage. Dementia & Alzheimer’s is a confusing, complicated and chronic disease.
- Neurologist or geriatrician
The neurologist specializes in disorders of the nervous system, including the brain, while the geriatrician specializes in problems of aging.
- Psychiatrist, psychologist, or neuropsychologist
Depression occurs in 40 percent of Alzheimer’s patients. These mental health professionals help determine the type of treatment options that will work best for your loved one based on their individual situation. They can also help with other behavioral problems that arise as the disease progresses.
- Geriatric nurse, or caregiver
These are medical professionals providing a hands-on approach in establishing personalized care plans. The assistance of an in-home geriatric nurse or caregiver can help ease the burden of the 24/7 care that Alzheimer’s patients require in its later stages.
*List curated from https://www.everydayhealth.com/alzheimers/alzheimers-care-team.aspx
Establish a network of knowledge and experience.
Specialized care for Parkinson’s Disease.
- Family doctor
A general practitioner that will provide ongoing care, including annual physical examinations and responsible to provide referrals to specialists.
A specialist in movement disorders who might make or confirm a diagnosis, decide on treatment, and adjust medications.
- Parkinson’s nurse specialist
Many movement disorder specialists have a nurse who specializes in Parkinson’s. The nurse can provide information on how to manage your loved one’s condition.
An expert in mental and emotional health issues such as depression, or cognitive abilities.
Makes assessments with mobility, balance, and posture; offers techniques on how to move safely; recommends sports or exercise programs.
- Speech-language pathologist
A specialist in helping improving voice projection or swallowing difficulties.
*List curated from https://www.parkinson.ca/about-parkinsons/understanding-parkinsons/
Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s are the most common and complex, neurodegenerative disorders. There are over 50 million people living with these diseases worldwide and the number is predicted to double over the next two decades.
What some people don’t know, is that they are unnatural forms of healthy aging and show up with early warning signs but are often mistaken or ignored for normal aging.
If you are assuming the role of a volunteer caregiver, you will realize the role is demanding, often time-consuming and stressful. Learn about the resources available, build your support team, and ask for help.
If you are a family caregiver, take this quiz and see how you are faring.
For more information on Dementia or Alzheimer’s visit alzheimer.ca.
For more information on Parkinson’s visit Parkinson.ca.
For 24/7, part-time, or hourly in-home senior care, speak to one of our Case Managers. We offer a wide array of lifestyle help including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise for aging adults. Our professional caregivers specialize in Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke survivor care.
To learn more about our services, visit Home Care Assistance Vancouver or call us at (778) 715-5098 At your request, we can schedule a free in-home consultation if you are in the Greater Vancouver area.