Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other cognitive disorders affect millions of Americans each year, causing tremendous strain on both patients and their caregivers. In fact, one in three* seniors dies with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and Amedisys recognizes the important role home health and personal care can play in managing the unfortunate risks associated with these diseases, including safety concerns, fall risks, strained relationships and eating and swallowing difficulties.
With decreased awareness, those with dementia often have higher risks of falling. Home health and personal care professionals can help assess and reduce these risks by removing physical obstacles around the house and engaging speech therapists to use cognitive retraining, skilled communication tasks and visual and auditory aids that promote improved cognition.
Dementia patients often also forget to take medications, turn off the stove or iron or accidentally use hot water that can burn them.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 16 million Americans* serve as unpaid caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. These disorders can cause tremendous strain on family members who work to provide the best possible environment for their loved one.
All Amedisys healthcare providers are trained in empowerment methodologies that engage the caregiver in the patient’s overall care plan. Our personal care line in particular has specialized training in close collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association. Our professionals will provide advice and tactics to caregivers on how to best care for their loved ones and manage their own stress.
EATING AND SWALLOWING DIFFICULTY
With cognitive and memory decline, many patients experience difficulty with eating and swallowing. Our speech-language pathologists play a critical role in all stages of dementia by focusing on swallowing, nutrition and increasing communication.
Our team will determine the patient’s abilities and deficits to formulate a course of treatment with patient and caregiver education tailored to the individual. In addition, speech therapists can provide rehabilitative and compensatory interventions for eating and swallowing, provide Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) for dysphagia treatment and address Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
To see if home health care might be the answer for you or your loved one, click below for the assessment.