Want to Meet and Exceed Needs of Clients Living with Alzheimer’s Dementia ?
~ By Monica Heltemes, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist and Owner of MindStart
If you are in the business of providing home care, you better be in the business of meeting the needs of people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
A study of older people found that of those who needed help to perform daily activities (for example, dressing, bathing, and shopping), the ones who also had a cognitive impairment, were more than twice as likely as those with no cognitive impairment to receive paid home care. Also, these people with a cognitive impairment who received paid services, used almost twice as many hours of care monthly as those who did not have cognitive impairment¹. With a current estimated 5.3 million Americans having Alzheimer’s disease and 58% of those living in the community, there is a lot of people in need of dementia-related home care.² And as we know, these numbers are growing at a very fast pace.
Being well versed in the unique needs of people living with dementia and how your staff can address them is no longer an option, if you want to serve your customers well and maintain a good reputation. Going a step further and knowing what care approaches and resources are out there to help people to live well with dementia at home, will push your agency to an even higher level of excellence and set itself apart from other home care agencies.
I am an occupational therapist with dementia-care expertise and founder of MindStart. Through MindStart, I have designed activity products (that are specifically for individuals with dementia, such as large piece jigsaw puzzles, memory books, dementia games, adapted word searches, and more. The products are adapted to be simpler, yet remain adult-oriented, with themes that tap into people’s life interests and history. The products can be used with people at various stages of dementia and include user guides to help caregivers to choose the right level of challenge for the person. The MindStart website (www.mindstart.com) features photo images of all products, plus product videos (www.youtube.com/user/MindStart) are available to allow customers to see the products in use. Product catalogs are also available upon request to keep as a paper resource (email request to firstname.lastname@example.org).
“By using Mind Start products we have differentiated ourselves in the marketplace as a homecare agency that “thinks outside the box” when working with cognitive impairments. Family member and professional sources understand that we also focus on quality of life for our clients by using Mind Start products.”
Home Helpers – President
Dementia Care Specialist
In addition, the MindStart website and e-newsletter (http://bit.ly/MindStartNews) shares a lot of information about how to choose appropriate activities (www.mind-start.com/dementia-activities.html) and why engagement in “doing things” is so important for the person with dementia. Whether it is through using a product like MindStart offers or common items found around a person’s home, having home care staff that can help keep the person with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia active and engaged will provide tremendous benefit to the person and can even minimize or alleviate common behaviors that are often seen with dementia.
¹Johnson RW, Wiener JM. A profile of frail older Americans and their caregivers. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute; February 2006.
² 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures (Alzheimer’s Association)
To help you stand above the others with your Alzheimer’s and dementia care, HomeCareHowTo.com has partnered with MindStart to offer our Silver members an attractive discount on MindStart products!
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