What are common neurological disorders that affect seniors? And how can home care help?
Neurological disorders are characterized by that which affects the nervous system. Symptoms often include changes or deteriorations in movement, ability to eat or swallow, thinking or memory problems, and behavioral or emotional changes. Some common neurological disorders that affect seniors include: Multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, strokes, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Friedreich’s ataxia, traumatic brain injury, migraine, epilepsy, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Spinal muscular atrophy, neuropathy, functional neurological disorder, brain tumors, Lewy Body and other dementias.
While there aren’t cures for many of these disorders, certain adaptations can be made to make daily life easier and even more fulfilling. In-home care can play a huge role in improving the quality of life of seniors and others with neurological or neurodegenerative disorders.
How does home care help those with neurological disorders?
These are just a few of the ways:
Routine & Predictability
Routine and consistency are shown to reduce stress and anxiety. This is especially important for elders with neurological disorders who may be prone to becoming more confused or agitated by the unpredictable. With in-home care, routines are constructed based on the client’s personal or medical needs outlined by their unique care plan. This can include activities like bathing, dressing, and keeping a consistent sleep schedule. This routine helps maintain dignity, independence, and quality of life by reducing accidents, emergencies, or outbursts.
The brain always craves and benefits from stimulation. Seniors with neurological disorders will need this more than ever, especially with progressive degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or Lewy body disease. Our trained in-home caregivers can engage in stimulating activities like playing card or board games, reading books, arts and crafts, and even exercises like going for walks. If the brain lacks stimulation for those with these diseases, the physical abilities also often tend to decline – leading to additional health problems and loss of independence.
Socialization & Companionship
Our caregivers often state that one of their favorite aspects of caregiving is listening to the stories their clients have to tell. Not only is it beneficial to have someone to listen, but our caregivers genuinely enjoy doing so. Companionship services help combat isolation, so often rampant in older demographics, aid the innate human need to socialize, and improve quality of life. Caregivers also provide support for the client to socialize with others, by transporting them to activities such as church or gatherings. A caregiver in the home during social visits by families or friends creates comfort and can make those house calls less stressful.
Safety & Security
Many neurological disorders or symptoms can lead to issues with confusion, disorientation, and balance. Even a familiar place like home can become disorienting and potentially dangerous. Our caregivers are trained to spot potential hazards in the home and reorganize or clean to prevent medically significant events like falls. For those with dementia, wandering is often a challenge for families and home care helps ensure seniors stay inside the home unless escorted. Support with cooking and meals also reduces the risk of kitchen accidents such as cuts or fires.
Transitional care greatly reduces the risk for hospital readmission after an acute stay. How? Both transitional care and medication assistance help avoid re-hospitalization by providing a bridge between care settings and reducing adverse drug-related events resulting from confusion or difficulty with prescription medications. Having a home care professional monitor the vitals and condition of a client after a hospital or rehab/nursing home stay can improve their chances of recovery and comfort in the home.
Respite for Families
Home care services aren’t always just for the client. Family caregivers of an elder or person with neurological disease may become overwhelmed by the frequency or complexity of care, especially when faced with challenging symptoms caused by such disorders. Respite care provides family caregivers with the time and space they may need to rest, recoup, or focus on their personal lives. And, for many, it restores their ability to simply be wife, daughter, son, or friend instead of full-time caregiver.
When the care for a loved one becomes too difficult, frequent, or complicated to manage, families are often faced with the difficult choice of moving their loved one into a facility or keeping them at home. More often than not, seniors will want to stay home over living at a facility. Live-in and 24-hour care provide round-the-clock support and respite for families.
How can we help?
We are very experienced in the care needs of seniors with neurological disorders like dementia, Parkinson’s, or the effects of a stroke. If you know anyone who could benefit from having a professional in-home caregiver, or if you have questions about our services Call or Contact Us. Our supervisors are available 24/7 and happy to assist.