The constellation of resources utilized will change over time based on things like the stage of illness, how needs are prioritized, geographic distance, time constraints given the need to work, and relationship dynamics from the past.
If you find yourself resistant to looking beyond your immediate family or a small number of people, we may want to think a bit more about the stigma that surrounds dementia or what is it that stops you from asking for help.
Also, note that there may be important reasons that you or someone else may be unable to provide hands-on care. Perhaps they live too far away or have something difficult in their past relationship with the older adult who now needs help. There are many ways to share the care! Delivering hands-on care yourself, orchestrating care, advocating for your person, contributing money…these are all valid ways that caring and compassionate family care partners can help.
Some older adults with dementia are best cared for in senior living communities or a nursing home. This can be a smart, safe and enriching choice, especially when safety and quality of life become the priorities.
No matter where your person with dementia lives or who comes in to help, they will always need people to advocate on their behalf, enrich their life, ensure that they receive quality care and help them maintain quality of life. There’s so much you can’t control. But you CAN accompany, support and advocate for them, and that makes an important impact on their life.