Alzheimer's and Dementia Home Care in Northern Virginia
Caring for a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer's can be a difficult challenge for anyone. That is why at Talem Home Care & Placement Services, we provide passionate, understanding, and flexible caregivers to meet your Homemaking and Companion Care needs.
We are committed to helping you or your loved one maintain a safe and independent lifestyle so that you can remain in your own home as long as possible. Our in-home care service is designed to provide support and assistance with the Independent Activities of Daily Living. Every Talem Home Care caregiver comes with the knowledge and skills needed to work with and provide support for clients impacted by degenerative memory conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's.
Additionally, at Talem, we have created a specialized service program designed to keep the brain active and stimulated. Our services include:
- brain fitness activities to keep the mind active and sharp
- active involvement activities designed to keep your loved one engaged
- the ability to be customized to your needs
Education and Information
Dementia is a common condition that affects fifteen percent of people over the age of 65. It includes a group of brain-related diseases that manifests itself with the loss of intellectual functions such as thinking, reasoning, and memory to the point that it adversely affects daily living activities. Suspected causes are:
- Degenerative – Alzheimer's Disease
- Vascular – stroke; infectious neurosyphilis, AIDS…
- Toxic – alcohol, drug use, or heavy metals;
- Metabolic- thyroid disease;
- Head trauma
- Brain tumors or subdural hematoma.
The diagnosis is generally based on the patient's medical history, physical examination, neurological exam, lab tests, and mental status exam. The two most commonly used cognitive tests are the Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMS) and the Mental Status Questionnaire (MSQ). Depending on the suspected cause, additional tests may be performed (e.g., EKG or EEG).
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. It involves the area of the brain that controls thought, memory, and language. AD causes a loss of nerve cells in the areas of the brain that are vital to memory and other mental abilities. Currently, there is no cure for the disease, but there are medications prescribed that help manage the disease.
Alzheimer's Disease Three Main Stages
Early stage (2–4-year duration)
This stage occurs over a two to four year period in which cognitive changes are diagnosed. These changes can include both personality and mood changes. The patient may also have difficulty with decision-making, memory issues, and routine tasks like writing checks or simple addition.
- Recent memory loss
- Progressive forgetfulness
- Confusion regarding directions, money management, and decisions
- Loss of initiative and spontaneity
- Repetitive statements and actions
- Personality, mood, and judgment changes
- Disorientation of place and time
Middle stage (2–10-year duration)
Memory often becomes much worse. Patient's ability to pay attention to personal care needs, reasoning, communication, and hygiene may diminish. At this stage, full-time care and supervision are needed.
- Increased memory loss, confusion, and shorter attention span
- Difficulty recognizing friends and family
- Occasional muscle twitching or jerking
- Difficulty with logical thinking or organizing thoughts
Final stage (1–3-year duration)
In this stage, there is a further decrease in mental function and communication. At this stage the patient is no longer able to recognize family members, friends, and caregivers. This stage is very frustrating for loved ones. Patients in the final stage will stop speaking, lose muscle control and swallowing reflexes, slip into a coma, and eventually die.
- Unable to recognize self in mirror
- Loss of weight - even with proper diet
- Unable to care for themselves
- Unable to speak
- A compulsion for touching and will try to put things in their mouth
- Extended sleeping periods
- May groan, scream or make grunting noises
Families can take a proactive step by verifying their legal affairs (wills, trusts, powers-of-attorney, etc.). As the disease progresses, the ability to make legal decisions diminishes greatly. A consultation with a financial planner and an attorney that specializes in estate planning and/or elder law will be beneficial at this point.
It may be necessary to hire a caregiver to assist with the major lifestyle adaptations that a family must make. Involving the entire family early on in the decision-making process is preferable. The care recipient should be part of the decision-making process – rather than being forced to accept help. As needs change, it may not be appropriate to continue services in the home. A social worker that specializes in long-term illnesses will be a valuable resource. Also, there are multiple support groups available.
Your Family is Our Family
No family should experience the stresses of aging without the needed information to make the best decision. Our Certified Senior Advisors® are dedicated to providing compassion, dedication, professionalism, and advice to give the reassurance we all need when helping our loved ones.
Contact us today to start the conversation on how our core values and philosophy of care can help you and your family.