My Husband is 67 years old and has dementia. I work full time, and must be available for meeting and have time to work at home. We have a caregiver who comes in a few days a week for just a few hours, but I need more help. Can you suggest ways to have full time assistance that isn't so expensive? Anna P., West Palm Beach, FL.
Have you considered Adult Day Care Services? Adult day care centers provide structured activities and social engagement in a safe environment for those who require close supervision. Many specialize in providing day care for Alzheimers’ patients. This could be a good solution for you.
There are more than 3,500 Day Care Centers throughout the US operated by private companies, non-profit organizations, or government agencies, and while they can be pricey—up to $60 a day including meals and transportation, they cost significantly less per day than 8 hours of companion care at home. There are Day Care Centers to meet all budgets and many, even privately run, take Medicaid Waivers.
Adult Day Care for those with Dementia can provide stress relief for spouses and other family caregivers. This may be a viable option for you. A good resource for this is the National Association of Adult Day Care Services (NADSA) where you'll find everything you need to know about Adult day Care: how to choose an individual center, how to make certain it addresses your loved ones' needs and links to individual states day care associations, along with lists of individual centers.
There are also other programs that provide some respite care for family caregivers that operate through state, county and municipal Government Agencies. A good place to start searching for such programs would be the Administration on Aging's Website. This will lead you to information on programs in your area.
As you start exploring different resources, you'll meet many like-minded individuals who a traveling the same path and will share their experiences. Whether it's on your Smart phone, or a pad of paper with a pen, always be ready to take notes.