How Do I Find In-Home Help For My Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease?

Dr. Lyketsos answers the question: 'Finding In-Home Help For Alzheimer's?'

May 4, 2009 -- Question: How do I find in-home help for my loved one with Alzheimer's disease?

Answer: The first thing for you to decide is what you need the in-home help for. It's important to be very clear about this.

Do you need help to supervise your loved one? Do you need the help to help make sure a certain task is completed, like bathing or dressing, which is commonly the issue? Do you need help providing some activity for them?

Once you've got that sorted out -- and by the way, you might need to talk to your doctor or your loved one's doctor or a specialist to get some more advice on the what -- once you've made up your mind that you need some help and you know what it's for, your best resources are to talk to the doctor that's taking care of the loved one or call the area agency agent. Every town in the United States has one of these agencies, and they typically have resources that provide information about who could come into the home and give help.

Many times it's actually a staff member of the area agency of aging who could come into the house and help decide exactly what's needed and even provide some of the needed staff.

Other resources include geriatric assessment programs, daycare centers, and others who look after older people with Alzheimer's.