Aug 23, 2023

Relieving the Primary Caregiver: Navigating Dementia in the Family

Compassion Network Home Care is Alberta’s trusted in-home care agency. We provide the best level of home healthcare, caregiving, and nursing, all within the comforts of your home.

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Do you have an aging loved one who is showing signs of dementia? Are you currently their primary caregiver? We understand the heavy burden of caregiving– it’s a full-time job, and that’s where we come in. Let us help you shoulder the load.

At Compassion Network Home Care, it’s not just a name: compassion is our passion. We approach dementia care holistically by looking at how we can best care for the patient, while also providing respite and reassurance for their primary caregiver.

Who is the Primary Caregiver?

More often than not, a dementia patient’s primary caregiver is their adult child or family member. Witnessing a loved one’s slow deterioration from this disease is mentally and emotionally draining. Dementia is a complex, unforgiving disease, but that does not mean one person should shoulder the responsibility of caregiving alone. No one should carry that weight by themselves, and many primary caregivers are so busy taking care of their loved ones they haven’t been able to process their grief properly yet.

There is nothing to be ashamed of about asking for help. It is very courageous to acknowledge that, actually, you can’t do this alone– and you don’t have to! We understand how scary it is to bring in an external home care professional when you have been handling the care independently. It’s natural to be anxious about ensuring the safety of your vulnerable loved one.

It is important to note that home care is not a replacement for a primary caregiver. We find dementia clients stay at home longer when there is a primary caregiver, like a son or daughter, during the times home care is not present. In the ideal situation, the primary caregiver will be living in the same home as the client.

Honesty and Transparency

The partnership between the primary caregiver and home care professional is one built on a foundation of transparent, honest communication. The more information you can provide us, the better the match we can find.

For best results, we need the primary caregiver(s) to be honest about how they have been coping with the situation. Be brutally honest–we aren't here to judge. Home care professionals are here to help the client and the caregiver. We do the heavy lifting so you can take a break.

Our Process

Our process typically takes two weeks, from initial inquiry to the first official day of in-home care. Our dedicated administration team typically responds within a day to schedule the first meeting, where we visit the client’s home and complete an initial nursing assessment that typically lasts between 2 to 4 hours. If additional appointments are needed for us to properly understand the client's situation and needs, that’s not a problem.

Getting in touch with healthcare professionals can feel like pulling teeth, but not with Compassion. You get direct communication with a Care Manager or Coordinator, frequent calls and check-ins, and additional support for the first few visits. A client will always be able to contact someone, and a 24/7 nurse is available in case of emergencies.

We will inform you who we are sending to the home and why we are sending this individual. We do everything in our power to ease the high anxiety of bringing a stranger into the care of your loved one.

We’re Here For You

Compassion Network Home Care’s dedicated team of nurses and caregivers work with you and your family to create a clear path forward. Together, we will form an outcome-based approach that provides respite for the primary caregiver and helps alleviate some of the negative parts of dementia.

We work hard to reduce the stress and uncertainty of navigating the world for those with mild to moderate dementia. Some aspects of our dementia care include socialization and friendly visits, cognitive memory tests and exercises, maintaining personal care routines, and keeping up with the housework.

We’ll ensure your individual needs are met and strive to create a custom care plan that works great for you and your family. We would be honoured to help you navigate this stressful stage of life. If this sounds like something that would help you, please give us a call today.

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