Alzheimer's and Dementa Caregiving, Dementia Caregiver Stories

Paid Caregiving Help

You don't have to do everything yourself. Find what works for your preferences, schedule, and budget, and how you can set yourself up for success.

Things to know

Friends and family can help, but there are other options if you need consistent support, including:

  • Companions or Day Care for socializing, activity, and safety;

  • Personal Care support to help with hygiene;

  • Skilled Care to support medical needs

Matching your and your Loved One's needs with options (and figuring out finances) can be tricky.

ISSUE

You may need to alter the level of care as your Loved One's dementia progresses and/or your schedule changes.

Different family members may be ready for this step at different times.

TIMING

Your Loved One may need help trusting a new person, and you may need to be creative in introducing help.

Since your care helpers don't know your Loved One, it is important to set expectations.

 

Care is expensive (you knew that); there is some support, but it can be hard to navigate. 

A FEW TIPS

How they did it

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JOHN

Age: Early 60s

Loved One: Wife, Mid-50s

Diagnosis: Early Onset

Years Since Diagnosis: 5

When she stopped teaching we grew more concerned about her being alone and looked for options to fill her time. I decided adult day care was the best option. My wife had helped senior exercise -- even leading a chair exercise class at our church, so we hoped that would be a good transition to the adult center.  I was hoping to find one with transportation and that was close to our home, so she could easily go while I was at work.  

 

We decided to start with one or two days a week and add days, as she felt comfortable. I felt major relief knowing she was safe and supervised, rather than alone.

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DIANA

Age: Early 60s

Loved One: Mom, Early 80s

Diagnosis: Alzheimer's

Years Since Diagnosis: 3

I’m caring for my mom. But I don’t have the luxury to quit my job. It's full time and it's an hour commute each way. The nurses would come and be with her during the day. That was a difficult process. I asked questions but I don’t think I vetted those caregivers thoroughly. Now I’d do it differently. 

 

I brought some caregivers in during the day to keep an eye on her.  She would leave the stove on. She put things in place that didn't make sense. She locked herself out. It was winter. It was cold. Fortunately, my neighbor knew my number and called me. So I drove the hour home from work so I could let her in and I thought “we can’t do this.”

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JENNIFER

Age: Early 60s

Loved One: Husband, Mid-60s

Diagnosis: Early Onset

Years Since Diagnosis: 1

So I said “Listen babe, I have this friend and she is going to bring dinner by because you have so much work to do around the house.  I feel like such a liar, but I have to help him be and feel safe.  He was very receptive to having a friend stop by, he just didn't know I was paying here. I went through about five or six aides.  It cost me about $3200/ month just for the aide. I went through an agency -- but it's hard to find someone who truly cares. I don't want someone  says “it's my job to put the sandwich in front of you.” He needs to be engaged. The less engaged he is the more frustrated he gets, the sadder he gets, the depression sets in -- because he knows he can’t do anything.

How you can do it

Learn more about how other caregivers have used caregiving help

MORE CAREGIVING HELP STORIES

We are building a guide to help you navigate caregiving help. Have ideas on what you would find helpful? Let us know!

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PAID HELP GUIDE