Take nine people who are 65 or older. Statistically, one of them has Alzheimer’s disease. By the year 2050, it’s expected the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will double. Right now, 6 million people are dealing with this disease.
You know all about the impact Alzheimer’s has on your life. Your dad has Alzheimer’s, and you’re considering becoming his primary caregiver in hopes of saving money. Before you make this decision, there are things you should keep in mind.
Every Case Is Different
Your dad may be calm and sweet one day and furious the next. It’s hard to predict his mood from one moment to the next. Something as simple as telling him “no” can cause him to become angry and verbally or physically abusive.
You may never experience extreme agitation. Your dad may always be quiet and calm. Just as he may constantly try to escape the house to “go home,” or he may never want to leave your side.
It’s Normal to Bounce Between Stages
There are seven stages of Alzheimer’s disease in the early, middle, and late stages. Your dad may bounce between the different stages for months or years, making it hard to know when new symptoms will appear. He may also experience some late-stage symptoms while also showing signs of mid-stage symptoms.
Stay organized as best you can. If that means using an app to keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly to-do list, do so. You might find a whiteboard is better.
Some of the first things your dad will need help with include medication reminders, meal preparation, transportation, and help to pay bills on time. It may progress to assisting with ambulation, helping him with bathing and grooming, and housekeeping.
Quitting a Job Will Impact Your Finances
Many family caregivers do not get paid. Some spend their own savings to help a parent with Alzheimer’s afford groceries, medications, and clothing. If you quit your job to care for your dad, can you afford to lose the health insurance contribution and other employment benefits?
Plus, the longevity of Alzheimer’s patients varies. You may be caring for your dad for over a decade. When you finally go to reenter the job market, you may get many responses about having been out of the working world for too long. For this reason, it may be better to reduce your hours and hire caregivers to help out while you’re at work.
Alzheimer’s disease is challenging for everyone. It’s important to arrange caregivers to help you with your dad’s care. As much as you’d like to be his only caregiver, the emotional strain can be challenging when you don’t have support. Call a home care agency and schedule caregivers for respite care.