Caregiving at Home

1

Thinking About Home Care

2

Communication

3

Caring For Yourself

4

Setting Up Your Home, Safety and Body Mechanics

5

Preventing Infection in the Home

6

Normal and Abnormal Signs of Aging

7

Meeting Special Needs and Conditions

8

Death, Dying and Hospice Care

9

Providing Personal Care

10

Transfers and Ambulation

11

Basic Healthcare Skills

12

Healthy Eating and Hydration

13

Emergency Care

14

Medications

Chapter 7 – Meeting Special Needs and Conditions

There are a number of reasons that a person may need to be cared for at home. Your loved one may be ill, injured, or recovering from surgery. Chapter 7 of Caregiving at Home discusses some of the common conditions found in home care, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Ostomies
  • Diabetes
  • Cerebral vascular accident (CVA), or stroke
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Hip or knee replacement

The section covering Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is especially comprehensive, with communication strategies and safety guidelines for a person who paces, wanders, or has dementia. Suggestions are included for making activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, dressing and toileting, more manageable. It also discusses how to maintain optimal nutrition for a person with AD.

This chapter discusses some difficult behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease, including agitation, pacing and wandering, hallucinations or delusions, sundowning, catastrophic reactions, depression, perseveration, and violent behaviors. It gives strategies for coping with these behaviors. Finally this section describes several techniques to help improve the quality of life for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, including reality orientation, validation therapy, reminiscence therapy, and activity therapy.

By providing information about what to expect and how to make your loved one more comfortable, "Meeting Special Needs and Conditions" will help you to be more prepared and more capable as a caregiver.