What Is an Alzheimer’s Care Consultant?0 USER TIPS ADD YOUR TIP
When your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out the next steps to take, much less how to plan for years of care as the disease progresses. An Alzheimer’s or dementia care consultant can guide you through the process, give you advice and referrals to services, discuss living options, and create a caregiving plan. The position is similar to a geriatric care manager or social worker, but an Alzheimer’s care consultant knows the specific ins and out of dementia care.
The Alzheimer’s Association points out that a care consultation can help caregivers do the following:
- Understand dementia as it is affecting their loved one now and prepare them for the changes they may see in the future
- Learn the best way to respond when faced with challenges such as refusal of medication, agitation, or any other behaviors
- Manage day-to-day needs such as bathing and dressing
- Work through difficult transitions such as taking away driving privileges
- Make small changes to the home environment that can have a big impact on quality of life and promote safety
- Make plans for the future
- Find local respite services, such as a home care agency or adult day care center
- Learn about various ways to finance and pay for dementia care
On a larger scale, Alzheimer’s care consultants bring attention to the specifics of the disease and can help differentiate it from “normal aging.” In doing so, they help to lessen the stigma of dementia.
“Anywhere I go I am trying to educate,” said Victoria Metcalfe, who is a dementia care consultant in the UK, in an interview with the Guardian. “I don’t want dementia to become the unmentionable ‘D word’, but to be an illness understood and supported by communities.”
Some care consultations are free, while others can be more expensive (for instance, this Alzheimer’s Association care consultation service charges $150 per hour). Consultations are usually available in-person, or via phone or email. Caregivers can find a care consultant near them using the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator, through their local Alzheimer’s Association chapter, or by searching online or asking local connections or the neurologist who made the initial diagnosis.