Of all the diseases that affect Native American seniors, Alzheimer's is among the most devastating and possibly more prevalent as cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking and obesity are associated with a higher risk of developing the disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are over 5 million Americans with the disease, and it is the 6th leading cause of death. Alzheimer's isn't exclusive to senior citizens either, approximately 200,000 Alzheimer's patients are under age 65. While the disease effects both women and men, twice as many women suffer from the disease, and most of the caregivers of Alzheimer's patients are women as well.
Alzheimer's care can be expensive and Native Americans place a high value on family and community. As a result, family and friends often try to take on the responsibility themselves, leaving them prone to depression. It's estimated that in 2013 family and friends provided nearly 18 billion hours’ worth of care that would have otherwise cost more than $220 billion.
At First Nations Home Health, we understand how overwhelming and difficult it can be to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia's. Confusion, exhaustion and frustration are common when trying to manage challenging behaviors associated with these illnesses. With locations across Minnesota, including Duluth, Bemidji and several reservations, our nurses have specialized training to ease the blow of living with Alzheimer's disease.
A Team of Alzheimer's Whisperers
First Nations Home Health is proud to provide a comprehensive and effective Alzheimer’s and Dementia Home Care program for Native Americans. “Becoming an Alzheimer’s Whisperer” is a unique and effective approach to help support those affected by dementia who live in a home or Assisted Living community. The program focuses on more than nursing. Several types of caregivers, all with culturally focused sensitivity, come together in this program in order to provide the best care for patients and support for their families while allowing them to spend more time in their homes. In addition to Registered Nurses, our teams also bring in a multidisciplinary team of Occupational and Physical Therapists, medical social workers, home health aides, and speech pathologists to develop an understanding of how the disease is progressing on an individualized level so that friends and family have as many tools as possible when providing any necessary care.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Services
- Individualized assessment, evaluating cognitive and functional levels
- Treatment planning
- Care for patients in a compassionate manner that considers the unique ethnic and linguistic needs of Native Americans
- Teach families and caregivers strategies for managing the care needs of their loved one
- Effectively respond to challenging behaviors such as aggression, agitation, and repetition
- Address physical health needs
- Medication management and education
- Reduce utilization of psychotropic medication
- Strength development and fall risk reduction
- Promote independence in dressing, bathing and toileting in order to remain in their urban or rural home
- Assistance with memory, communication and swallowing difficulties