Where To Look For Support

The right type of help is different for every person. The options below are  roughly in order from the least to the most hands-on help available. Services  can either be government funded or paid for out-of-pocket. You and your care  recipient may choose to use more than one of these options at a time to ensure  everyone’s needs are met.  

For all types of support, consider your care recipient’s needs, their level of  independence, finances, transportation requirements, and your needs as a  caregiver when determining the services needed.

Caregiver Hands

Support Options

No Help  

You and your care recipient may choose not to seek additional support. This is  always an option to start with. 

Alzheimer’s Association or Society 

Your local chapter can help you and your care recipient access services,  resources, programs, events, research, volunteer and advocacy opportunities,  and more. Use these links to find resources in your area: 

Area Agency On Aging, Or Aging & Disability Resource Center  

An Area Agency on Aging (U.S.) or Disability/Independent Living Resource  Center (Canada) helps older adults or persons with disabilities find resources and services that support them to remain in their homes and live as independently as possible. Use these links below to find your local agency or  resource center:

  • Eldercare Locator (US)
    • The Upper Peninsula Area Agency on Aging (UPAAA) helps to advocate for and provide services to older adults residing in the Upper Peninsula so they can lead independent, meaningful and dignified lives in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.  Visit the UPCAP homepage for additional information on the UPAAA upcap.org
  • Canadian Disability Resources Society
  • Searching on the computer: “Area Agency on Aging + [City Name]” or
    “Independent Living Resource Center + [City Name]” or “Disability Resource
    Center [City Name]”

Family & Friend Support  

Your care recipient may be able to access support from their friends and  family for some of their care needs. When contacting people, consider their  relationship to your care recipient, your care recipient’s needs, time needed to  address needs, and level of independence. It can be helpful to ask for something  specific, like “Can you come tomorrow at 10am and take Jane for a walk?” 

Home Safety Assessment Or Therapy  

Your care recipient’s healthcare provider may recommend therapies, like  occupational, speech, or physical therapy. As your care recipient’s needs and  abilities change, they may require additional equipment, devices, adaptations,  and/or safety precautions added to their homes. An occupational therapist can  assess and recommend important changes to the home, ensuring greater safety.  Talk to your care recipient’s doctor about getting a referral.  

Home Health Care 

These services provide professional medical assistance or therapy to your care  recipient, usually prescribed by a doctor. It may also be offered to people with  health issues that prevent them from traveling outside the home to access  medical care. Examples of services include:  

  • Nursing care 
  • Therapies (for example, occupational therapy) 
  • Administering medications or injections 
  • Wound care
  • Monitoring (for example, after a recent medication change)

Home Care

These services provide non-clinical help to your care recipient living at home. Examples of services include: 

  • Transportation to appointments 
  • Meal preparation 
  • Companionship  
  • Cleaning 
  • Medication reminders (but not administering medications) 
  • Personal care, like bathing or dressing 
Nurse showing elderly woman a tablet

Adult Day Programs  

These provide an opportunity for your care recipient to engage in social  activities and provide caregivers a break. It may also be important to ask  whether people with dementia take part in separate activities or with others  without dementia. Services may vary depending on the center you choose, and  may include: 

  • Therapies, like physical therapy 
  • Activities, like art or music 
  • Personal care, like bathing or hair styling 
  • Health services, like administering medications or medical exams
  • Counseling

Respite Care  

Respite care can happen in the home, as an adult day program, or as a temporary  stay in a long-term care community. Caregivers can take a break, run errands, go  to appointments, or engage in meaningful activities knowing their care recipient  is safe and cared for by a trusted person. It may also be important to make a plan  in case of an emergency or unexpected situation.

Assisted Living

If your care recipient has mild-moderate dementia, an assisted living facility may  work well. However, as the disease progresses, they may require a higher level  of care like memory care or nursing home/long-term care. Every facility will be  different, but examples of services provided include:  

  • Help with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Transportation  
  • Cleaning & laundry 
  • Meals 
  • Medication management 
  • Life enrichment activities 
Caregivers and elerly playing music together

Memory Care  

Memory care is similar to assisted living in terms of services offered, with more  features catered to people with dementia. Some assisted living facilities have  units dedicated to memory care. Every facility will be different, but examples of  dementia-specific features include: 

  • Building features to help with orientation and reduce confusion, like colored  doors, outdoor gardens 
  • Additional building safety features, like locked exits to manage wandering Special therapies, like music, art, and reminiscence therapy 
  • Specialized staff training & 24-hour supervision 

Nursing Home or Long-Term Care 

These facilities provide 24-hour care and medical treatment, as well as more  nursing and personal care than what is offered in assisted living. This is an option  when a person’s dementia has progressed and/or has higher care needs than can  be addressed living at home or in another facility. 

Your care recipient may take time to adjust to these services, especially if they involve new people or places.

Additional Resources

  • Man and woman talking over coffee

    Warning Signs Of Dementia

  • Caregiver hugging elderly woman

    Stages Of Dementia: What To Expect

  • Safety Systems

    Predict The Risk: 50 Safety Checks To Do Today

  • Two people and a dog riding in a car

    Quick Explanation of Power of Attorney (POA)