VNA Answer Nurse: The Benefits Of Private Care For Those With Alzheimer’s Disease

Paula Thibideau is a Licensed Practical Nurse with the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) and coordinates all aspects of community wellness for the non-profit home healthcare agency.

Alzheimer’s disease can cause even the most social individuals to shy away from activities, family and friends. It’s vital to maintain interests and foster relationships; however, this new responsibility can be daunting. Though it means being available 24/7, you are not alone. Resources and support are available.

Q: Can private care make a difference in the life of someone living with Alzheimer’s disease?

A: Yes, depending on their needs, a part time or full-time private caregiver can help your loved one with activities of daily living. Having a private caregiver offers relief from daily tasks and responsibilities so spouses and family members can focus on their relationship again. Having private care means help with daily tasks such as light house cleaning, laundry, running errands or respite care.

Q: What are the benefits of hiring a private care agency?

A: Well trained caregivers will understand the disease process and provide all aspects of care. To begin, you’ll share what your loved one enjoyed and may still enjoy. Every day’s experiences will be tailored to the person’s needs. No two days will be the same: tastes change, preferences change and moods change. Knowing this, together, you and a private caregiver can design a schedule fulfilling physical, spiritual and emotional needs.

Q: How do I find a caregiver who understands Alzheimer’s disease?

A: First, it’s important to understand the difference between hiring an agency as opposed to a registry or private caregiver. Agencies are licensed, insured and they provide an extra layer of protection, performing background checks on all employees. Research an agency with staff trained to care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Talk openly about your needs and expectations to find the right fit. No two agencies are the same.

Q: Are there community resources? if your community has a local Alzheimer/Parkinson’s Association or a senior center. Often these organizations provide a variety of classes, support groups for caregivers, day respite and other opportunities.

This information is for educational purposes. Please consult your physician for any medical issues. The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is committed to bringing trusted and quality private and home health care to Brevard County patients from Titusville to Barefoot Bay. For more information about VNA services, call 321-752-7550 or visit