It’s never easy when someone you love is diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a disease that affects not only the person diagnosed; it affects everyone around them and it’s easy to feel hopeless at times.

Sadly, Dementia is not a curable disease. However, there are ways to reduce symptoms in earlier stages through staying physically active and remaining mentally and emotionally engaged with family members and friends.

Integracare is a home healthcare provider that has been serving Seniors for almost 30 years. We specialize in Dementia care in Toronto and Mississauga, and we strongly believe that aging at home provides dignity and independence to Seniors.

With the right in-home Dementia care from compassionate Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and Caregivers, our Clients flourish in the comfort of their own homes and have the opportunity to socialize daily with our professional and engaging staff.

We are the only home health care provider in the GTA that is committed to educating 100% of our Caregivers in all four facets of Dementia Care. In addition to this, we ensure that all of our Caregivers are registered or certified professionals, and we ensure that they are always coming from a place of compassion and kindness.

We have partnered with the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto so that our Caregivers receive first-hand education from the best resource Toronto has to offer. Integracare Caregivers receive continued professional development and integral educational training annually, ensuring that we are the most dependable, knowledgeable, and compassionate home health care provider in the city.

If someone you love has recently been diagnosed with Dementia, talk to them to discuss the possibility of in-home health care. They are likely feeling confused and worried about their future, and in-home care allows them to remain in a familiar and safe space.

It’s also important to know that Dementia is not simply one disease. It is an overarching disease that is comprised of many others. Depending on the diagnosis of your loved one, they might require unique services and treatments.

Let’s take a look at the common types of Dementia, and consider the benefit of in-home health care.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of Dementia, counting for at least 60% to 80% of Dementia cases. It causes problems with memory, thinking, and behaviour, and symptoms eventually become severe enough to negatively affect daily tasks.

There are ten warning signs to look out for:

  1. Memory loss that drastically affects daily tasks
  2. Challenges in solving simple problems or planning
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work, or even while relaxing
  4. Feeling confused about time and place
  5. Trouble understanding images and spatial relationships — for example, there may be difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining colour or contrast
  6. Developing problems with words in speaking or writing
  7. Displacing things and losing the ability to retrace their steps
  8. Weakened and poor judgment — for example, to have no problem with giving a large sum of money to telemarketers
  9. Removal from hobbies and acting withdrawn
  10. Abnormal behaviour and changes in mood and personality

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease progress over time. In later stages of the disease, the emphasis is put on making the patient feel as comfortable as possible during this extremely difficult part of life. Integracare offers other in home health care services in addition to Dementia care, including 24-hour Live-in Caregivers.

We understand that you want the absolute best for your loved one and that you can’t always be there to give them the support that they need. That’s why we offer a team of highly trained professional Caregivers and Nursing Coordinators — Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) — who provide consistent support throughout the day and night wherever Clients call home. You can rest easy knowing that your beloved is in good hands, all in the convenience of home.

Huntington’s Disease

The Different Types of Dementia

Huntington’s disease is a progressive brain disorder caused by a damaged gene. This disease causes changes in the central area of the brain, which causes a severe decline in thinking and reasoning skills, abnormal involuntary movements, depression, irritability, and other mood changes.

Symptoms of the disease typically occur between the ages of 30 to 50 but can appear as early as two years old and as late 80 years old.

Huntington’s disease brain changes lead to alterations in mood, especially depression, anxiety, and unusual anger and irritability. Another common symptom is obsessive-compulsive behavior, leading a person to repeat the same question or activity many times.

There is currently no cure for Huntington’s disease and no way to slow or stop the changes in the brain that it causes. Treatments focus on managing symptoms including physical and emotional pain.

Massage therapy is an excellent tool to ease physical pain caused by illness, surgery, or an accident such as a fall. It’s also beneficial to those who suffer from stress, depression, and other emotional illnesses.

Integracare has a team of professional Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) who provide massage therapy services to Clients anywhere in the GTA.

Massage therapy provides incredible benefits to Seniors with Dementia, and particularly to those who suffer from mood changes and irritability. At its core, massage offers the wondrous power of touch.

Integracare Clients look forward to regular visits from our patient, empathetic, and highly trained RMTs because they offer sincere friendship and companionship as well as a much-needed health service.

Muscles and joints tend to tighten under duress, and massage therapy helps to alleviate any pain associated with stress and anxiety. Our RMTs are specially trained to work with Dementia Clients gently and compassionately.

They are careful to exercise light massage strokes and concentrate on gentle treatments such as a relaxing hand massage, which has been scientifically proven to decrease Cortisol levels — a stress hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands during prolonged stress and is often used as an objective marker of stress. When cortisol levels are lowered, the immune system and sleep quality are enhanced.

Call us today to find out how regular massage therapy can benefit your family member or friend.

Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

The Different Types of Dementia

Parkinson’s disease Dementia is a decline in reasoning and thinking that develops in many people living with Parkinson’s disease at least a year after the initial diagnosis.

The brain changes caused by Parkinson’s disease begin in a region that plays a prevalent role in movement, leading to early symptoms that include tremors and shakiness, muscle stiffness, a shuffling step, poor posture, difficulty initiating movement, and lack of facial expression.

Symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease Dementia include:

The benefits of aging at home for someone with Parkinson’s disease Dementia are profound. With an in-home Caregiver, the risk of accidents and falls decreases significantly because your loved one doesn’t need to leave the comfort and familiarity of their home for health care appointments.

Integracare Caregivers provide companionship as well as a service. Clients experiencing depression, sleep disturbances, and other cognitive issues caused by Parkinson’s disease welcome Integracare Caregiver visits. Human interaction is so important to maintain emotional wellbeing.

Our staff of Caregivers includes professional and certified RMTs, RPNs, PSWs, physiotherapists, and more. Our extensive Dementia care training sets us apart from other in-home health service providers in Toronto and Mississauga because we make it our top priority.

It’s a sensitive subject, and we want all of our Clients as well as their families and friends to feel safe with us and to know that we are with you at each and every step during this journey.