KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Caring for a loved one who is living with memory loss can be challenging and overwhelming. There are options available to help lift some of the burden and bring a sense of normalcy. Tennova Healthcare Home Health is one of those options when caring for a loved one with dementia or other cognitive declines.  

“Well, a lot of times it starts with a conversation with their provider, and they just discuss what their challenges are and they’re able to identify the needs and then their physician will send us an order or what’s called a referral, and then we’re able to send a clinician out and determine if they truly would benefit and if they’re appropriate for that level of home care,” Lea Chittenden with Tennova Home Health said.

Home health care may be an option to help caregivers and patients get one-on-one attention to help improve their quality of life. 

“Especially right now with the holidays coming up, a lot of times families or patients may feel the isolation. And so sometimes it’s just knowing that they have someone that they can trust, to come in the home and help with the strategies. Sometimes it’s just a breath of fresh, fresh air to know that they’re not alone,” said Chittenden.

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Tennova Home Health helps families navigate some of the uncertainty. Amber Debord is an occupational therapist who meets with clients daily.  

“We go in and we see how we can help people function and adapt. So, if they cannot reach that level of independence they had before, we adapt to make that possible. So, we’re really kind promote life skills, and how to do that more efficiently and more independently,” said Debord.

“We collaborate with the patient and the family members. And kind of doing this together,” Debord walked us through some of the techniques they use to help families with daily obstacles. 

“So, one of the really good examples is that we have a memory book that we work in collaboration with the patients and the family members to just kind of upset them in the reality that they’re in now. And then they can look back on that when we have any kind of agitation or behaviors or self-isolation, we can pull that out and that kind of motivates them to be able to, you know, work with their family members and with us.”

While there is no cure for diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia, there are ways to increase the care and attention your loved one needs. 

“And we don’t focus on the losses as much as we do the retained abilities so that we can empower them and their caregivers as they progress throughout their process so that they don’t have to do it alone,” said Chittenden.

Tennova Healthcare Home health isn’t just for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia but heart disease, wound care, physical therapy, and much more.