How many caregivers have taken a certification for caring for someone with memory issues? Is it possible to learn from hands on, reading as much as I can. Joining forums, watching videos. Do i need to get certified.

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You are a very kind friend!

Caring for someone with dementia is difficult. It's nothing like you see in the ads on TV where smiling young nurses are lovingly caressing the face of an elderly woman or playing checkers with an elderly man. As a caregiver, you'll have little respite from the daily chores, which may now or will eventually include changing your friend's poopy underwear, waking at 2:00 a.m. to take the car keys away because they're headed out the door in their nightgown, and listening to them scream or swear because their diseased brain is telling them there's a dinosaur in the room (happened with my mom).

Add to that isolation in the home because you can't take them anywhere as visits from friends dwindle because they're uncomfortable being around a dementia patient. Then throw in a little of you can't leave them alone even in a room of the house because they might eat the plants. And then there are the threats and paranoia when they think you're stealing their money, food, or cats. Or that the plumber is evil.

Now that we've enlightened you (only a bit), please make sure you have the friend's POA. You should not attempt care if you can't manage the finances, sell their property for their benefit, and handle every legal thing that comes up. You should have MPOA also so that doctors will include you and follow your guidance about what your friend's care should be.

Get legal advice in order to protect you from your friend, because it's impossible to know how this friend will react and accuse you when they no longer recognize you. Your friend should also be protected legally from you because although your motives are pure, the friend may not consider them so as the disease worsens.

It used to be called madness. Now it's called dementia. But it's the same thing.

Good luck. You're going to need it.
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As someone who has cared for a person with Dementia, it is not easy. Your life, if not already, means 24/7 care. It really can't be done without help. You are literally giving up your life for this friend. I would not even do it without DPOA for finances and a Medical Directive/Medical POA. I would want full control. She/he is really young if age is right. Please, for your mental and physical health be aware it can become overwhelming and that's when its time to place them.

I would not give up a job to care for this friend. The amount you earn at this point in your life or don't earn will effect your Social Security earnings. You probably can collect at 67 if age of ur friend. SS only goes back 35 years from the date u apply. So at 67 thats 32 yrs old. If in that 35 yrs you don't work 10 yrs, your SS earnings is only for that 25 yrs. If you plan to keep working, someone needs to be watching your friend because those suffering from a Dementia cannot be left alone. Its a very unpredictable disease, no rhyme or reason to it.

Does your friend get Social Security Disability, if not I would apply for it. Are they receiving Medicaid? You will need to tap into every resource you can. Call your Office of Aging and see if they know of anywhere that gives training ur looking for. Check with ALs in ur area to see if they have seminars on Alzheimer's and Dementia. One near me did and I attended them.
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Most of that have cared for or are caring for a loved one with dementia, learned the good old fashioned way and the hard way, by just jumping in and doing it hands on.
Of course it never hurts to educate yourself on the disease of dementia as that definitely comes in handy when things arise, and arise they will.
Like already mentioned Teepa Snow(a dementia expert)has some great videos on YouTube, along with several books she's written. The book The 36 Hour Day is also a great place to start.
So to answer your question, unless you'll be working in a facility that does require their aides to be "certified" there really is no reason to otherwise have to worry about it.
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Your friend is living in your home. (according to your profile)
I have to ask do you have POA? Are you on your friends HIPAA forms?
Do you have a "care agreement" written out? You should be paid for what you are doing.
I suggest that you get all this done.
If you really want to give yourself a great base of information you can take a CNA certification course. Most Community Colleges have programs and there are private "schools" that do courses. This will give you a lot of information, techniques and "tricks" for when you care for anyone. To care for someone in your home you do not need to be certified.
Is your house set up for when someone will need a Walker? A Wheelchair? When they are confined to bed? Are there Stairs? Wide doorways? Is there a way to prevent wandering?

Every person with dementia is different. Each Dementia is different.
Some people get violent. Many don't. The loss of functions is different in each person. My Husband was non verbal for about the last 6 years of his life, but he could do other things that he probably should not have been able to do if you looked at the "stages". He also went from walking one day to literally overnight he was unable to walk. (I suspect he also had Vascular Dementia as well as the Alzheimer's he was diagnosed with)

And I have to ask..are you prepared to care for this person for 5 years? how about 8, 9, 10 or more years? What happens to your friend if you can't? What happens to your friend if you get hurt caring for them? What happens if you hurt them caring for them? I said I would keep my Husband home as long as it was safe to do so. Safe for me to care for him and safe for him for me to care for him. If it was no longer safe for either of us I would have had to place him.
You also need to have a "line in the sand" as to what point would you have to place your friend in a facility so that they get the care they need at the level they need.
Please think this through and if your friend is able discuss what they want and discuss End of Life decisions.
And I think talking to an Elder Care Attorney to make sure your friend has all legalities completed and that you are properly, legally compensated for what you are going to do is important.

Oh, one more thing...YOU can not be the only caregiver. Your friend will have to pay for another caregiver maybe more as time goes on. Make sure that you are able to hire and pay for caregivers using your friends assets NOT yours. So make sure you have the legal authority to pay for her care needs using her funds as tome goes on.
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Look for Teepa Snow videos on YouTube.

If you are thinking of going to work for a care agency they often have their own training that they require. Some community colleges have training programs.
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Are you being paid by this person? Or volunteering your services. I’m assuming that your friend is accepting of your help, regardless of your lack of experience in this area.

Are they questioning if you are qualified to help them or are you questioning if you are qualified for this role?

Caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease isn’t an easy job, especially if you aren’t familiar with it.

Family members do learn as they care for their loved ones. Many family members find that they are overwhelmed by caring for their loved ones and end up placing them in a facility with a professional staff who will care for them around the clock.

There are many websites that offer information, also YouTube videos and podcasts that can help. Members of this forum can help also.

You don’t need any special certification to do home care for your friend.

Best wishes to you in taking on this difficult responsibility. Please be honest with yourself and your friend if you feel that you have bitten off more than you can chew.

Have you contacted Council on Aging in your area to have a needs assessment done for your friend. That’s a good place to start. Are you planning on becoming their medical POA should that become necessary?
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