Choosing a generic elderly care facility can be difficult on a family, but choosing an Alzheimer’s disease care facility can even more complex. Often, the person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia cannot participate in the decision, which means the decision is left up to the caregivers. You want your loved one to be happy in life, and choosing the best long-term care is crucial.
What is an Alzheimer’s care facility?
There are different types of residential facilities for you to choose for your loved one, and each provides its own pros and cons. Generally, they are categorized based on stages of Alzheimer's.
Retirement housing is best for individuals with early-stage Alzheimer’s, who are still able to care for themselves. It is an independent option in which the resident can live at home alone with limited supervision. Assisted living is the gap between living independently and living in a nursing home. This type of residential care gives a combination of housing, meals, and supportive services. The federal government doesn’t regulate assisted living, so the services will vary from state to state.
Nursing homes provide 24-hour care and long-term medical treatment. Here, various types of therapy will be included. Skilled medical professionals are on site at all times, including registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Typically, you should search for a nursing home that has experience in patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s to provide optimum care.
Alzheimer special care units are specifically designed to meet the needs of patients diagnosed with the disease. This type of facility is for patients who have progressed beyond the care of nursing homes and require special attention that couldn’t be provided in other care settings. Some facilities may seem more medical while others can be large residencies.
What kind of services does an Alzheimer's care facility offer for its residents?
The various types of facilities offer different services and care. Depending on the level of independence of your loved one, they may not need help with all daily activities.
Retirement housing will offer the lowest form of assistance. Administrators will offer home maintenance if your loved one still lives at home. Depending on the facility, they may also mow the lawn, stock the fridge, and perform other various day-to-day tasks. This type of assistance will also provide your loved one with transportation to the store or doctor's office. There may also be social activities with others members in the program. Financial help may also be provided so your loved one pays bills on time and balances a checkbook.
Assisted living is available involves patients living on thei ownr property, but with a 24-hour staff. These staff members will assist with food, laundry, transportation, and recreational activities. Your loved one chooses if help is needed with bathing, dressing, eating, or medication reminders. However, these places generally do not provide the skilled medical training of a nursing home. Some facilities may offer more or less, so the best way to determine what a facility offers is to call directly.
Nursing homes offer complete skilled medical care, such as physical therapy, IV therapy, and tube feedings. They also offer assistance in dressing, bathing, medication management, and mobility. Nursing homes have different staff to resident ratios, so it’s important to be sure your loved one will be cared for properly.
Alzheimer special care units offer the most complete care for your loved one. They offer all of the help listed for nursing homes, but they also meet the specific needs of someone suffering from Alzheimer's. Special activities will be provided, and trained staff care for any behavioral needs. The best way to assess the care and services offered by these units is by calling them directly.
How should a family choose an Alzheimer's care facility for their loved one?
There are several factors families need to consider when choosing a nursing home. Family involvement should be high and encouraged. Staffing should provide medical care and personalized care. The programs and services must be appropriate for your loved one. Meals should be provided with snacks in between.
The environment should allow freedom and promote independence, and residents should be allowed to bring familiar items in with them. Residents should seem comfortable, relaxed, well-groomed, clean, and dressed appropriately. Lastly, be sure to go over the policies and procedures of each facility thoroughly.