When to Decide When It's Time for Long Term CareDeciding when to seek long-term care can be one of the most challenging decisions a person will ever have to make. It would help if you took your time and carefully considered your options, whether you are the one who requires care or someone making this decision on behalf of another. All of the information you need about determining when it is time for the Long Term Care facility will be provided in this blog post, so read on!
What is long-term care?
Long-term care provides quality nursing and personal support services, center, or social setting for older adults who cannot live independently. It usually includes food and lodging, health monitoring, one-on-one attention, medications, and durable medical equipment.
This could include anyone from a few hours a day to 24-hour care. As we age, our own individual needs will change. Often, family members will need to reduce their time spent caring for their loved ones simply because it's too much work at once to do both jobs well. Suppose your loved one has trouble feeding themselves, getting to the bathroom on their own, or suffers from any form of dementia. In that case, long-term care may be necessary.
How do you know when it's time for Long Term Care Facility?
Many factors decide if a loved one is ready to live in the Long Term Care facility. Here are some of the major indicators:
What should you expect when choosing the best facility?
Suppose it's time for your loved one to move into an assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing home. In that case, you'll need to do some research before making any decisions. There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing the best facility for your loved one, so here is a list of what you need to do before making this life-changing decision:
Why do people need long-term care?
There are many reasons why a senior might need assistance from Long Term Care facilities: trauma or surgery that limits daily activities such as bathing and dressing. Chronic conditions like diabetes require monitoring medications and insulin injections, mild cognitive impairment due to dementia/Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's Disease symptoms such as tremors, slow movement speed, muscle stiffness, etc., depression or anxiety affecting their quality of life. These difficulties may happen suddenly after an accident or illness. Still, they could also result from a gradual loss of function over time due to the aging process. Suppose a senior is unable to care for themselves due to a physical or mental disability. In that case, they may need Long Term Care services.
Pros and Cons of long term care
There are many benefits to Long Term Care, but there are also a few disadvantages. Here is a list of the pros and cons:
Pros of Long-term Care Include:
There is no right or wrong answer as it depends upon your loved one's specific needs, but here are a few things that might help with this decision:
Home care: This type of care allows seniors to stay in their own homes while getting assistance from caregivers who come in during certain hours, usually three times per week. A caregiver will do basic activities that your loved one cannot do anymore, such as administering medications, bathing, cooking meals, etc. If you are looking for something less time-consuming but still want to give your loved one assistance with daily activities, this might be the best option.
Assisted Living: Assisted living allows people with Alzheimer's disease more freedom than nursing homes while still receiving 24-hour care from trained professionals. Most assisted living facilities to allow seniors to move around freely within their apartments and often offer common areas where people can socialize together. These communities also provide housekeeping services, so they don't have to worry about cleaning everything up each day. When choosing between an independent senior community vs. a memory care unit, you should consider how much assistance your loved one needs. Suppose they need help with common activities such as dressing or bathing. In that case, the assisted living community may not be for them, but if their mental health is stable. They can function on their own most of the time yet still require some supervision when confusion might get in the way (such as medication management). An independent senior residence could work.
Nursing Homes: Nursing homes are only recommended when seniors cannot live by themselves anymore because of severe medical issues that limit daily routines. You generally don't see nursing facilities offering Alzheimer's disease-specific programs, so this type of environment would benefit people who experience mild to moderate cognitive impairment due to other causes like Parkinson's Disease or dementia due to another medical condition such as a stroke.
When is the best time to search for a nursing home or other long-term care option?
Right now! Don't wait for a medical emergency because it could be too late by the time you find your loved one a spot. You should start looking at nursing homes or other long-term care facilities as soon as you suspect that they might need more assistance from others rather than living on their own. Don't forget that you are not alone in this process since professionals can help with matching your loved one to the best possible facility.
Long Term Care is an important decision for senior care. It should be discussed with family members/caregivers as soon as it's needed. When choosing between Home Care vs. Assisted Living, consider seniors' specific needs, budget and location. There is no right or wrong answer as it depends upon your loved one's specific needs. Still, you should at least start looking into options early on to give yourself enough time to review each community carefully before making a final selection.
Who is responsible for long-term care expenses?
The primary source of payment is the person who needs care. Medicare/Medicaid will pay for some of the services. Still, they are not meant to cover all expenses, so supplemental insurance or long-term care insurance might be necessary if your budget doesn't allow you to cover everything on your own. This type of coverage can also help with future costs that could arise from nursing homes, home health aides, and other types of assisted living facilities since it's difficult for seniors to predict their exact needs when considering which community would work best in terms of medical support.
How can I make sure that my family will afford the cost of a nursing home stay?
It's important to keep the cost of long-term care in mind before choosing a facility since it can be expensive. If you're concerned about financing your loved one's expenses, look into various financing options such as Medicaid and Medicare. Sometimes seniors qualify for assistance from the government, so don't give up if they don't seem eligible at first glance - eligibility requirements often change depending upon individual circumstances. Your best bet is to contact elder law attorneys who specialize in this area and will help you understand what programs are available and how much each program would cover. They could also advise on other ways that might work better than insurance coverage (such as certain types of trusts) or additional funding sources like loans/bonds that may allow you to pay for your loved one's care without draining all of your savings.
Long-term care insurance is another resource that works well if you can afford it but be aware that there are many different policies with various coverage amounts and exclusions/limitations, so make sure to do some research before investing in a Long Term care plan. You should also speak with a financial planner since they might help you get the most out of this policy by maximizing its value while minimizing any possible risks (such as exhausting the entire premium during the first year, etc.).
Long Term Care insurance can be expensive, but it's important to consider what other options are available if you don't have enough money on your own. If you need help with covering the cost of long-term care, review different types of financial aid and speak with a trusted specialist who will explain all options so that you can make an informed decision about how best to proceed in terms of financing. The earlier you start planning for this type of expense, the better since costs only grow over time, which might become more difficult to cover later on. You should also keep in mind that seniors tend to underestimate their future needs when selecting a community, so there is no harm in choosing one where the price seems higher than just because it offers additional services or a higher standard of living.
Nursing homes are where you and your loved ones can go to get the care they need. They're often used when someone has been hospitalized for an extended period or has become too ill to live independently. The decision can be difficult for families who want to keep their relatives nearby and want them in a comfortable environment appropriate for their medical needs. This blog post will discuss when it's the right time and who decides whether a nursing home is necessary.
What Is a Nursing Home?
A nursing home is a facility that provides long-term care for the elderly, chronically ill or people with disabilities who are unable to live independently. There are several different nursing homes, including those that specialize in dementia care or Alzheimer's care.
Some nursing homes are designed to look and operate like a hospital. Physical, speech and occupational therapy are among the services provided by the staff. On each floor, there may be a nurse's station. Other nursing homes make an effort to resemble a home. They try to make it feel like you're in a neighborhood. They don't always have a set schedule, and kitchens are sometimes open to residents. Residents are encouraged to form relationships with staff members.
When Is the Right Time for a Loved One To Enter a Nursing Home?
There is no easy answer to this question. Many factors need to be considered, including your loved one's age and health condition as well as their personal preferences. If they're still non-disabled without any chronic or debilitating diseases, it might not be necessary for them to enter a nursing home at all. On the other hand, if they face chronic illness or become physically disabled, they may require more care than family members can provide.
If you think your loved one needs nursing home services, it's essential to speak with them about their wishes and involve the whole family. The process of deciding whether a relative needs professional help at all should constantly be a collaborative decision. Even if you have legal authority over your loved ones, it's essential to seek their input and respect what they want.
What Are Some Signs That It May Be Time To Move Your Loved One Into a Nursing Home?
Some indicators that it may be time to move your loved one into a nursing home include:
Who Decides When It’s Time To Enter a Nursing Home?
If you're concerned with the safety and well-being of a loved one, it's best to consult with them about their wishes and try to involve family members. Any professional that deals directly with your relative should be able-bodied and capable of assessing whether they need help from others in maintaining their health.
In cases where legal authority has been given to family members, they must respect what the person wants and involve them in decision-making.
In some states, a court can step in if there is no consensus among patients or their families about whether long-term care would be necessary. In these situations, a judge reviews all of the evidence and makes a decision that they think is in the patient's best interest.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's, it may be challenging to have them make their own decisions about long-term care. In these situations, you can request a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care from an attorney. If granted, this allows you to make health care decisions for them.
A family member can request the court appoint a guardian if they cannot provide consent due to mental incapacity, no matter how old they are. A judge will evaluate all of the evidence and determine whether or not it's in your loved one's best interests - even if they disagree with your opinion.
How Do You Know if Your Loved One Needs Professional Care or Help Around the House?
There are several ways to determine whether your loved one needs professional care or simply assistance with around-the-house tasks. Suppose you believe that their safety is at risk. In that case, it's essential to talk with them about the situation and try to involve other family members in decision-making - even if the legal authority has been given over to someone else in their life.
In some cases, a professional may be able to provide you with information that can help determine whether your loved one needs long-term care or not - such as asking their doctor about symptoms of dementia and the local senior center for recommendations. If they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, it may be challenging to obtain a comprehensive assessment.
Why Should You Consider an Assisted Living Facility Instead of a Nursing Home?
There are several factors to consider when deciding between an assisted living facility and a nursing home. Some people prefer the smaller community, while others may feel that they'll get more attention in a larger setting - so you need to think about what your loved one would be comfortable with before making the decision.
Medical ServicesAssisted LivingResidents in an assisted living facility can receive varying levels of medical care, depending on their specific needs.
A facility might, for example, provide transportation to doctor appointments or assistance with medication administration. Some assisted living facilities have designated areas for people who have dementia or other memory-related illnesses. People who live in assisted living facilities, on the whole, are in good health.
Nursing HomeMedical care is available 24 hours a day in a nursing home. Residents with chronic illnesses are helped by nursing staff. Physical, occupational, respiratory, and speech therapy are among the rehabilitative services available to those who require them.
Some residents are admitted for a more extended rehabilitation period after a hospital stay, while others are accepted for a shorter period.
Living Space Assisted Living
Individual or shared apartments with kitchens, bedrooms, and living rooms are standard in assisted living facilities.
Some facilities provide furnished accommodations. Residents can choose to share meals and activities in common areas.
Nursing Home Assisted Living
Individual or shared rooms with en-suite bathrooms are standard in nursing homes.
Many nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities have common areas where residents can socialize and share meals or activities.
Assistance With Daily Activities Assisted Living
If assisted living residents require assistance with daily tasks such as bathing or dressing, those services are available.
Residents who require laundry, housekeeping, or meal preparation services can get them.
Nursing Home Assisted Living
In a nursing home, most residents require more assistance with their daily needs.
Residents are assisted in bathing, dressing, using the restroom, and taking their medications by staff members. The kitchen staff prepares the meals, and the team also does the laundry and cleaning for the residents.
Recreational Activities Assisted Living
The variety of activities available to residents is one of the hallmarks of assisted living facilities.
Older adults' health depends on staying physically active and socially connected, according to research.
Physical exercise, creative expression, and socialization are all available in most assisted living facilities. Some also provide religious services as well as community service opportunities.
Nursing Home Assisted Living
The number of recreational activities available in nursing homes may be restricted.
Many nursing homes allow residents to participate in art classes, choir, cooking classes, animal therapy, educational courses, and mentally stimulating games.
Physical therapists frequently supervise exercise activities to assist residents in gaining strength, improving mobility, and avoiding falls.
What Things Can You Do at Home To Make Life Easier for Yourself and Your Family Member Who Has Dementia?
It is essential to talk about the needs of your loved one with a doctor. Your doctor can help you determine when it's time for them to move into assisted living or nursing home care. The right decision depends on multiple factors, including medical services provided, amenities and activities; transportation availability; food options; safety measures in place (locks, fencing); and the size of your loved one's apartment.
Pending on their specific needs, a facility might provide transportation to doctor appointments or assistance with medication administration. Some assisted living facilities have designated areas for people who have dementia or other memory-related illnesses. People who live in assisted living facilities, on the whole, are in good health, intending to help them maintain their independence.
It can be challenging to know when it's time for a loved one to move into assisted living. The right decision depends on multiple factors, including their specific needs and how well they adjust to the transition from independence at home to more assistance in an assisted living facility.
The choice between independent senior housing or an assisted living community should ultimately come down to what's best for your family member's health and well-being. Ensure you have adequate resources to pay for either type of care, so financial concerns don't become overwhelming later!
The decision to put a loved one with Alzheimer's in a nursing home can be difficult. There are many things you must consider before making this critical and irreversible decision. This blog post will look at the factors that contribute to whether or not it is time for your loved one to go into assisted living and discuss some of the benefits of putting them in a skilled care facility.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease, and What Are the Stages of It?Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative condition that destroys brain cells, leading to memory loss, thinking, language skills, and other critical mental functions. Over time it can lead to complete dependency on others for all activities of daily living. It is the most common form of dementia.
Cognitive vs. Physical Decline in Alzheimer’s DiseaseThe stages of Alzheimer's disease are divided into two categories - cognitive decline and physical decline. While both are often seen together, it is common for one to be more prominent than the other in any given stage or period during the progression of this horrible condition.
Most people with Alzheimer's go through an initial period of mild cognitive declineMCI), followed by a more noticeable period of physical decline, before finally reaching the final stages of complete dementia.
What Are the Stages of This Disease?
There are four stages to Alzheimer's Disease: early-stage, mid-stage, late-stage, and very late stage. The later the stage in which an individual has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, the more care they require. There is no cure, and the only medications on the market today treat symptoms of this disease.
Signs When You Should Consider a Nursing Home
If your loved one is experiencing any of these signs, it may be a good idea to discuss whether a nursing home would be a good option with their physician. The decision to enter an assisted living facility must be made as early as possible so you can prevent the condition from progressing and becoming more challenging to manage.
Tips for Caring for Someone With Dementia at Home
It is possible to provide quality of life for your loved one at home, but it will require a lot of effort on your part. Here are our top tips for caring for someone with dementia at home:
Create structure and routine.
Having the same schedule every day can make it easier for individuals living with Alzheimer's Disease to remember what needs to be done each day.
Keep them active throughout the day.
Engage in activities they enjoy, such as singing favorite songs or playing cards. Make sure to take breaks often, which helps reduce stress levels that build up over time.
Encourage physical activity.
Exercise helps maintain overall health and can improve mood due to endorphins released during exercise. It may also help reduce the loss of muscle strength, a common symptom of Alzheimer's Disease.
Keep them connected.
Join a support group or visit loved ones in a nursing home for regular socialization!
Provide reassurance that you are there to help.
Talk about the future and what they can expect from you in terms of care, so they know it is coming and won't be surprised when you need to assist.
Avoid correcting them.
When individuals living with Alzheimer's Disease make mistakes, it is essential to avoid fixing them and lovingly provide feedback. This creates an environment of love and trust which promotes improved mood and less anxiety.
How To Find the Right Nursing Home for Your Loved OneIf you have decided that a nursing home is a suitable option for your loved one, it is essential to consider their specific needs when searching for the facility. It's also vital that they are in a safe and clean environment where staff members are appropriately trained in dealing with dementia patients.
Here are some tips when searching for facilities:
Check Out Local Facilities.
Visit nursing homes in person so you can see if their rooms are appropriate for your loved one, if they meet their basic needs, and ask questions based on your family's unique situation
Ask About Their Memory Care Unit.
Not all nursing homes offer this service, but having a separate unit designed specifically for Alzheimer's Disease and other dementia will make them feel more comfortable.
Consider Your Loved One’s Interests.
If they like art, look for nursing homes that offer activities such as painting and gardening to keep them engaged and entertained throughout the day.
Consider Their Current Health.
If your loved one has a history of falls, for example, look for facilities that have safety features such as bars on the beds and chairs
Ensure There Is Adequate Staff.
Ask how many nurses are employed at the facility and if there would be adequate staffing to accommodate your loved one's needs if their condition changes or worsens.
Obtain a Nursing Home Agreement.
This document provides all of the care services you can expect from the facility and ensures they will provide proper medical treatment if needed. It also outlines what you can expect from them in terms of cost and payment policies.
Perform a Background Check.
You must do your research and check the facility's history to ensure they have not been cited for any violations or complaints.
Things To Consider When Looking Into Care Facilities When getting the best care for your loved ones, you must consider their needs and personality. Here are some things to think about when looking into nursing homes:
Is It Close By?
If your loved one prefers a familiar surrounding, look for facilities that are located in the area where they live, so they don't have to adjust to living in an unfamiliar place.
Do They Need Medical Supervision?
Find out if the facility provides around-the-clock medical attention or can provide transport services if needed. You also want to ensure that the staff is appropriately trained to handle dementia patients and keep them safe at all times
Does It Meet Their Needs?
Make sure you check on what types of activities are available for them to participate in. Also, look for facilities with proper lighting, temperature controls, comfortable furniture for relaxation, and scenic views of the surrounding area.
Is It Clean?
Make sure to tour the facility before choosing it so you can ensure it's clean and safe for your loved one.
Does It Feel Welcoming?
If your loved one is responding well to staff members or if they don't want to attend activities because they are uninterested in what is happening, consider other options. It may be beneficial to find a facility where they feel more engaged with others and their lives!
Costs Associated With Assisted Living or Private Homes vs. Nursing Homes
The costs associated with assisted living or private homes vs. nursing homes can vary depending on the needs of your loved one. Keep in mind that the prices will increase if your loved one needs more care or extra services, but there are ways to minimize these costs.
For instance, many facilities offer payment plans to make the costs more manageable for you and your family. However, there are typically initial fees and monthly costs associated with assisted living facilities. The average price of a private room in an assisted living facility is $3,000-$7,500 (not including extra amenities such as cable or telephone). Nursing homes usually cost more than assisted living homes due to the level of care that your loved one needs, it could be anywhere from $200-$600 per day, depending on their condition.
There are many things to consider before moving your loved one into a long-term care facility. You want to make sure they will be safe and happy in their new home. While this is no easy decision, keeping your loved one's needs at the forefront of your mind will lead you toward choosing the best option for them.
Choosing a nursing home can be an emotional and difficult decision for both Alzheimer's patients and their family. It is essential to consider your loved one's personality, needs, and preferences when making this type of choice. The benefits of assisted living homes versus traditional long-term care facilities might seem overwhelming at first glance.
Still, there are many things you should keep in mind before deciding on the best option for them. Also, you want to ensure that the facility offers trained staff members and is kept clean at all times. There are many things to consider when choosing a nursing home for your loved one with Alzheimer's. Still, by assessing their needs, history of neglect, or abuse complaints cost, among other things, you can make an informed decision!
We hope our post has helped give some insight into what factors you should consider when choosing between these two types of housing options.
Every day, people are faced with a decision that can profoundly impact their life: What type of care will best meet the needs of an aging parent? Assisted living facilities and memory care communities offer different levels of care to elderly individuals. Understanding the differences between these types of senior residences is critical when making this necessary selection process. Read on for more information about assisted living vs. memory care!
What Are the Differences Between Assisted Living & Memory Care?
Every assisted living facility and memory care community is unique, so it can be not easy to generalize these terms. But for an overview of the differences between these two types of senior housing, read on:
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities offer a range of services and amenities to their residents. Typically, they offer several meal options and snacks throughout the day; housekeeping services; medication management (with oversight from the resident and their family); transportation; laundry; entertainment options; social activities; and more. Most assisted living facilities require that seniors be able to move around independently (though some do offer certain levels of care as well).
Memory Care Community
Memory care communities provide specialized care for those with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Such communities typically offer more structured activities and less access to technology in the hopes of preventing residents from becoming agitated or upset. Some memory care facilities also require family members to stay on-site; most do not allow children under a certain age (12-14 is common).
Which Type of Retirement Home Is Right for You?
There is no perfect answer to the assisted living vs. memory care debate. The best type of retirement home for your loved one will depend on that individual's personality and needs. For example, assisted living would be a good choice if an older man enjoys playing cards and socializing with his neighbors. However, if he has difficulty getting out of bed in the morning and struggles with personal hygiene and independent mobility, a memory care facility might be more appropriate.
A cognitive assessment can help you understand what level of care your loved one requires now as well as overtime; it can also help you decide whether now is the right time to move your family member into an assisted living facility or memory care community (for example, if they seem overwhelmed by the move, you may want to wait). You can also talk with members of your loved one's healthcare team for more information about assisted living vs. memory care; these experts are always ready to offer suggestions and recommendations.
Cost Difference Between Assisted Living and Memory Care
Assisted living facilities typically cost more than memory care communities. This is because they offer a more comprehensive range of services (like transportation and entertainment) while also requiring less hands-on care from residents' families. On the other hand, memory care communities offer more one-on-one care from staff members and less access to technology.
According to Genworth's 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the median monthly rate for assisted living facilities in the United States is $4,300. Memory care typically adds 20% to 30% to the overall cost.
The location of a business can have a significant impact on its cost. For example, assisted living costs in New Jersey and Delaware are well over $6,000 per month, while Missouri is the only state with an average of around $3,000 per month. There are also times when veterans' benefits are available to help cover costs.
Tips on Choosing the Best Place for Your Loved One’s Needs
The first step to choosing an assisted living vs. memory care community is learning as much as you can about the different types of facilities in your area. While there are some similarities between assisted living and memory care communities, there are also significant differences. Each type has its list of pros and cons that might make it better suited for your loved one's unique needs.
Two Types of Assisted Living Facilities to Consider
Three Types of Memory Care Communities to Consider
Pros/Cons of Each Option in Detail
Assisted Living Facilities With Extra Amenities
Pros: Extra amenities are fun and can help your loved one stay fit, engaged, and active.
Cons: If these services aren't needed or used by your loved one, it could be a waste of money.
Assisted Living Facilities With Secure Units
Pros: This assisted living facility provides the intensive care that some seniors need to remain safe.
Cons: These communities can deprive those who don't need this level of care of enjoying fundamental freedoms. Also, this type of community might not be as good for those who want access to all the latest technology and entertainment options because many memory care communities do not offer such features.
Standalone Memory Care Communities
Pros: These communities are typically the most affordable option out of all types of senior housing.
Cons: They don't offer as much service, which can be a significant drawback for some seniors who crave companionship and socialization.
"Memory care-lite" or Transitional Communities
Pros: This type of community is more helpful than an independent retirement community but less intensive than a traditional memory care facility. Thus, it can help transition seniors to assisted living or nursing home options when needed.
Cons: It's possible that your loved one could end up spending time in this type of facility if they require more care than expected; this might not be a good option for seniors who cherish the freedom and independence that comes with living on their own.
Traditional Memory Care Communities
Pros: These memory care communities offer more personalized services than some other types of long-term solutions.
Cons: They're typically the most expensive, costing $7,000 to $8,000 per month or more. Additionally, they deprive seniors of enjoying fundamental freedoms such as having access to all the latest technology and entertainment options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Types of Services Are Provided by Memory Care Facilities?Personal care, assistance with daily activities, emergency monitoring, and other services are available at memory care facilities. Residents at most memory care facilities have access to cognitively stimulating activities and skilled nurses and physicians who develop care plans and monitor residents' health and progress.
When It Comes to Alzheimer’s Care, What Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare doesn't cover residential memory care. Short-term stays in nursing homes and a limited number of hours of in-home health care per week are covered by Medicare for those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. In addition, Medicare Supplement plans may cover Alzheimer's care and services in addition to Original Medicare.
Does Insurance Cover Alzheimer’s Disease?
In some cases, insurance will pay for Alzheimer's care. Memory care is not covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Memory care may, however, be covered by Medicaid waiver programs. On the other hand, long-term care insurance usually covers at least a portion of the cost of Alzheimer's care.
What Is the Distinction Between a Nursing Home and a Memory Care Center?
The primary distinction between a nursing home and a memory care facility is that memory care facilities are designed specifically for seniors with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. All of the services, amenities, activities, and policies at memory care facilities are designed to help people with memory loss. Nursing homes provide high-quality medical care to people who have chronic or acute illnesses that necessitate regular monitoring and medical attention.
When Should a Dementia Patient Be Admitted to a Facility?
Determining when someone with dementia should be placed in care is up to each individual and their family. Some families choose to keep a loved one at home with a care aide for the duration of their illness, while others opt for residential care. This usually occurs when someone has progressed beyond the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer's disease and is experiencing more severe symptoms, but each person and their families are unique.
For some people, the peace of mind that comes with moving once to a memory care community that can accommodate their changing needs without requiring another move is priceless. Others may prefer a more gradual shift in care, such as moving to an assisted living community and then to memory care.
Consider how much assistance the senior requires daily to live safely, healthily, and happily. Consider the diagnosis, as well as what their doctors have said about medical needs and changes to expect shortly.
Then go to a few different communities to get a sense of what's available. Once you have all of this information, weighing the pros and cons with your loved one can help you make a decision that's right for them!
Assisted living facilities can provide an excellent place for seniors who need some help, but what happens when they need more than just assistance with daily tasks? When is the best time to move from assisted living to memory care? Here are signs that would indicate it may be time.
As we age, our needs change, and we start requiring different types of care. If you or your loved one has been in an assisted facility and now requires more than help with daily tasks, then it might be time for a new environment. These signs will tell you if it's time:
Extremely Severe Memory Loss
One of the significant signs that it may be time to move from assisted living to memory care is if your loved one has started showing more severe memory loss. If they've forgotten important things, like their name or where they live, then this could be a cause for concern and should be tended to immediately. Check with your doctor and the assisted living facility to rule out any other possible issues.
Forgetting to Take Their Medication
Suppose your loved one has always been good at taking their medications, but suddenly you've noticed that they're missing doses or forgetting to take them altogether. In that case, this could be an early sign of dementia and should be checked out by a doctor immediately.
The only way to ensure that your loved one is getting the proper dosage of medicine each day is to monitor them closely by medical professionals trained in dealing with dementia patients.
Difficulty in Remembering Recent Events or Conversations
Another sign of memory loss is if your loved one begins having trouble recalling things that have happened recently—for example, forgetting conversations with you or friends and family members within a matter of just a few hours. They may also begin having trouble finding the right words to say while speaking, which can be frustrating for both them and the listener.
Alzheimer's makes it difficult for a person to follow a conversation, especially if several people are involved. They may even completely forget what they were talking about within just a few seconds after the subject changes.
Disorientation to Time and Place
If your loved one has become confused about where they are or when something is happening, it's an indicator of dementia. This can cause problems if they do not know what time it is and miss their next dose of medication. If you notice this, speak with your doctor and the assisted living facility to see what they recommend.
Changes in Speech Patterns
Changes in speech patterns are a sign of Alzheimer's disease, and the brain is struggling to keep up with regular activity. This can include saying something that doesn't make sense, repeating themselves repeatedly, or even speaking gibberish. They may also be unable to find the right words for everyday items like utensils at the dinner table or objects around the house.
Significant Mood & Behavior Changes
If you notice your loved one often seems to feel either pleased one minute and extremely sad the next without any trigger, then it's time to pay attention. Personality changes are a primary indicator of dementia and should be addressed immediately so you can ease them into the transition. This kind of emotional instability is generally caused by dementia and will only worsen as their condition worsens. It's best to speak with their doctor about moving them sooner rather than later.
Suddenly Being Anxious or Paranoid
Anxiousness and paranoia are both symptoms of memory loss due to conditions such as dementia, so if your loved one is acting more anxious than usual around friends and family members, it's time to seek professional help. They might have trouble trusting their own family, for example, leading them to believe their spouse is cheating on them when they're not doing anything of the sort.
Another sign of dementia is if your loved one begins seeing things that aren't there, such as objects moving around or people who aren't there. This can be very scary for both them and their family, so it's best to have them checked out immediately by a doctor.
Delusions and hallucinations indicate problems with memory loss due to conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or Lewy body dementia. These symptoms will be most present when the sufferer is by themselves, so monitor their activity closely for changes in behavior when they're home alone.
Suddenly Withdrawing From Social Situations
A zombie-like demeanor is one of the primary symptoms of memory loss due to Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia.
Memory loss will cause your loved one to have no desire for social interaction, and they might stop being interested in things they usually enjoy, like reading or dining out with friends and family members. They might also have trouble keeping up with current events, which could cause communication problems.
One of the most common personality changes associated with Alzheimer's disease is becoming depressed over their condition. This generally leads to withdrawal from social situations because they feel like no one can understand what's going through due to memory loss and confusion.
They may even find themselves crying frequently and will generally appear suddenly sad and melancholy for no reason.
Increase in Dependence for Daily Self-Care
Another sign that it may be time to move from assisted living to memory care is if your loved one has become more dependent on you or other family members for all of their daily needs.
Loss of Appetite or Weight Loss
Loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss are common in memory care patients with dementia because their condition makes them feel too anxious to eat properly. They may even begin refusing to eat altogether, which could lead to trouble with health later on. This should be checked out by a doctor right away so you can secure proper nourishment for your loved one.
Inability to Complete Basic Tasks Independently
Physical warning signs of dementia include having trouble walking or moving around without falling, not caring for their own hygiene needs (such as bathing and shaving), and wearing clothes inside out or mismatched outfits.
These might seem like minor annoyances at first, but they're essential to pay attention to because it means your loved one will need more help getting through the day. This is a significant problem because it causes them to feel embarrassed and frustrated with their condition, which will lead to depression and anxiety over what's happening with their body.
Trouble Sleeping Through the Night
Another physical symptom of dementia is not being able to sleep throughout the night. This may mean your loved one wakes up every hour or so, or it could mean they can't fall asleep at all. Either way, this lack of rest will only make their condition worse, and they should be checked out by a doctor immediately.
Frequent Falls & Accidents Around the Home
As dementia progresses, people tend to lose their balance quickly, which can lead to falls that injure them severely or damage household items such as lamps, tables, &, etc. loved ones may also experience problems with coordination, such as bumping into things often or having trouble opening doors because of reduced motor skills.
When this happens, call a doctor immediately so they can check for any other health-related issues involved with memory loss due to Alzheimer's disease.
Trouble Getting Around Without Falling
One of the most prominent early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease is not getting around quickly anymore due to declining motor skills and balance problems involving coordination. They may trip over things lying on the floor at home, their own feet, or even small obstacles while out and about, and they may appear highly clumsy in general.
Putting Themselves at Risk
People with dementia often experience personality changes that cause them to put themselves in potentially dangerous situations, such as leaving the oven on when they're done cooking or getting dressed and putting on makeup in the middle of winter when it's cold outside. This is another example of memory loss due to conditions like Alzheimer's disease or Lewy body dementia because sufferers can no longer act rationally.
Monitor your loved one closely for any changes in behavior, memory loss, and motor skills. Keep an eye out for anything that appears unusual or out of the ordinary to you, as this could be the first sign of onset dementia. If any of these symptoms seem to fit with what your elderly family member is experiencing, contact their doctor immediately so they can provide proper care and treatment.
Please don't wait until it's too late…
There are numerous Americans that usually practice yoga. Are you experiencing mobility issues? Then you can try out yoga.
For the seniors, chair yoga is highly recommended considering it has numerous health benefits. We’ll now look into the benefits of yoga, and they include:
1. Get More Flexible
Depending on your age, you may be unable to touch your toes or engage in certain forms of exercise. Fortunately, chair yoga will allow you to become more flexible.
You will struggle to get to the ground, even to tie your shoelaces. Such a feeling is terrible considering you won’t manage to live an independent life. Regular practice ensures you’ll regain your flexibility within a limited period.
2. You Get a Chance for Social Interaction
Among the elderly, loneliness is prevalent to some extent. As a result, the yoga sessions come in handy. The seniors will interact with each other considering the elderly can go for weeks without even talking to anyone.
Considering yoga has numerous benefits, many people will sign up for the exercise. As a result, during each yoga session, you will get to exercise and make new friends. You can also interact with the instructor and hear him/her out since they are well suited to offering some insight into the benefits of yoga.
Once you start yoga classes, you will get excited, considering your social life will improve. Also, you’ll be healthy and also fit.
3. Strengthen Your Muscles and Bones
As you grow older, the bones, muscles, and joints will weaken with time. With yoga, you can easily strengthen the bones and muscles.
To ensure that you’re independent and strong physically, you should try out chair yoga. With time, you’ll notice that you’re becoming more muscular, considering the joints and muscles will be more resilient. You should be consistent, and your body will also recover quickly at any given moment.
4. You’ll Live a Stress-Free and Happy Life.
A considerable percentage of U.S. residents usually suffer from stress. Older people are the most vulnerable.
When you’re stressed, you’ll be unable to make informed decisions. Also, your sense of identity might be damaged.
The main advantage of yoga is that it ensures you’ll stay calm. You also be peaceful regardless of your age.
5. Your Ability to Manage Pain Will Improve
If you’re practicing yoga, you’ll notice that your ability to manage pain will improve gradually. In most cases, older people usually suffer from chronic pain, and the medics usually prescribe drugs for some of these issues. Therapy is also highly recommended for those suffering from chronic pain.
We’ve managed to look into how yoga can be beneficial to older people in society. As an elderly individual, enroll in yoga classes, and you’ll witness each of these benefits within a short period.
Memory care is an effective assistance program designed to help those suffering from Alzheimer's or Dementia. It also encompasses those with fledgling memory problems. There's a lot of confusion around this type of care and what it does and doesn't provide. In this article, we'll shed some light on what it is, its advantages and disadvantages, and how you can get involved with it.
What is Memory Care?
There are two main definitions. The first is attributed to a certain program that an assisted living home provides. It's a special part of the building that is designed to be as easy to navigate as possible.
The program also includes several activities and processes designed to stimulate the senior's memory.
The other definition refers to the act of providing activities and mentally stimulating exercises to someone with memory problems or mental decline.
What Activities Are Involved in Memory Care?
There are several different types of activities or therapies used in retention care. In regards to activities, there are games that can be used to help stimulate their mind. One of the most common is solving puzzles. This helps stimulate their minds and keep them active. It encourages the brain to remember where pieces go and figure out where the missing pieces are.
Another popular memory game is Bingo. The game relies on the individual to remember the numbers being called out and match them to their cards. The great thing about Bingo is that it can be customized based on the severity of the mental decline. It's also a game the entire family can enjoy together.
One final memory game that is popular is card matching. Seniors must flip over cards and try to remember where the matching cards were located. This is another great game that the entire family can play together.
As for therapies, there are a few that cognitive decline facilities will use. One of the most important is occupational therapy. As their mental decline worsens, seniors may have difficulty performing tasks that used to bring them feelings of success and accomplishment. That can cause depression.
Occupational therapy includes a caregiver showing seniors how to perform certain tasks for themselves. It helps them re-learn some skills and tasks. Even accomplishing small tasks on their own can give them a boost in their happiness.
Another popular therapy is art therapy. Introducing painting, knitting, playing instruments, and other artistic pursuits can help slow their decline. It requires them to be mentally active. It also engages their creativity which can help ease depression or frustration.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mental Assistance
The advantage of introducing certain games to stimulate your loved one's mind is that it slows mental decline. By keeping their brains active, their memory can last far longer than if nothing was done at all. It can improve their happiness and overall health.
The disadvantage of using a memory assistance facility is that it can be pricey. Without a facility, you may not be able to give your loved ones the attention they need.
Start Providing Care Today
It's possible to slow mental decline on your own with your loved one. Start by playing some of the games listed above regularly. Your family will enjoy them, and your loved one can stay mentally stimulated.
Engaging in physical fitness activities is beneficial to your health. When you exercise, you get to improve your heart rate, mobility, and strength. When you engage in some of these activities in the company of other people, your overall health will improve depending on your age. Unfortunately, some seniors will have a hard time connecting with other people of their age since friends have moved to another city. In some cases, the elderly may have mobility issues, which means they’ll find it hard to move around. You may experience loneliness and isolation, and your mental and physical health will be affected in the process.
If you want to age in a healthy manner, you should be social. We’ll now look into the main reasons why socialization is vital for the seniors:
1. Your Physical Health Will Improve
When you socialize consistently, you’ll notice that your blood pressure will stabilize. The physical pain will reduce, and your immune system will be boosted. Socializing ensures you can engage in more physical activities. A workout buddy comes in handy. You can also engage in sports such as golf and socialize with the people on the golf course.
2. You’ll Have a Sense of Belonging.
Social activities ensure that you’ll stay connected with the people you care about most, considering they will ensure that you’ll have a sense of belonging. You will find out some creative ways to spend time with other people such that you can easily build your support system.
3. Your Mental Health Will be Boosted
When you get in touch with your friends consistently, it means that your emotional health will improve such that you’ll have a lower risk of depression, and you’ll also gain from reduced stress. Socialization also helps to reduce your chances of dementia. Cognitive brain functions also improve when you socialize.
4. Increased Longevity
Some studies have showcased that people connected to others will live long, and they will always be happy. This is because friends will help you deal with stressful situations in life, which is why socialization is essential.
Do you want to become more social? Connecting with other people may be overwhelming to some extent, especially if you don’t have an idea about where you should start. Some of the following activities will come in handy if you want to start a new relationship:
Such activities come in handy when it comes to socializing.
For the elderly, it is advisable to live together with people who have similar interests. As a result, you can reside in a community mainly made up of seniors such that you won’t experience isolation. In such communities, the elderly can converge together when taking meals or engaging in different activities. There are different living options in communities meant for the elderly, and you can easily establish a relationship with people who have similar interests.
During retirement, seniors may balk at the free time they now have at their disposal. As they become older, their ability to do things decreases. One activity that you should encourage your seniors to take part in is a senior book club. In this article, we'll discuss what a senior book club is and how you can get started creating one.
What is a Senior Book Club?
Book clubs consist of a group of individuals that all read the same book. There's usually a deadline on when the book needs to be finished or when a certain number of chapters need to be read. When that deadline has passed, everyone in the club gathers together and discusses the content.
It's a great social activity for those who prefer elevated conversation. Of course, the book doesn't have to be existential or philosophical. It could be a romance or a thriller.
The real point of a book club is to bring people together and get them talking about ideas or exciting parts they found interesting in the book.
A book club designed for seniors is a little bit different. There's a lot more flexibility involved. Some individuals may read at a slower pace than others. The deadlines may need to be more forgiving.
Some book clubs may opt to have the book read together, aloud, and then discussed.
The intention behind the book club may also be different. In a traditional book club, the intention is usually just to discuss ideas and philosophies. In a senior one, the intention may be to give them a reason to stimulate their minds and be more social.
The Benefits of a Book Club for the Elderly
There are a lot of benefits that your loved one can enjoy by joining a book club. The first is socialization. Several elderly individuals are lonely. Their friends may be dead. Their partner may be dead. Book clubs bring them together with other like-minded individuals. It can start off new friendships.
It gives them a chance to socialize. This is essential in slowing mental decline and improving their happiness.
The act of reading, breaking down its content, and voicing one's opinions are all beneficial as well. It stimulates their mind and prevents cognitive decline.
How to Get Started with a Book Club
One of the first steps that you need to take is to find out who's interested. You can ask around your friends to see if their own mothers and fathers are interested. You can even contact nursing homes and assisted living centers to find interested parties.
Then you should create a survey. This survey should ask about their favorite book genres. No one wants to be part of a book club that reads books they're not interested in. You're sure to have enough overlap to create a list of books that everyone finds interesting. You may need to alternate now and then to fit everyone's favorite genre.
Once you have the genre and books figured out, you just need to choose a place where everyone can easily gather. Either the park or a home is the best choice.
Start Your Book Club Today
Book clubs are great for seniors. It brings them together and keeps them mentally stimulated. Start your own book club for the elderly today and watch everyone thrive.
Seniors today have many options for finding a living arrangement that suits their needs. While most seniors will eventually experience a health problem, it is important for older adults and their families to know that many hospitalizations are preventable. Emergency room visits place seniors at risk for picking up other contagious diseases, and recovering from an illness or injury that reaches the point of going to the hospital is often lengthy and emotionally taxing for seniors. Knowing how assisted living communities help to prevent senior hospitalizations gives families a starting point for making the best choices for their loved one’s care plan.
Prevent Fall-Related Injuries With Home ModificationsAn overwhelming amount of senior emergency room visits is due to falls within their home. For seniors with limited mobility, even a simple step can turn into a major fall hazard. Assisted living environments are designed specifically to prevent falls. From having grab bars in the bathroom to ramps and skid-proof floors, a senior is less likely to fall when they live in the safest environment possible.
Catch New Symptoms and Illnesses EarlyMany assisted living homes offer around-the-clock care that may often include nurses and other trained health care professionals. Finding out that a senior has a temperature or is vomiting in the middle of the night means that they may be able to receive care to treat their symptoms before things get out of hand. Being able to manage a common illness, such as a stomach bug, until they can get to the doctor means that seniors can avoid exposure to more pathogens in the emergency room.
Provide Assistance With Medication ManagementIn addition to falls, medication mix-ups are another leading cause of senior hospitalizations. Seniors with memory loss tend to benefit from being in an environment where a caregiver can help remind them when to take their medication. Assisted living caregivers are also great at watching out for unusual side effects from new medications.
Offer Post-Hospitalization CareMany seniors choose to move to assisted living communities after they experience their first major hospitalization. Seniors who are working on their recovery following a stroke or major injury may need assistance with getting out of bed or making meals at first, and trying to do that in a home where they live alone is dangerous. Seniors who have recently been discharged from the hospital also benefit from having someone available to help them watch for things such as infections at their surgical wound site. Catching developing issues early can often prevent hospital readmissions.
Give Support for Chronic Health ConditionsDiabetes, heart disease and COPD are just a few of the health issues that seniors may have as they age. While all of these conditions do pose some challenges, it is still possible for a senior to enjoy many years of a happy life when they have the right types of support. A senior might need help planning nutritious meals that fit their dietary requirements. Or, they may need someone to help remind them about upcoming health maintenance appointments and make sure that they have transportation to get to the doctor. Having these types of support available helps seniors to manage their chronic symptoms so that they don’t lead to an emergency health event.
Encourage Better Overall Health and WellbeingThere is also something to be said about a senior’s mental health. Living alone often leads to isolation, and this can cause seniors to give up on taking care of their health. Many issues can arise during the senior years, and it is important for older adults to have the social support that they need to grieve a loss or learn how to cope with a new health issue. Assisted living communities have activities in place to keep seniors busy and help them meet new people. From going for a walk with another resident of the community to talking to a caregiver about their favorite memories, each day spent in a supportive environment motivates seniors to keep taking care of themselves so that an emergency health problem is less likely to happen.
At some point, almost every senior needs a little assistance to maintain their health and happiness. Living in an environment where their needs are met helps seniors to sail through their golden years with the support they need to avoid frequent visits to the emergency room.