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.