Finding an Alzheimer’s care facility for your loved one can be very overwhelming. It’s important that you find a place that fits their specific needs as they’re struggling with this debilitating disease. Although it can be very upsetting for both patients and their families to deal with Alzheimer’s disease, care facilities specifically designed for Alzheimer’s can make the process much easier. Here’s everything you need to know when searching for Alzheimer’s care facilities near you.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is one of the most common forms of dementia. People suffering from Alzheimer’s experience a slow but progressive degradation of their brain functioning. In particular, the disease affects memory processes, but it can also affect other mental functioning and ability to keep up a daily routine. This happens because the brain cells slowly break down over time, and the mental connections necessary to maintain regular functioning are no longer there.
How can I tell if my loved one needs to be in an Alzheimer’s care facility?
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell definitively if your family member has a memory disorder or if they’re just experiencing a few normal instances of forgetfulness. If you think your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s, there are some repetitive symptoms you should watch out for. The most important one is regular and consistent memory loss. While a little bit of forgetfulness is normal, if your family member is frequently forgetting names and important events, you should keep an eye on them. Another sign is difficulty with completing normal daily tasks, such as managing a budget, cooking dinner, or reading a book. Again, it’s normal to need assistance with tasks occasionally in old age, but struggling frequently is often an indicator of larger memory problems. If you’re noticing these changes, it’s important to go to a doctor and get a professional’s opinion on whether your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease and whether it is best they receive care in a dedicated Alzheimer’s care home.
Once your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the next step is to determine what level of care they need. In the early stages, they may be able to manage with medication and some help from family or friends at home. However, at some point, they will eventually start to need help throughout the day, because the disease is progressive and uncurable. It’s important to look into Alzheimer’s facilities before the condition extends to this point. It can sometimes be difficult to convince family members that they need to be in a memory care facility. It’s important to start having discussions well before the time comes to make this transition, so they have time to come to terms with it, accept it themselves, and even help with the process of picking out an Alzheimer’s care facility for themselves.
How do I talk to my loved one about Alzheimer’s care?
Another big challenge that comes with aging is talking to your loved ones about Alzheimer’s care. Many people have trouble coming to terms with the disease and therefore are resistant to going to an Alzheimer’s care facility. The first thing to mention to them is that it’s very difficult for you to provide them with the care they need for Alzheimer’s disease without extra medical attention, and that can be very stressful for both of you. Show them how much more comfortable they will be in an Alzheimer’s care facility, and they may start to realize how much of a difference it will make to be in this type of care. Work with them to find a memory care facility that’s comfortable instead of making the decision without them, which can be overwhelming and feel very unfair. If your loved one is particularly resistant, another strategy that works well with Alzheimer’s patients is to convince them to try a care facility for a short period of time, such as one or two weeks. They’ll likely get used to it very quickly, and if they don’t, that might be a sign that they need to be in a different form of care.
What services do Alzheimer’s care facilities offer?
Alzheimer’s facilities offer a variety of services that are incredibly beneficial for patients struggling with memory disorders. One of the most helpful things that Alzheimer’s care facilities provide is access to medical care around the clock by specialists who can offer extensive knowledge and care in this field. Seniors also have dedicated nurses to monitor them and make sure they’re safe and comfortable. Meals and help with daily tasks are provided, as well as cleaning and laundry service, to ensure that the seniors are comfortable and happy throughout the day.
Alzheimer’s care facilities also offer activities and field trips for seniors that are designed to be fun and engaging without being confusing and overwhelming. Transportation is even provided as necessary. It’s still important to enjoy regular social conduct, exercise, and engagement, even when suffering from Alzheimer’s, and so being in a care facility makes this much easier. With supervision, many seniors with Alzheimer’s can even enjoy hobbies and activities they once enjoyed in their youth. Alzheimer’s care facilities are also typically very safe and secure. Seniors with Alzheimer’s are more prone to injuries and to getting lost than those without Alzheimer’s. The staff at an Alzheimer’s facility is there to prevent seniors from getting into these difficult situations. The layout and decor of an Alzheimer’s facility is usually designed specifically to be safe and comforting.
What are the benefits of staying in Alzheimer’s care facilities?
Dedicated Alzheimer’s care facilities offer many benefits to seniors suffering from this disease. The biggest benefit is they’re able to stay healthier later in life, because they have access to the latest medications and treatments for Alzheimer’s. There are many medications that can manage Alzheimer’s symptoms in early stages of the disease, and there are also many types of therapy that provide a gentle stimulation that can lessen symptoms of the disease. Having regular doctor’s appointments can also prevent the development of other serious medical conditions, both physical and mental. Aid from nurses with daily tasks also prevents injury and lessens confusion in Alzheimer’s patients, which helps the seniors stay healthy.
Other benefits that seniors get from staying in an Alzheimer’s care facility are easy ways to socialize with other people and exercise in a gentle, welcoming environment. Even with Alzheimer’s, it’s very important for seniors to get daily interaction with other people. Talking to others will boost mood levels and prevent feelings of depression and loneliness. It also stimulates the neural connections that seniors need to keep strong to prevent further memory loss. Alzheimer’s care facilities also typically offer gentle exercise programs for seniors. There are so many benefits of regular exercise. It keeps the body strong, so it prevents the development of injury and illness. Exercise also releases endorphins in the brain, which regulate mood and reduce stress levels. This is very important for people with Alzheimer’s, because stress can exacerbate the condition.
A final important benefit of Alzheimer’s care facilities is that they take the responsibility off of the patient’s loved ones to manage their care. It can be incredibly stressful to have to take care of a family member with this challenging memory condition while also dealing with other important responsibilities, such as work and kids. When your family member is in an Alzheimer’s care center, you can focus on your daily responsibilities without the constant worry that your loved one needs assistance. Alzheimer’s care homes are also much more comprehensive than traditional retirement homes, which don’t always offer full support for those who require specific memory care. Although they can be expensive, this often makes it a better choice in the long run for families struggling with this challenge, and is worth the investment.
What should I look for in an Alzheimer’s care facility?
There are many things to take into account when looking for Alzheimer’s care facilities. The first is to look into the medical benefits the facility can provide for your loved one. Some facilities require more experienced doctors and nurses than others, and some offer extremely specialized treatment options just for Alzheimer’s. These are all positives that are worth investing in for a patient that struggles with a severe form of the disease. Another thing to consider when looking around for the best Alzheimer’s care facility is how welcoming and homey it is. Does the space look like an apartment, with decorations, soft lighting, and comfortable furniture, or does it feel more like a hospital? Ideally, the facility should really feel like home to the patient. The staff should also be very friendly and caring, and keep the patients’ needs first. Socialization is also something to look for - the seniors should have plenty of opportunities to interact with others and enjoy the community feature that Alzheimer’s care facilities can provide. Safety is another major consideration. The space should be very easy to move around in, have appropriate ADA accommodations, and be simple and easy to navigate for Alzheimer’s patients with severe memory impairment.
Additionally, you’ll want to think about how the transition into an Alzheimer’s care facility will impact your family. Ideally, the Alzheimer’s center should be close enough to the patient’s family and close friends so that they can still visit and keep in touch with these important people from their lives. If a facility is too far away from the patients’ family, the facility may not necessarily know who to contact in the event of an emergency. It can also be quite lonely if the senior doesn’t get to see their family members. The cost of care is another important factor. You may be asking: how much do Alzheimer’s care facilities cost? Nationwide median costs for assisted living were $3,750 per month last year, with Alzheimer’s care facilities costing more money. Most Alzheimer’s facilities are fairly expensive, so it’s important that you find a place that works with your insurance policy or has payment options that fit into your budget.
It’s important to take your time when searching for an Alzheimer’s care community. You should conduct multiple visits to really be sure that the place you are choosing is the best option. The Alzheimer’s patient should also be there with you - even if they can’t give you an articulate opinion on the space, their reaction to it can still be very indicative of their inner feelings about it. You should also interview the nurses, doctors, and other staff, and be sure that all your questions and concerns are addressed before starting care. You’ll likely have to look into multiple Alzheimer’s care homes before you find the one that’s the best fit for your needs.
Are there any cons to Alzheimer’s care facilities?
Generally, if your loved one has Alzheimer’s, it’s easier to have them taken care of by experienced professionals in a safe environment than to try and handle the disease on your own. However, there are a few potential negatives to Alzheimer’s care facilities that are important to know ahead of time so you can address them. The most obvious is that transitioning into an Alzheimer’s care facility can be very overwhelming for some patients, so it’s important to be very sensitive to their feelings and symptoms during this time period. A new, unfamiliar space can be very jarring at first, which can sometimes cause a negative reaction. There are some other potential negatives that go along with staying in an Alzheimer’s care home, like being farther away from family members and friends, as well as a major change in routine. Being aware of these potential negatives ahead of time is very important for making this transition easier. Ideally, the staff of the facility should also be aware of these potential challenges so they can help mitigate them as well.
How can I find an Alzheimer’s care facility near me?
There are several ways to find Alzheimer’s care facilities in your area. The first is to call your current doctor or your insurance provider and see if they can recommend one that they know would be a good fit for you. Another good resource is the Alzheimer’s care directory available on MemoryCareFacilities.net, which you can sort by location or other important factors. A good way to search for the best facilities is to look for ones that specifically market themselves to Alzheimer’s patients, instead of just as general assisted living facilities or nursing homes (the facilities may be marketed as Alzheimer’s nursing homes, assisted living with memory care communities, only memory care communities, or dedicated Alzheimer’s care communities). There are plenty of Alzheimer’s care facilities around the country, so you’re sure to have plenty of choices and should be able to find a great Alzheimer’s care facility near you.
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