For those with loved ones struggling with dementia, it can be incredibly difficult to find them the care they need in a safe and affordable environment. Luckily, there is an increasing number of dementia care facilities available to treat this debilitating condition. These facilities are specifically designed with dementia patients in mind. Here’s everything you need to know about dementia care facilities, from what they can offer to how to choose one for your loved one and how to find a dementia care home near you.
What is dementia?
The first thing to know before searching for dementia care facilities is what dementia actually is and how it affects the brain and body. Dementia is a very unique condition because it’s not actually one disease, it’s a combination of symptoms that together result in a loss of essential daily functions. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, but there are many other forms of it as well. It’s important to talk with your loved one’s doctor to understand the form their dementia takes so you can find the best care for them. The most common symptoms are a loss of memory and impaired social skills, which can make it incredibly difficult to complete daily tasks.
What are common dementia treatments?
While dementia cannot be cured, there are treatments you can use that can help improve symptoms. There are many medications that are effective for treating dementia symptoms early on in the disease. Environmental therapy is also very helpful for seniors with dementia. This process involves making their environment cleaner and less confusing, and teaching them memory coping skills for when they experience an episode. Soothing activities, such as listening to music, coloring, spending time with a pet, or gentle exercise, are incredibly beneficial for dementia sufferers, because it helps them feel more comfortable in their environment.
How do I determine if my loved one should be in a dementia care facility?
It can be very difficult to make the ultimate decision about whether or not your loved one should be in a dementia care center. It’s very important that they get the medical care they need in a place that’s right for them, so take your time researching the right dementia care home and talking to doctors to make sure a dementia care facility is really going to be the right first. The first thing to do if you suspect dementia is to get it diagnosed by a professional, ideally one who specializes in the field. You’ll need to watch for things such as forgetting names and important details, repeating questions or stories, forgetting common words, trouble with finances, misplacing items, and feeling disoriented at home. Of course, some of these symptoms aren’t necessarily an indication of dementia, but if they’re happening regularly, it’s important to get them looked at.
Once your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you’ll need to determine how much help they need to get through their day. Even if your family member doesn’t need much help now, they might need more assistance as the dementia progresses, and so it’s best to get them into a treatment facility sooner rather than later to make sure they are properly taken care of when things do get truly challenging. Many families opt to start with in-home care for dementia, which is typically more affordable, and then progress to a full-time dementia care facility later on. If you opt for this route, just be sure to carefully monitor your senior’s mental and physical health so that they can get the treatment they need at the appropriate times. There are ways of managing symptoms to keep your loved one functioning normally for a time, but as dementia progresses, they will need more help to get through the day.
What services do dementia care facilities offer?
Dementia care facilities offer a variety of services to help patients live a comfortable life and manage their symptoms. Close access to medical care and emergency services is very helpful, and dementia care facilities have doctors that specialize in memory disorders and elderly care on staff. They offer help from staff throughout the day with basic tasks, such as eating meals, dressing, bathing, and whatever else they may need. Cleaning services are usually included as well. There are also social programs and communities designed specifically for seniors with dementia so they get the care they need. For example, they’ll often offer gentle exercise programs that aren’t too mentally challenging so seniors can follow along. Dementia care communities may also offer activities that are designed to be soothing and comfortable for seniors, no matter how far along they are in their decline. Although socializing becomes difficult for patients with dementia, it is still very important that they spend time with other people. Finally, dementia care homes also offer security around the clock to keep dementia patients safe. The layout of the facility is typically designed to aid with patients’ memory and reduce confusion. This 24/7 security and care will prevent your loved one from getting into an accident.
How is dementia care different from traditional assisted living?
Although dementia care facilities offer many of the same features that assisted living homes do, there are some specific services that are designed to address dementia. These facilities are typically more secure than traditional assisted living homes, and all patients have 24/7 supervision and security, which you typically would not get in an assisted living community. Dementia care facilities typically also offer specific activities for their patients that are designed for dementia, so that seniors can stay occupied and happy without feeling too overwhelmed.
How much do dementia care facilities cost?
Dementia care facilities can be quite expensive, and this is something to be prepared for ahead of time when moving your loved one into a dementia care home. Costs for dementia care can often run much higher than costs of typical assisted living because of the additional security and specialized care offered. Average costs for dementia care can run as much as $5,000 per month. However, if your loved one has Medicare or Medicaid coverage, some of this cost may be covered, easing your financial burden somewhat. It’s very important to discuss costs and finances with any facilities you’re considering before making a decision, and be sure to check for hidden fees when reading over a lease or care contract.
What are the benefits of moving to a dementia care facility?
There are so many benefits to moving into a dementia care facility for seniors suffering with this critical condition. The first is that they can get the specialized care they need, which means they’ll likely lived longer, more comfortable lives. Since care is available on-site regularly, the doctors will be able to monitor your loved one as needed to provide the most up-to-date treatment plan. They’ll also be given the aid they need with their daily tasks, which not only prevents accidents, but also ensures that they are clean, hydrated, and well-fed. It can be difficult for families to help with daily tasks, so working with a dementia care center that provides this type of care ensures that your senior will be adequately dressed, bathed, and fed every day. They’ll also be given cleaning and laundry services, and staff will help them with their favorite daily activities or hobbies to give them a feeling of being at home.
Additionally, being in dementia care facilities can help dementia patients feel safer and minimize confusion as they’re dealing with the disease. Since activities and spaces in the facility are designed to be soothing, they can help patients remain calm when they feel overwhelmed. Staff members are also trained to provide resources to help patients handle the mental and emotional challenges that come with having dementia. They’ll also assure that your family member is safe and keep them from wandering off, which is a common problem many people with dementia experience. Taking care of a family member who has dementia can be very overwhelming, and so having that family member in a care facility that’s specifically designed for their needs can be a big stress reducer during this challenging time.
What should I look for in a dementia care facility?
There are many things to look for when searching for dementia care facilities for your loved one. The first thing to look for is a credentialed staff of doctors, nurses, and caretakers. You should always look into the education and training of the staff that work at the dementia care home. They should have specific experience in working with dementia patients. You should also look at what the requirements are to work there - the more stringent they are during their hiring process, the more likely they are to provide great service for their patients.
You should also look at how comfortable the dementia care facility is. Staff should make an effort to keep the place homey and welcoming for seniors, with rooms and common areas that are comfortable. There should be events and activities planned to make sure seniors are occupied and have the opportunity to be social, and they should be able to participate in hobbies they’ve enjoyed in the past as well. Additionally, the dementia care home should be secure and safe for seniors. There should be accommodations for any physical disabilities patients may have, and there should be supervision to keep seniors from walking off or getting into accidents. Many dementia care patients struggle with feelings of confusion, which means they have a hard time remembering where they’re supposed to be going and can be prone to wandering when they’re feeling unsure of where they are. The staff should be able to address this in a safe and caring manner. It’s also important that your loved one expresses an opinion about where they’d like to be to the extent that they can understand. It may help to tour different dementia care facilities before making a decision and see how they react to each one. Even if your senior is struggling with expressing how they feel about each facility, you’ll likely notice differences in how they act in each space or respond to the caregivers, which can be a good indication of their comfort level.
Other things to consider are the cost of the dementia care facility and how close it is to the rest of your family. Senior care can be quite expensive, so it’s important to find a good memory care facility that fits within your budget. If you’re struggling to pay for it, talk to the staff about payment plan options, and be sure to look into Medicare as well. There are ways to lessen the financial burden involved in dementia care. Many families will also want to keep their loved ones close, and would prefer a memory care facility that’s within driving distance. This is an important consideration for many reasons - not only does it allow family members to spend more time with patients, but it also means that there’s someone nearby who can come by in case of an emergency.
How can I find dementia care facilities near me?
There are many ways to find a good dementia care facility that’s conveniently located for you. The first is to look at local directories and call around to see which places offer specific memory care options. The next is to talk to your doctor, who likely can recommend a dementia care home that will work particularly well for your family member’s needs. You may also want to talk to your insurance company to find out which dementia care facilities are covered. If you’re struggling to find a good option in your area, you may have to look a bit farther out in your metro area or in other parts of your state. Look through our directory of dementia care facilities to locate one in your area.
Although treating dementia can be scary, the range of dementia care facilities available throughout the United States are a great resource for families struggling with the condition. Don’t wait until the last minute to find treatment for your loved one - start looking now to make sure they’re safe and taken care of.
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