With age comes wisdom, toothless grins and happy memories with our loved ones. Most silver-foxes become warm, cheerful, or grumpy, slow and aggressive. However, there isn’t anything disheartening as people become incontinent, violent and wander due to Alzheimer’s disease. Guilt and frustration may set in when you choose to move your loved one to a care home. Hence, to get a greater peace of mind, it’s good to get the best facility for those snow-frost-haired seniors.
1. Assess the needs of the patient
In this first step, involve the person with Alzheimer’s to determine their needs.
- Personal care: Does the person need more attention than what you are providing now? Do they need assistance in dressing, cooking, or bathing?
- Healthcare: Is your loved one in need of more specialized medical care than you can provide? Does the facility have a medical caregiver?
- Safety: Does the facility provide enough safety and supervisor for activities the person with Alzheimer’s may need?
- Social Activities – Does the person engage in hobbies or social activities during the day? Can they find people with the same interest in the chosen facility?
2. Types of residential care facilities
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, the amount of care given to patients increases. You will be taunted by the amount of work you’ll do for them such as, bathing feeding, meal preparation and personal care. When pull comes to shove, you may need to consider residential care. There are several options available:
A loved one may reach a point where skilled nursing care is mandatory. Nursing facilities offer round the clock, medical care, supervision, room and boarding services. Nursing homes also advise on nutritional issues, spiritual needs and care planning.
This option is suited for patients that need assistance with daily tasks such as dressing and meal preparation. For those not in need of medical care, assisted living provides the right support. In Portland for example, the patients live in communities and they get an apartment or shared suite residence. There are a 24-hour staff and housekeeping, laundry, transportation and recreational services are provided.
Special care units SCUs
Special care units like Oregon Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care units are found within residential facilities and are designed for people with Alzheimer’s. The SCU group’s people with Alzheimer are together in a wing of a residence. In SCUs, staff have specialized training in Alzheimer’s care and safety measures like emergency exits are assured.
3. Information is key
Gather information from the right places. These are the most probable places:
- Have a checklist or questions to ask when you make inquiries at a facility.
- Make several visits to the facility (you considering) at different times of the day to observe their services.
- Talking to Alzheimer’s support groups, caregivers, social workers, doctors, or family members about facilities.
- There are so many resources to check, such as health care magazines, internet, flyers.
4. Make a smooth transition
Moving your loved one is more stressful – emotions run high when sense of loss, guilt and sadness tend to overwhelm you. Therefore, plan a smooth transition in the following ways:
- Get a social worker to help you plan and adjust as the moving day approaches.
- Don’t argue with the Alzheimer’s patient about your decision to move them.
- Make acquaintances with the care staff before the D-day
5. Make follow-ups
You are the patient’s advocate; hence, once you’ve moved your loved one into a dementia care facility, make successive follow-ups to ensure that their needs are met. Since you know the patient best, look out for signs such as withdrawals or too much medication. Build a good rapport with the caregivers; you may get them to work with you as partners.
Article Submitted By Community Writer