No one likes to think that they will put their loved one in a nursing home one day. Unfortunately, most Alzheimers patients eventually will need to be placed in an Alzheimers care facility. Because Alzheimer’s disease robs a person of his or her ability to handle everyday activities, often families will find they cannot care for their loved one at home. It is usually during the later stages of the disease when patients lose their ability to dress themselves, feed themselves and need help going to the bathroom that an Alzheimer’s care facility is considered by families.
Once your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you should begin considering your options for the future. Include long term care in your planning even if you don’t feel as if you want to go in that direction. It is better to have planned and not need than to need and not plan.
There are several things to know when looking at an Alzheimer’s care facility. You should know how they care for Alzheimers patients and how much experience they have had in dealing with patients suffering from the disease. Do they separate Alzheimer’s patients from the rest of the population? What safety measures are in place? Do they have a restraint policy? What is their end of life policy? Do they provide/encourage hospice care?
Some long term care facilities specialize in treating Alzheimer’s patients. What are the advantages of this type of Alzheimer’s care facility over a more traditional nursing home or assisted living facility?
You should anticipate how you will pay for the Alzheimer’s care facility. Some long-term insurance polices will cover a stay in an Alzheimer’s care facility. Some private insurance companies may cover this expense as well. Many people have set aside funds should they need long-term care and that money is available for the family‘s to pay for the Alzheimer‘s care facility.
There are several types of Alzheimer’s care facilities. You and your loved one’s physician can discuss which Alzheimer’s care facility will best suit the needs of your loved one.
Assisted living facilities provide housing, meals, health care and support for Alzheimer’s patients. This type of Alzheimer’s care facility is also called board and care, adult living and supported care. Many Alzheimer’s patients live in this type of Alzheimer’s care facility after moving out of their homes. This type of Alzheimer’s care facility is often a suitable alternative to a nursing home for Alzheimer’s patients who can still perform some day to day activities. An assisted living facility is not regulated by the federal government.
Some patients want an Alzheimer’s care facility that is targeted to their needs. An Alzheimer’s special care unit may be found in a nursing home or hospital setting where Alzheimer’s patients live within a unit. Treatment at these Alzheimer’s care facilities focuses on the needs of Alzheimer’s patients.
If you are unsure as to what kind of Alzheimer’s care facility your loved one needs, the Alzheimers Association has an online guide. CareFinder (www.alz.org) helps families chose the best Alzheimer’s care facility. CareFinder teaches families how to seek local support. It also guides families as to how to pay for the Alzheimer’s care facility