A decision to move an elderly family member diagnosed with Alzheimer or some other form of Dementia to a care facility can be a difficult one to make for family members. Feelings of incompetence and guilt are natural. Generally, a patient with a cognitive impairment cannot participate in the decision-making process either.
Before you make any decision in this regard, you need to pay attention to the following:
The Time to Move
Time plays a critical role in the decision-making process. An individual at the initial stages of Alzheimer may be cared for in his/her home. However, it is necessary that family members monitor the progress of the condition and take notice of the indications that spell trouble for the patient as well as the caregiver.
With the progress of the condition, individuals may fail to handle regular personal tasks such as brushing or feeding. Patients also exhibit violent behaviour, withdrawal from others, incontinence and confusion. In such circumstances, it may be difficult for the family to provide round the clock care for the patient.
Caregiver stress is also another sign of danger. It is often a daunting task for a single person to take care of an Alzheimer patient. As the condition worsens, the caregiver may find it difficult to keep a continuous watch on the patient. The challenges may result in physical and mental exhaustion.
The Right Care Home
Sometimes, it is in the best interest of both the patient and the family to move to a care home. Many care facilities have separate units dedicated to patients diagnosed with Alzheimer or some other form of Dementia. It is best if you could find such a facility, as it would have care arrangements suitable for Alzheimer patients.
Before you select any particular care home, visit it at least twice or thrice, at different times. Observe every detail. Does the place feel comfortable? If you don’t feel comfortable, your family member would have the same feeling. Does the place have adequate security? Alzheimer’s patients often wander; without security, the risk of injuries becomes higher.
Meet the staff working at the unit designed for Alzheimer’s patients and discuss the care arrangements. Also, talk to the person in charge of planning and designing activities to keep the patients engaged, focused and alert. Another great idea is to talk to the families of other patients living at the facility.
The Expense Involved
Long term care comes at a price. If the health insurance policy covers part of the cost, it could be an advantage. If not, you have to plan it. Before you select a care home, it is important that you check the expenses involved. Find out what it includes and what is billed separately to get an estimate of the total costs.
Keep in mind though that you must not compromise on the quality of living conditions in the care home because of the costs. It is necessary to focus on the standards of care available at the facility first and then consider the costs. After all, you cannot compromise on the health, comfort, security and well-being of your loved one.
A comfortable, secure and well-appointed Alzheimer and Dementia care unit can be the perfect place for long time care. It provides a comfortable environment where the elderly patients can receive round the clock care and assistance from specialised caregivers. A good example is the unit at Barlavington Manor.
It is best to take your time before you decide to move the elderly patient to a care home. Discuss your decision with all family members. Don’t rush into it. Visit the care facilities within close proximity to check the environment and the people. If you think it to be a suitable place for your family member, inquire about the availability.