Memory loss is a normal result of aging simply due to the fact that we lose brain cells as we get older; however, more significant memory problems can be caused by something else. Alzheimer’s disease is one condition that can cause significant memory loss in senior adults. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that attacks the brain affecting not just the individual’s memory but their thinking and behavior as well. Alzheimer’s disease affects roughly five million Americans, and an Alzheimer’s care facility may be an option to help your loved one.
People with Alzheimer’s have a range of mental problems including the inability to solve problems and to carry out basic daily tasks. As a result, they may be unable to live on their own.
Assessing a Patient’s Need for Alzheimer’s Care
The first step in choosing the right Alzheimer’s care facility is the evaluation of what the patient needs. The person with Alzheimer’s should be involved in the decision-making to the fullest extent possible. It is important for those making the decision to note the way in which the disease progresses. In the early stages, the patient may be able to live independently to a large extent; however, a patient in the middle stages will need supervision. In the latter stages, they may need a far greater level of care. The factors that should be considered include:
The Patient’s Safety
Are they safe living alone? For example, can they be trusted to cook for themselves? If the answer is no, then some amount of supervision will be necessary.
Does the patient have any other chronic medical conditions? If so, they may need help taking medications. Failure to take medications and to take them correctly is a major problem that many seniors face, with or without Alzheimer’s disease. A patient with Alzheimer’s who needs to take medications according to a specific schedule may need to be supervised.
The Patient’s Ability to Manage Personal Care Tasks
Are they able to bathe and dress themselves? Patients may need assistance managing their personal hygiene handling basic tasks like using the toilet. An Alzheimer’s care facility will provide this assistance.
Does the person with Alzheimer’s have a meaningful social life? If not, then spending time with others may be beneficial. Alzheimer’s care facilities provide opportunities for engaging with others, including others who suffer from the same disease.
About Alzheimer’s Care Facilities
Fortunately, there various different kinds of care facilities that cater to those with the disease. There are facilities that provide care to patients at every stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
Memory Care Environments
These are for patients with Alzheimer’s but who still want a certain level of independence. These facilities tend to be located in a special wing of assisted living facilities and have 24-hour support as well as rooms that are semi-private. The premises will be locked and alarms will be in place to keep patients from wandering off. These facilities will have common areas where patients can eat and socialize.
These are facilities where patients will be provided with around-the-clock nursing care. The medical care that they provide is what makes them different from other senior care options. Patients will also get all the same benefits provided by assisted living facilities such as room and board as well as supervision. Activities and therapies may also be available.
Small Group Homes
These are residential dwellings that have been converted to provide care for Alzheimer’s patients. They may also be smaller facilities designed and built to house a limited number of residents.
When choosing an Alzheimer’s care facility, it is important to look for one that is convenient for family and friends to visit. Having loved ones around can be beneficial for the patient’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. The fact that Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease should be kept in mind. If the patient is in the earlier stages of the disease, the chosen facility should be able to accommodate their needs in the later stages as well.
About Senior Path:
We are a professional, senior housing advisory service which provides personal attention to Seniors and their families. We employ a staff of talented, caring Advisors who have vast experience helping Seniors and their families through this transition. Our Advisors have extensive backgrounds in the Senior Care industry enabling them to understand what Seniors want and need.