Many of us make it a goal to directly support our parents, grandparents, and other elderly loved ones for as long as possible. However, for some families, the time will come when they decide that they need to move their loved one with dementia to a living facility (also known as a nursing home or assisted living facility).
Making this decision can be a difficult and emotional process. It can be overwhelming to think about the changes that will take place for both you and your loved one, but it is important to remember that each care decision is unique to your family’s situation, and is made in the best interest of your loved one’s health and safety.
These facilities provide specialized care and support for individuals with dementia, allowing them to live comfortably and with dignity. The trained staff are equipped to handle daily needs, providing peace of mind for both you and your loved one. It is also important to remember that this transition can be an opportunity for you to continue having a meaningful relationship with your loved one in a new environment.
This article will outline some tips to guide you through what you should consider when selecting an assisted living facility for your loved one. This will include reviewing your budget, visiting establishments, and weighing the advantages and drawbacks to each before making a final selection.
Finding suitable accommodation for individuals who can no longer live alone is a big decision. Use these suggestions to help find the best possible arrangement for your loved one.
If your loved one is newly diagnosed or is still in the early stages of dementia, have a discussion about their wishes regarding assisted living and other end-of-life management (such as an advance directive/”living will” and other legal planning). If possible, begin having these discussions and making arrangements as soon as possible after your loved one’s diagnosis. Being involved in these decisions on their own terms can give your loved one great peace of mind after their diagnosis.
However, if your loved one is in the mid-to-late stages of dementia, these conversations can be needlessly stressful. If you’re having trouble making the decision yourself or are feeling overwhelmed, enlist in the help of other family members or close friends.
Memory care facilities are directly equipped to handle Alzheimer’s and dementia. These are ideal for your loved one as staff will be specially trained to deal with their condition.
Cost is a significant factor to consider while selecting an assisted living home. You don’t want to find the “perfect home” only to realize that it isn’t financially feasible. Here are some tips on how to prepare.
It is important to remember that while cost is an important factor, it should not be the only factor considered when selecting a care home for your elderly parent. The safety, comfort, and overall quality of care provided should also be taken into account when making your decision.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are both viable options depending on your loved one’s needs, but they differ in the level of care provided. Both provide a safe and comfortable living environment, but nursing homes usually offer more intensive medical care and supervision, while assisted living facilities are a more independent living option with support services.
Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical supervision and care, with licensed nurses and medical professionals on staff. They are typically recommended for seniors who require frequent medical attention and assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. They also offer other healthcare-related services.
Assisted living facilities offer a more independent living option with support services, such as assistance with daily activities and medication management. They also provide social activities and opportunities for residents to engage with one another. Assisted living facilities are suitable for seniors who need some assistance but do not require constant medical supervision.
Assisted living facilities may be an option if your loved one is still in the early-to-mid stages of dementia, but keep in mind that as their condition and required level of care advances, it will be harder on them to make a move to a more advanced facility.
Remember that there are memory care facilities designed specifically for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and that these are most likely to align with your loved one’s needs.
Reviews can help you and your family identify the most suitable care facilities in your area. If researching online, pay special attention to more recent reviews, as they can most accurately speak to the state and quality of care in the facility.
Speaking to families of other residents is another ideal option as you can ask detailed questions and get a very recent outlook on the state of the facility.
Figure out what works and doesn’t work for your loved one. Prioritize their needs and desires. One reviewer’s glowing review or deal breaker may not be a huge advantage or issue for your parent. However, if you encounter anything concerning, such as allegations of neglect or abuse, move on to a different facility.
Remember that reviews by themselves cannot paint a full picture. It’s best to also plan a visit and take a look yourself.
Here are some tips on what to look for when touring the ideal living facility for your loved one.
The size of facilities can vary greatly, from small group homes housing less than 10 people per facility, to extra-large facilities housing over a hundred. According to NCAL, the average number of licensed beds in an assisted living facility is 33. The size of facilities can vary greatly, so figure out what works best for your loved one’s unique needs.
In a group home, there are fewer residents and as few as one staff member for every five or six residents, allowing staff members to provide personalized care and get to know each resident. Larger facilities, however, are more likely to provide a greater variety of amenities and services for residents.
Prioritize what matters most to your loved one to find the facility that will strike the perfect balance.
Here are a few tips on how to ease the transition process for your loved one.
Selecting your loved one’s future living facility can be a daunting process, but remember that all of the work you’re putting in is ensuring a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place for them.
Communication and collaboration between family members, healthcare providers, and care home staff can help to ensure a smooth transition. It’s also important to remember that it’s never too early to start planning, even if you don’t plan to make the transition for some time.
Overall, with the right support and consideration of their unique needs, a senior with dementia can continue to live a fulfilling life in a care home setting.