Alzheimer Care

Choosing Alzheimer Care for Your Loved One

Alzheimer Care

Choosing Alzheimer’s Care for Your Loved One

(ARA) – Many people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s live safely at home, even though they may need plenty of memory cues like lists and notes. Over time, though, Alzheimer’s causes memory loss and thinking problems that could make living at home dangerous.

For example, Alzheimer’s patients who are in the mid- to late-stages of the disease have been known to leave appliances such as the stove or the coffee pot on, and wander to unsafe places such as a busy intersection or unfamiliar part of town.

When this happens, Alzheimer experts at Beverly Healthcare, a leading provider of eldercare services including Alzheimer’s care, advise that families look for a nursing home with a program or unit designed specifically for people with Alzheimer’s.

“People in the mid-stages of Alzheimer’s need 24-hour supervision and care. A setting like Alzheimer’s Care at Beverly with specially designed programming provides the care they need, and also gives them a chance to live in a place where they can enjoy life and remember happier times,” said Ed McMahon, director of Alzheimer’s care and quality of life for Beverly Healthcare.

Making the decision to look for long-term care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is rarely easy. However, when families find the right nursing home — where they know that their loved one will be happy and safe — the transition can be smoother for everyone. Beverly Healthcare suggests that families ask the following questions when looking for expert Alzheimer care for a loved one.

What do you do to make sure the nursing home feels like the patient’s own home?

An important feature to look for when visiting an Alzheimer’s care unit is the feeling of home. If the unit doesn’t smell or sound like what you’d expect in a regular home, it may not be the right place.

Since people with Alzheimer’s need the comfort of feeling like they’re at home, many Alzheimer’s units offer the little details that make a big difference, for example, hanging quilts on the walls for a homey feeling or offering meals family-style in a dining room or kitchen.

What opportunities do you provide for my loved one to participate in meaningful activities?

Many Alzheimer’s programs provide scheduled activities, but some go a bit further and offer residents a chance to engage in meaningful activities throughout the entire day, including the evening hours. Some companies, such as Beverly Healthcare, have designed rooms to resemble soda shops, libraries, boutiques, sunrooms and front porches that residents have access to 24 hours a day.

While Alzheimer’s patients may have trouble remembering the recent past and the present, many remember the days when they were younger. Rooms like those mentioned above can help residents remember those happier times from many years ago.

How will you keep my loved one safe?

Since many people with Alzheimer’s are continually looking for “home,” they tend to wander without regard for their own personal safety, so it’s important to ask about the program’s safety measures.

Consider asking if your loved one will be living in an area that is secure 24 hours a day. If residents have access to the outdoors, such as a courtyard, you will also want to ask how that area is secured.

How is your staff trained to handle the complex issues of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s?

Ask the program director if the staff has had special training to understand the effects of Alzheimer’s and if they promote ongoing education.

In addition to asking the staff questions about the program, ask residents and visitors how they feel about the program and its staff. You may want to consider spending some time in the unit so you can see firsthand the interaction between the residents and staff.

 

 

FAQ

How can you help someone with Alzheimer’s?

10 Ways to Help a Family Living with Alzheimer’s

* Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s disease.

* Stay in touch.

* Be patient.

* Offer a shoulder to lean on.

* Engage the person with dementia in conversation.

* Offer to help the family with its to-do list.

* Engage family members in activities.

* Offer family members a reprieve.

How do you keep an Alzheimer’s patient at home?

In addition, consider taking these safety precautions throughout your home:

* Prepare for emergencies.

* Use night lights.

* Treat slippery or uneven surfaces.

* Adjust the home phone and voice mail settings.

* Keep stairs safe.

* Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

* Check the locks.

What should you not do with Alzheimer’s?

* Don’t Ignore Them.

* Don’t Talk to Them Like They’re a Young Child or a Baby.

* Don’t Use Terms of Endearment Instead of Names.

* Don’t Assume They’re Confused All the Time.

* Don’t Quiz Them.

Can a person with Alzheimer’s be left alone?

In general, once a patient enters the moderate phase of dementia (the phase in which they require some help with their basic activities of daily living like dressing, bathing and grooming), it is unsafe to leave them alone for even short periods of time.

At what point do dementia patients need 24 hour care?

Late stage Alzheimer’s sufferers become unable to function and eventually lose control of movement. They need 24-hour care and supervision. They are unable to communicate, even to share that they are in pain, and are more vulnerable to infections, especially pneumonia.

Is it possible to care for someone with dementia at home?

A person with dementia may need monitoring and help at home or in an institution. Possible options include: Adult day care.

What should a caregiver possess when taking care of a person with Alzheimer’s disease?

* We also cover self-care tips for caregivers and when to seek professional help.

* Learn about Alzheimer’s disease.

* Create a routine.

* Plan activities.

* Promote ongoing communication.

* Help them eat a nutritious diet.

* Boost their self-esteem.

* Keep them safe.

* Help them keep their animal companion.

What do Alzheimer’s patients think about?

As Alzheimer’s progresses, your loved one might recognize faces but forget names. They might also mistake a person for someone else, for instance, think their wife is their mother. Delusions might set in, such as thinking they need to go to work even though they no longer have a job.

What should you not say to someone with Alzheimer’s?

I’m going to discuss five of the most basic ones here: 1) Don’t tell them they are wrong about something, 2) Don’t argue with them, 3) Don’t ask if they remember something, 4) Don’t remind them that their spouse, parent or other loved one is dead, and 5) Don’t bring up topics that may upset them.

How often should you visit someone with dementia?

Shorten your visits. The person with dementia usually doesn’t remember if you have been there for five minutes or five hours. Ultimately it’s better to visit three times per week for 20 minutes than once a week for an hour.