Learning you, a parent or loved one has Alzheimer's can seem like an impossible mountain standing in front of you. Not only are you worried about the decline, but finding the perfect home for elderly patients with Alzheimer's is important. Discover what to look for in different nursing homes for seniors with Alzheimer's at the early, moderate or advanced stages.
Home Care for All Stages of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's patients need constant care and supervision to remain safe in their environment. It often becomes impossible for family members to provide the care that is needed for their loved one. Alternative living arrangements for those with Alzheimer's differ based on the stage of their disease. Most homes for those with Alzheimer's are for people in the early-to-moderate stages of their disease progression.
When the disease progresses to the late stage, the patients are then moved to a nursing home for full-time care. However, there are homes that offer continuous care throughout all of the stages of an Alzheimer's patient's life.
Assisted Living for Early-to-Moderate Stage Alzheimer's Patients
An attractive alternative for people in the early-to-moderate stages of Alzheimer's disease are specially-equipped assisted living facilities. These facilities known as special care units, or SCUs, are staffed with people specifically trained to care for those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. These types of assisted living facilities offer Alzheimer's patients the care and supervision they need in addition to the stimulation that is required to keep them active and involved in their lives.
What to Look for in an Assisted Living Facility
When considering an assisted living home for your loved one with Alzheimer's, there are several important and specific criteria that should be met.
- The living environment should be well-supervised, safe, clean and comfortable.
- The facility and staff need to meet the requirements necessary for ensuring the safety of wandering patients.
- There should be a structured routine.
- Familiar tasks, such as making a bed, planting flowers or baking brownies, should be encouraged so the residents achieve a sense of success and accomplishment.
- Structured activities should be geared toward familiar habits and pastimes of the residents.
SCUs in assisted living facilities vary in the type of Alzheimer's patients they are equipped to care for. Many will only accept patients in the early stages of the disease while others accept those in early-to-moderate stages. As more elderly become afflicted with Alzheimer's, SCUs in many facilities are becoming equipped to have their residents stay in the homes throughout the late stages of the disease, as well as providing hospice care. Examples of alternative home settings that provide care throughout all of the Alzheimer's patients life include:
The Cost of Assisted Living Special Care Units
The cost of living in an SCU of an assisted living facility is generally paid for privately by the patient's family, insurance or estate. Costs for these services range from $3,000-$8,000 per month, depending upon the facility and the location.
Nursing Homes for Late Stage Alzheimer's Patients
When the progression of Alzheimer's disease has reached the late stage, nursing home care is often the only option. These patients need round-the-clock medical care and supervision as their condition declines.
Resources for Finding Homes for Elderly with Alzheimer's
- A Place for Mom offers assistance with finding assisted living facilities for Alzheimer's patients throughout the United States.
- An excellent resource for finding homes for Alzheimer's patients is Seniors for Living. This website also offers informative articles and resources regarding other types of senior living arrangements.
- Another helpful resource, Elder Care, provides help with all aspects of Alzheimer's disease including finding alternative home settings.
Homes for elderly with Alzheimer's vary in services offered based on the individual's stage of the disease. Finding the right home for your loved one afflicted with Alzheimer's will ensure their safety in a supervised setting while allowing them to keep their independence and dignity throughout the progression of the disease.