There comes a point where you can no longer care for a person with Alzheimer’s at home. The individual might need 24-hour care. Alternatively, he might have wandered too much, have unwanted angry outbursts, etc. Eventually, you won’t be able to handle all of this at home anymore. At this point, seeking out a long term care facility is a smart idea.
You will no doubt feel some guilt or an admission of defeat, but this is far from the truth! Moving this person to a long-term care facility is the best decision that you can make. You’ll also have greater peace of mind in knowing that your loved one is safe and getting the care that they need.
However, choosing the right facility is of the utmost importance. It can be challenging to know where to start, but we’ll show you how to start. Below you’ll find an overview of the best questions to ask and other resources to begin your search.
Phase 1: Residential Alzheimer’s Care Facilities Near Me
These are places for people who can’t care for themselves anymore. Some nursing homes have special wings for Alzheimer’s care. These are separated from the main wings and staffed by workers who understand how to treat those with Alzheimer’s. In the majority of cases, you’ll have to pay for care at nursing homes. Most nursing homes accept Medicaid. Long term care insurance can also cover some of the costs.
As the name implies, these are for groups of people. Specifically, a group of people who can’t care for themselves and are attended by two or more staff members total. A minimum of 1 caregiver will always be on site. Some group homes do accept persons with Alzheimer’s, but you’ll have to pay for it. Group homes might not be inspected or regulated, but that doesn’t mean the quality of care is necessarily any less.
Assisted Living Centers
As the name implies, assisted living means assistance, and this also means that the residents can, for the most part, take care of themselves. These facilities offer rooms, apartments, and assistance with daily tasks that are too difficult for residents to perform. Assisted living facilities do have wings for people with Alzheimer’s disease. You will have to pay for the cost of the room or apartment, and any other additional care that the resident requires.
Continuing care retirement communities
This kind of community can include homes, apartments, or rooms. A person with Alzheimers or dementia can get care here also. Each community can differ in the amount of care they offer. Some are for those who can live independently, while others are for those who need 24-hour care, and most are somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. Many communities also offer all three options. In these types of communities, residents can easily move from one level of care to another.
Phase 2: Information Gathering
Now that you know your options for long term care facilities, you are ready to take steps to find the right place near you.
- Talk to everyone you know, including support group members, friends, social workers, family members, and the doctor of the Alzheimer’s patient. Ask them if they know about any facilities in the area.
- Two resources you can also check include Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare, as well as the Joint Commission’s Quality Check.
- Come up with a list of questions to ask the facility.
- Schedule a call and a date to visit the facility.
- Visit Your Top Choices
Now it’s time to pay a visit to the promising options. You will want to schedule more than one visit, though, and at different times of the day. You want to see how the facility operates at all hours of the day, including in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night time.
Things to observe:
- How does the staff treat and care for residents?
- How friendly are the staff?
- Does the place have a comfy vibe?
- What is the attitude of the people living there? Do they seem happy?
- Do the residents appear to be clean and well cared for?
- How are meals served? Are residents comfortable when eating?
- How is the facility maintained in terms of cleanliness? ‘
- Does it smell good and hygienic?
- What is the tone of staff members? Do they speak to residents with respect?
Questions to ask staff:
- Are there any planned activities for residents, and if so, what are they?
- What is the total number of staff at the facility and the staff to resident ratio? And how many of those are trained to give medical care if required?
- How many people in the facility have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia?
- Is there a special, separate unit for those with Alzheimer’s? And if so, what additional services are included there?
- Does the facility have scheduled doctor appointments for residents? If so, then how often?
- How does an average day go for Alzheimer’s residents?
- Is there a safe and secure area outside for residents to go to?
- What’s included in the extra costs for Alzheimer’s residents?
- What transportation, if any, is included to get to medical appointments?
You’ll also want to have a chat with other caregivers who have loved ones at the community to see what their experience has been.
Remember that costs are different at every facility, so you’ll want to find out all the details. Ask if long term care insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare will cover the costs. When it comes to Medicare, they only cover nursing home costs for a brief period after the person with Alzheimer’s has been staying in the hospital for a specified amount of time.
And finally, if you must sign a contract, be sure that you understand precisely what you’re signing up for!