Choosing between a nursing home or live in for Alzheimer s patient can be a difficult decision for families.
Most people think seniors prefer to live at home.
And while that’s generally true, they may be more resilient than you think. Here’s a true story of an elderly couple who did very well after moving from their home. Their names have been changed…
When Joe started becoming more withdrawn, his wife Marie was concerned.
Normally quiet and reserved, Joe seemed more withdrawn with time. And he stopped doing his favorite activities like woodworking. His tools — once kept spotless — gathered dust on his workbench.
After Joe’s doctor diagnosed Alzheimers disease, Marie quietly began looking into assisted living and nursing home options.
She found a facility with lots of options. It had an Alzheimer’s wing, a skilled nursing unit, a nursing home and assisted living cottages.
And residents moved from one level to another easily.
The range of options seemed ideal to Marie. The only downside was it was too far for her to drive daily to visit.
She considered live in help, but before she could arrange it the decision was made for her…
When Joe started becoming combative with Marie and leaving the house in the middle of winter clad only in his pajamas, she knew it was time. The facility gave Joe an evaluation for the safest alternative.
Joe moved into the locked Alzheimer’s wing where he seemed happy, and Marie knew he was safe. Rather than staying in their three-story house alone, Marie moved into one of the assisted living cottages.
Here she could visit Joe daily, walking a short distance to see him. She ate almost every meal with him. As his disease progressed, she fed him his meals.
She made new friends, adjusting quickly to their new lives.
When considering a nursing home or live in for Alzheimers, when would more care be a better option?
- Safety of the person with Alzheimer’s. Someone who wanders like Joe in inappropriate clothing is at risk for getting hurt. Had Joe walked out in a snowstorm, he might not have been found until too late.
- Safety of other people. When Joe became combative he could have hurt Marie or a live in aide. The facility’s staff evaluated him as often as needed. And when he needed adjustments in his medications they could be made more easily in the facility than at home.
- Level of care needed more than can be provided at home. This may be more than safety. Dressing and bathing an adult can be physically demanding. So can feeding an adult. And a senior spouse may just not be up to the physical demands.
Of course your individual situation may include other reasons for deciding between a nursing home or live in for Alzheimer s Patient not covered here.
Do you know…?
Often family members are concerned when someone with dementia wants to “go home.”
And in love they want to grant them this wish.
Sometimes though the home they want to go to is a childhood home. Perhaps it no longer exists or is quite different than their memory. The person may be easily reassured or distracted about “going home.”
Are you thinking about these decisions for your loved one?
Choosing options including nursing home or live in for Alzheimer s patient can take more time than you have.
And sometimes you don’t know what questions to ask. You may be able to get help locally through your loved ones’ doctor or local Agency on Aging.
There are services that will help you find the right alternative for you and your loved one. Such as this one that has FREE information…
Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s,
Ina Gilmore M.D. (ret.)
“The Knitting Dr.”
Ambassador of Elder Care, HowToLiveOnPurpose.com
Founder, CaregivingWithPurpose.com and TheKnittingYarn.com
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