Deciding where someone with Alzheimer’s should live can be difficult.
The decision for nursing home or live in for Alzheimer s patient may be the hardest decision you make. Unfortunately because Alzheimers disease is progressive, the decision may need to be reviewed periodically as the disease advances. It can be stressful if you don’t know where to look for information. Marie and John’s situation changed as his disease progressed.
Initially Marie cared for her husband John at home. Both in their 60s when John’s doctor diagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease, John and Marie did quite well for several years. John was naturally a quiet man, and remained so after the diagnosis.
With the support of doctors, her family, church and help with house cleaning and nurses aides, Marie cared for John for several years at home.
Marie was a retired schoolteacher. She knew how to ask for help, and was not afraid or ashamed to do so.
Each person is a unique situation. And diseases like Alzheimer’s show up differently in different people. So what worked for Marie and John, may not in your situation.
Where can you find help?
1. Start with medical advice. You need to know the facts about the disease in your loved one. And associated conditions may affect medications, behavior and the disease progress. So a great place to start is with the doctor of the person with Alzheimer’s.
2. Ask questions about where to find help. Find out where you can get more help in your community. You may need to make some adjustments in your home.
3. Be sure to ask your own doctor if you are able to care for him or her at home. You may have a medical condition that limits your ability to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. It can be emotionally, physically and financially stressful to care for someone else. You want to be sure you’re able to without jeopardizing your own health and future.
4. You should plan to take breaks from caregiving. Short daily breaks and longer regular breaks can recharge your energy and enthusiasm for caregiving.
5. Be willing to reassess your options periodically. As the disease progresses, your needs and that of your loved one may change.
6. Ask your social support system for help. This can be family, friends, church, etc. Ask for help. Find out who wants to and can help – and how. Maybe someone can do shopping for you. Or sit with your loved one while you get a needed break.
7. And you may need other help finding options in your area. Sometimes the answers don’t seem obvious or you don’t have time to do all the searching yourself. One nationwide resource is at www.AskDrIna.com/Options.
They help folks every day find solutions to elder care.
Remember to take care of yourself while you care for another.
To your healthy caregiving,
Ina Gilmore M.D. (ret.)
“The Knitting Dr.”
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider.
Full Disclaimer and Disclosure.