What Is Alzheimer?
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for around 60-70% of all cases of dementia, and effects about 5 million Americans. It is classified as a neurodegenerative disease, that begins slowly and will gradually worsen over time. In the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s, the most common symptom is an inability to remember recent events. As the disease progresses the symptoms gradually branch out.
Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease:
- Problems with language
- Mood swings
- Loss of motivation
- Uncharacteristic behavioral issues
- Getting lost in familiar territory, such as while taking a walk in their own neighborhood
- Being unable to recall common details such as their address or phone number
- Forgetting to lock doors, turn off appliances, or close drawers and cabinets
- Becoming uncharacteristically suspicious or fearful of others
As a person’s symptoms progress, it is very common for them to withdraw from their family bonds, and social interactions. This is why it is so important to begin discussions about Alzheimer Care Facilities, while the person is still able to have some input, and make some decisions for themselves. Giving a person with Alzheimer’s the opportunity to make decisions about their future care, can make the transition easier for everyone involved.
In the earliest stages of diagnosis, most people wish to live at home with their loved ones, and that is definitely encouraged by medical professionals. While the disease is still manageable, and the patient isn’t a danger to themselves, it can be very important for the patient and the loved ones to spend as much time together as possible.
When diagnosed in the early stages, there are advanced treatments and cognitive therapies that have been proven to slow down the advancement of the disease. The most concentrated of these therapies are what is being offered to people in Alzheimer’s Care Facilities every day.
Making the transition from home into an Alzheimer’s Care Facility before the later stages of the disease, allows the person to adjust to the new environment, and in many cases can slow down the progression of disease. The sooner a person begins to receive the round-the-clock specialized care offered by Alzheimer Care facilities, the better the overall results.
Is Time to Seek Long-Term Alzheimer’s Care?
Naturally, the decision as to when it is time for you or your loved one to make that transition, is a very personal one. Only you can determine what is best for you and you loved ones. Once diagnosed, most people wish to have as much involvement in deciding their own future care as possible, so it’s important to begin having discussions about Alzheimer Care Facilities as soon as possible. What research has proven, is the sooner a person with Alzheimer’s begins receiving the specialized care offered in Alzheimers Care Facilities, the longer they are able live active and social lives.
Consider the following:
- Is there concern about the person’s health and safety when they are home alone?
- In case of fire, would your loved one be able to address the situation?
- Is providing their care keeping you from meeting your responsibilities at home and at work?
- Are you still able to have a personal life?
- Are you becoming increasingly stressed, exhausted, or irritable?
When the emotional and physical health of the caregiver begins to decline, it is usually in the best interest of everyone to seriously consider long-term Alzheimer’s Care Facilities. Both the caregivers, and their loved ones will find a better quality of life, by allowing professionals to treat the disease in a safely controlled environment.
What Is an Alzheimer’s Care Facility?
Alzheimer’s Care Facilities have made tremendous advancements in their treatments, and techniques for assisting people with managing their condition. The goal of theses specialized home for people with Alzheimer’s, is specifically to prevent the rapid progression of the disease. The staff is trained to address the many situations that arise as a result of Alzheimer’s in a way that restores the person to a state of calm, and helps them feel safe and comforted. Many additional measures are taken to treat each person’s individual needs. Long-term care facilities for people with Alzheimer’s help to make sure you or your loved one is safe, and receiving the attention and treatment necessary to slow the progression of the disease.
Specialized Treatments Offered By Alzheimer’s Care Facilities Include:
- Twenty-four hour personal assistance
- Secured facilities, that encourage movement and prevent the dangers of wandering
- Staff with more in-depth knowledge and specialized training for carefully addressing behavioral issues without the use of sedatives
- Daily activities that are designed to be cognitive therapies including music therapy, cooking classes, and field trips
- Meals served formally at tables instead of cafeteria-style
- Some facilities are circular in design, to prevent the person from ever feeling lost for too long
- Social interaction that provides a sense of purpose
Nursing Homes vs. Alzheimer’s Care Facilities:
Nursing homes, and assisted living facilities often accept people with Alzheimer’s Disease as residents. The people who attend to the residents in these sort of facilities are certainly capable of helping a person with activities of daily living. They are trained to keep their residents fed and bathed. They administer medications and offer social activities, but they are not typically trained to address the nuances of a person with Alzheimer’s.
Typical Nursing Homes Offer:
- Help with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating
- Regulating and maintaining medication schedules
- Providing daily social activities
- 24-hour emergency care
There are no preventative measures taken in assisted living to prevent the progression of the disease. A person with Alzheimers, can become aggressive while struggling with disorientation, and nursing homes don’t often have the ability or the training to knowledgeably manage behavioral outburst. Unfortunately, a common solution is administering drugs to subdue the person, and keep them from disturbing other residents. These medications slow the brain activity and can actually result in more rapid decline.
How Much Does Alzheimer’s Care Cost?
Alzheimer’s Care Facilities utilize techniques specifically designed to benefit people with Alzheimer’s and can offer the care that residents require, while still allowing them to maintain a greater deal of independence. Because of the considerably improved lifestyles provided for people with Alzheimer’s, these specialized facilities do cost more.
Depending on the state of residence, assisted living costs around $2,500- $5,800 a month, making the national average for assisted living care set at around $3,600 a month. The average increase in cost for Alzheimer’s Care Facilities is about $1,200 more each month.
Keep in mind that the costs can vary greatly, and so can the quality of service. It’s important to do your research and review all of your options before choosing any type of long-term care home for yourself or your loved ones. There are options for almost any budget that include long-term care insurance, veterans’ benefits, and even reverse mortgages. These are all common ways that people use to pay for Alzheimer’s Care Facilities without using out-of-pocket payments.
The decision to move a loved one into an Alzheimers Care Facility can be understandably difficult. It’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. Every situation is different, but what most people have found is that it’s easier to transition when the conversations begin as soon as possible. These conversations may be difficult, but they revolve around doing what is best for the person who needs care, and ultimately for the entire family as a whole. Seeking treatment in the beginning stages, can have very positive results for the long-term trajectory of the disease. What’s most important is to follow the recommendations of your doctor, and to be aware of the warning signs that could lead to danger or bodily harm.