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Finding long-term care for a parent with Alzheimer’s

Having a parent with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia can be difficult. All you really want is the best for your mom and dad, and you will do anything to make that happen. Sometimes, it is necessary to consider long-term care. 

People with dementia can be unpredictable and require care around-the-clock. You want to ensure that the facility you choose is the right one. Here are some of your options and tips for choosing the right place for your parent.

Assisted living facilities

ALFs serve as a middle-ground between independent living and a nursing home. They generally offer a combination of housing, health care, meals and supportive services. However, ALFs do not operate under federal regulations. Additionally, certain facilities may not have services that help residents with dementia. 

Nursing homes

Nursing homes provide 24/7 care and long-term treatment. Most nursing homes offer care planning, nutrition and recreation. Certain nursing homes have care units specifically for Alzheimer patients. Most nursing homes are under regulation by the federal government and have licenses with the state government.

Choosing the right facility

It is important to consider the following factors:

  • Care and services: The staff members should be familiar with caring for patients with dementia. If the facility does not provide for the unique needs of dementia patients, you may need to look elsewhere.
  • Staff: When you tour a facility, assess how staff members interact with residents. Are they friendly? Do they know the residents by name? Additionally, ask about the staff-to-patient ratio. Understaffing can result in inadequate care. 
  • Costs: Long-term care can be expensive. Generally, you need to pay out-of-pocket for ALFs. Nursing homes sometimes accept long-term insurance or Medicaid. Make sure you understand all financial obligations before making your final choice.
  • Safety and cleanliness: The facility must be sanitary and safe for residents. Persistent odors, inadequate handrails and unstable furniture may indicate neglect.

It is advisable to make several visits to a facility before making a decision.

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