As a person's dementia worsens, they may require more care and support, and they may need to move into full-time or residential care. This could be because a care facility is better equipped to address the individual's needs. It could also be because something changes, making it harder for the dementia patient to remain at home.
Dementia care facilities have vastly improved in recent years, and many now provide an extraordinary level of care to improve the patient's quality of life. Your elderly loved one should go to a full time dementia care facility when they've developed severe memory loss, getting lost and behavioral changes.
Mobility Issues Frequently Happen
Patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease have significantly reduced mobility as they progress. Both the patient and their caregiver are in grave danger.
Bathing, toileting, dressing, and other everyday tasks all include risks, but a facility is significantly better equipped to handle all of them securely. They have the necessary equipment, training, and personnel to help residents avoid accidents.
Managing Their Medication Is Taxing
When your loved one lives at home, you are responsible for all drug management. When many family caregivers gain a lot of knowledge while caring for a loved one with dementia, there are some indicators and difficulties that only medical professionals can detect and manage.
Even if you see a problem, getting them to the doctor for an evaluation and possibly a medication modification might be difficult. All drugs are carefully regulated in a long-term, dementia care facility like a memory care unit.
They are given a rigorous schedule, and the nursing staff watches for any signs that a resident's regimen should be adjusted. Once the doctor has approved the adjustments, they are usually implemented immediately.
They Get Lost More Often
Without their caregiver's knowledge, a loved one can simply leave the house, posing a life-threatening situation. Wandering is possible (and occurs) at institutions, although people are restricted to specific areas within the building and, in some cases, a secure area outside.
This is why dementia patients and their families benefit from supervised memory care. Residents are free to go around, but the facility is closely monitored and frequently has additional security measures to prevent them from straying away and becoming lost or injured.
The amount of employees available to look for someone who has wandered considerably increases the reaction time when they do.
Who Decides When A Dementia Patient Moves To A Care Home?
In certain circumstances, the person with dementia will be able to decide whether or not they need to enter a care facility on their own. If this is the case, they should be allowed to make their own decision with any assistance they require.
However, by the time a person with dementia requires the degree of care provided by a care home, they have often lost the ability (referred to as "mental capacity") to make this decision.
If the person cannot make this decision, someone else will have to do it on their behalf. This is normally the person's attorney, if they have one, or their welfare deputy, if they have one, under a health and welfare lasting power of attorney. Any attorney or deputy must make decisions in the person's best interests.
It may be time to explore a nursing home if you believe that while you would prefer to keep your loved one at home, you cannot provide them with a good quality of life. Long term dementia care facilities like memory care units and nursing homes can provide a personalized treatment plan, a nutritious cuisine, round-the-clock care, and monitoring.
To understand how night care tips for patients with dementia, read more on Senior Strong.
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.