Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects millions of people. The disease comes with various challenges for both patients and their family. For many people with Alzheimer’s, it becomes a need to move to a specialized care facility eventually.
How to Notice the Signs of Alzheimer’s
In its early, Alzheimer’s can seem like the kind of memory loss that comes with aging. It’s important to pay attention to how frequently memory lapses occur to track if it might be a sign of Alzheimer’s. In addition to memory loss, other things to look out for include:
- trouble with problem solving
- having difficulty learning new things
- forgetting how to do things done many times before
- saying same phrases or stories
- harder to make decisions
- having trouble with money
- confusion about orientation
- having trouble remembering words
- losing items often
- bad judgement
- no longer into social activities
- upset or personality change
If you do think you may have Alzheimer’s, the next step in the process is to get a diagnosis from a specialist. There is no conclusive diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s, but a diagnosis can be found by a variety of techniques and tests to rule out other causes. Interviews with family or friends could also be part of the diagnosis.
Once you have been diagnosed, it doesn’t necessarily mean an immediate change in life. Many patients are able to stay in their homes, though family and friends will need to be involved to make the home a safer place.
Receiving an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be emotionally stressful for both the patient and loved ones. Allowing the patient to have some independence in the early parts can make the process easier.
As the disease advances, though, some changes will likely need to be made. For some people, in-home care from a health service is a good addition to care from family members. For many, a care facility that specializes in Alzheimer’s may be the best idea.
Finding a Facility
Before you begin finding a facility, it’s important to take a careful look at the situation and the needs of the patient. You should consider all of the challenges and the level of care currently needed.
Be honest with your assessment rather than covering up the situation. Ask yourself about the patient’s overall needs in the following places:
- Health: Are there issues moving? going to the bathroom? Other specialized care needs like diabetes treatment or care for another problem?
- Safety: Is getting lost an issue? How much care is needed?
- Personal Help: Does the patient need assistance with basic activities like bathing and getting ready?
- Social Needs: How socially inept is the patient? Does the patient still participate in meaningful activities? Would being surrounded by other Alzheimer’s patients have a good or bad impact?
A clear idea of the patient’s current care and needs will help you find the best possible place for your particular situation.
Features to Look For
When thinking about an Alzheimer’s care facility, these are some of the top things to look for:
- will they allow family to visit at any time
- is it close to home
- is staff good
- is it an inviting place
- do they have internal therapies for patients
How to Select & Pay for Help
Another factor to consider when choosing a place is price. Alzheimer’s can be pretty expensive, so it’s important to find a place that works with your allowance and your insurance plan.
Cost of care will be covered in part by your Medicare, Medicaid, or other types of insurance, including long-term insurance. Remaining cost will need to be paid out of pocket.
Some places are willing to negotiate price, so if a facility is just a bit out of your price budget, you should definitely negotiate.