Dementia and Alzheimer?s is on the rise in the United States. Alzheimer?s disease is the only top 10 cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured. Learning about a loved one with Alzheimer?s disease can be especially difficult, especially as you are required to evaluate their care and living needs. You have probably heard a lot about assisted living homes and nursing homes. Which one, however, is ideal for your loved one? Assisted living vs nursing homes have many differences to evaluate.
Emergency care resources
Think of assisted living as a form of living with a little extra assistance. Nursing homes, on the other hand, are more inclusive. It is important to consider the dementia stages of your loved on. How much assistance do they require? How likely are they to have an emergency that requires medical care? Although assisted living and retirement homes do have emergency care plans in place, they are usually not as immediate or easy to access as a nursing home environment. It can also be helpful to equip your senior loved one with additional emergency response systems. Provide them with a cell phone, emergency responder notification system, or alarm system, if they will stay in their own home.
Specific activities for Alzheimer?s residents
When you compare assisted living vs nursing homes, you will also find differences in the types of activities. Because seniors tend to live full time in a nursing home facility, there is usually a greater number of planning memory care activities for seniors. Although assisted living homes are also likely to have planned activities, they may not be as easy to get to, and seniors are usually not as motivated to attend them. These activities can be an important part in your senior?s care plan.
According to the 2009 Independent Living Report by the ProMatura Group, LLC, research shows that when you become part of an independent living retirement community, you are more likely to make new friends and try new things, most report a better experience than they expected. Some even believe that an activity filled environment for seniors with Alzheimer?s tends to show fewer symptoms, although this has not been backed by research yet. Find a living environment that encourages activity and meets your senior?s entertainment needs.
Your care options for Alzheimer?s patients
Seniors suffering from Alzheimer?s usually suffer from a variety of other medical conditions, as well. Many of these additional medical concerns increase their need for assistance. While assisted living facilities can be helpful, they are usually not meant for full assistance. Assisted living residences typically provide or coordinate 24 hour supervision, three meals a day plus snacks in a group dining room, and a range of services that promote quality of life and independence, including personal care services, health care services, medication management, social services, arrangements for transportation, laundry service, and housekeeping and maintenance.
When it comes to assisted living vs nursing homes, the most helpful deciding factor is to evaluate your senior?s assistance needs. Do they require assistance with a couple of tasks, but are able to maintain much of their independence? An assisted living retirement home may be ideal. Does their Alzheimer?s and other medical conditions require more assistance and a greater watch, at all times? A nursing home may be a better option. Discuss the differences with your medical care providers and evaluate the best living options for them.
Dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer?s, or any other type of dementia is very tough. You become the primary decision maker, including making decisions that directly affect their living situation and health. When evaluating the differences between assisted living vs nursing homes, carefully consider your senior?s dementia stage and current assistive needs. Also, consider their activity need and desire, their medical needs, and emergency preparedness plan.