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Nursing Home Alzheimer’s Care

What Is Alzheimers Disease

Video shows alleged abuse of Alzheimer’s resident at assisted-living facility

Alzheimers disease is a type of dementia that results in the decline of brain function, affecting memory, thought processes and other mental abilities. The exact cause of this disease is still unknown, although there are a few factors which can increase your risk of developing it.

These include:

  • A family history of the disease
  • Depression that has been left untreated
  • Conditions commonly associated with cardiovascular disease

If Necessary Provide Adequate Preparation For The Final Stages Of Alzheimers Disease

Nursing care for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients becomes especially critical during the final stages when patients experience memory loss, depression, hallucinations, and psychosis. Kriebel-Gasparro emphasizes the importance of skilled nurses with extensive dementia and Alzheimer’s knowledge at these severe stages. Nurses not only provide treatment to patients but also help families prepare for end-of-life decisions.

While families may find it difficult to face these issues, nurses with gerontological training can help them make important end-of-life decisions. These nurses can facilitate conversations with family members about hiring elder-law attorneys and preparing necessary documents such as living wills, medical power of attorney, and end-of-life directives. They also provide emotional support to family members and suggestions for preparing emotionally for the final stages.

What Are The Symptoms Of Alzheimers Disease

The symptoms of Alzheimers disease progresses over time, often several years. Often, these symptoms can be put down to old age, leading to misdiagnosis in older people. The rate at which symptoms progress will differ depending on the individual and their age. Alzheimers disease comes on in stages, including:

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What Kind Of Care Do Nursing Homes Offer

There are two main types:

  • Basic care, such as help with bathing, eating, dressing, and getting around.
  • Skilled care includes the services of health professionals, like a registered nurse, physical therapist, or occupational therapist. They manage health conditions and give medical treatments.

The services that nursing homes offer vary, but they usually include:

  • Room and board
  • Social and recreational activities

Is It Time To Consider A Nursing Home For Dementia Or Alzheimers


It is never an easy decision to place your loved one in a nursing facility due to dementia or Alzheimers disease. The very thought of doing so can cause stress and anxiety, and often anger at the situation. Unfortunately, there comes a time when the care that can be offered privately no longer covers the needs of someone with dementia or Alzheimers. How do you decide when it is time? Taking an assessment of the situation will help determine when it is time. If you, as a caretaker, are struggling with stress, anxiety, or meeting the physical, emotional, and safety needs of your loved one, it may be time to consider seeking a safe place that can ensure your loved one with dementia or Alzheimers disease can receive the care they need. Common reasons for making the decision to move a family member to a memory care facility include:

  • Your loved one needs a higher level of medical care than is currently available.
  • Current caregiver is suffering emotionally, financially, or physically.
  • Your loved one with dementia or Alzheimers disease can no longer participate in physical or social activities safely.
  • Your loved one is exhibiting aggression physically or sexually toward others.
  • Your loved one is trying to harm themselves out of frustration, depression or confusion.
  • Your loved one can no longer be kept safe at home due to fall risks, paranoia or wandering.
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    Communicate In A Way That Will Not Distress Patients

    As dementia progresses, Kriebel-Gasparro reminds nurses not to make assumptions about a patient’s ability to communicate and comprehend. The symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease affect each person differently from the early to moderate states. Patients need to be treated with kindness and support, using these communication techniques:

    • Maintain eye contact and direct one-on-one interaction.
    • Be patient and offer assurance when the patient makes mistakes or feels embarrassment.
    • Ask clear and simple questions requiring yes or no answers to minimize confusion.
    • Do not interrupt or argue.
    • Engage in conversations in quiet spaces without distractions.

    Combining Memory Care With Skilled Nursing

    If your loved one has significant health issues besides dementia, you may be wondering, Is memory care considered skilled nursing?

    A key difference between memory care and skilled nursing is the level of care. Skilled nursing is the highest level of care that patients can receive outside of a hospital. It involves registered nurses or other trained, licensed professionals under the supervision of a doctor. Memory care communities dont provide skilled nursing services like nursing homes often do.

    However, some nursing homes offer care specifically for people with dementia.

    So, what is memory care in a nursing home? Sometimes, youll find a nursing home memory care unit located in a separate wing or dedicated space of a facility, according to the National Institute on Aging. In these units, staff members typically have specialized training to meet the unique needs of people with dementia. A nursing home memory care unit provides a higher level of medical care than youll find in a memory care community.

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    When Should Someone With Alzheimer’s Go To A Memory Care Facility

    Its true that there are advantages to keeping the patient at home for as long as reasonably possible, but it depends on the Alzheimer’s symptoms and stages. Here are a few reasons to keep them at home in the early stages of the disease:

    • Some patients struggle with change and may be distressed by the move.
    • Some patients experience a rapid deterioration when they enter a nursing home.
    • Assisted living at a memory care facility can be more expensive than looking after the patient yourself.

    However, long-term care homes dont have to be seen as a last resort. Todays Alzheimers memory care facilities have improved radically, and many offer an exceptional level of care, focused on maximizing the patients quality of life.

    Here are four questions that you should ask yourself before making the decision to place your loved one in long-term memory care:

    Locating Assisted Living Memory Care Facilities In Alabama

    Improving Dementia Care in Nursing Homes: Best Care Practices

    Once you decide that a memory care facility is in your best interest, youâll want to locate one nearby. Rehab Select has five Alabama care locations close to major cities: For families needing dementia care in Huntsville, Birmingham or Montgomery, we can help.

    We come alongside you and your loved one to provide a safe, nurturing environment to meet your personal and healthcare needs. In the care of our compassionate, competent providers, you can rest assured you made the right decision. To learn more, contact us today.

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    Can I Care For My Loved One At Home Through All Stages Of Dementia

    Home care is often recommended by experts through end of life. However, every family and situation is different, so permanent home care may not always be possible.

    Research shows keeping a loved one with dementia at home helps them be happier and live longer however, it is most impactful when introduced early. Its a preventive model to educate the family to be dementia smart and understand the disease progression and triggers down the road, Havrilla explains. But if the family is not able to give their loved one the care they need, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living residences are good alternatives.

    Alzheimers Care At Bondcare

    The team here at Bondcare have years of experience working with Alzheimers patients, so we can put all your worries to rest and provide a warm environment for yourself or a loved one. Our Alzheimers care facilities are second to none, offering a quality of life that enables patients to retain independence and partake in activities and social events.

    We have a range of Alzhemiers specialist care homes located across the United Kingdom, so youll be sure to find one that will suit your individual needs. Take a look through our professional care homes and what they offer, or get in touch with a member of our team today and well be more than happy to go through any queries you may have.

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    What Is Memory Care

    Memory care is a unique type of long term care which has been designed to focus on certain requirements of those who have various memory problems such as dementia and Alzheimers. In choosing an option for memory care you might want to put a list together of the questions you should be asking that cover all the concerns regarding the care, safety, and comfort of your loved one.

    There are questions that should be asked in order to locate the correct memory care facility for a loved one, questions regarding the costs, as well as what services are provided. Although communities of a Memory Care facility may offer numerous services, be certain that your loved one will be interested in a few of them. Should you be having thoughts of memory care for someone you love, then you should also understand that facilities for assisted living have communities that offer a separate floor/wing or their special memory care unit.

    Then there is the option of an facilities that focus on independent memory care, it is important to remember that a memory care community consists of more specialized nursing skills, whereas, an assisted living community does not. Whether or not the memory care facility is in the same community and a part of the assisted living community, the cost is going to be higher.

    Who Makes The Decision

    KCC offering certification training for dementia caregivers

    In some cases the person with dementia will be able to decide for themselves whether or not they need to move into a care home. If this is the case, then they should make their own decision and be offered any help they need to do so. However, often by the time the person with dementia needs the level of care that a care home provides, they have lost the ability to make this decision for themselves.

    If the person is not able to make this decision, someone else will need to make this decision for them. This would usually be the persons attorney under a health and welfare Lasting power of attorney, or their personal welfare deputy, if they have one. Any attorney or deputy must make decisions in the best interests of the person. An attorney or deputy for property and financial affairs is often able to make this decision for the person with dementia. This is because they have the legal power to arrange the finances to pay for this care. However, professionals or members of the persons family can challenge this decision.

    For more about mental capacity in England and Wales, and how to know if someone is able to make decisions for themselves, see our page on the Mental Capacity Act. For more information on attorneys and deputies see Lasting power of attorney and Becoming a deputy for a person with dementia.

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    Maintain A Support System And Practice Self

    Nurses providing dementia and Alzheimer’s care often work for the same patients over long periods of time, becoming personally attached to them and their families. As their patients progress through the disease, nurses may experience a range of emotions—anxiety, sadness, guilt, anger, and depression.

    Nurses need to manage their self-care by recognizing and managing these feelings. If left untreated, stress can lead to physical problems such as headaches and high blood pressure, or emotional and behavioral changes such as irritability and inability to sleep. If these kinds of symptoms emerge, nurses should consult with their doctor or a mental health specialist. Nurses can be proactive in managing their stress by routinely engaging in relaxation techniques and arranging with the patient’s family to provide temporary respite care when time off is needed.

    Many caretakers manage their stress by connecting with other caretakers and joining professional organizations. The Alzheimer’s Association offers networking opportunities and caregiving resources. ALZConnected, an online community that provides access to resources, programs, and community services, also provides support and encouragement to caregivers.

    How To Pay For Dementia Care

    With all these numbers and often, unfathomable numbers dancing around in your head, its easy to panic. How will your loved one ever be able to afford dementia care over the next one, three, five or more years?

    You can breathe a sigh of relief because, thankfully, government assistance, private aid, and other help exists to help you pay for the skilled care your loved one needs.

    Heres a basic overview:


    Like most health insurance, Medicare makes no differentiation between dementia care and other diseases, such as cancer. What this means in practical terms is that, if your loved one qualifies for Medicare, then Medicare will pay for dementia care within very firm limits and theyre strict, often frustrating limits: 100% of nursing home care for 20 days, and 80% of nursing home care for up to an additional 80 days. Thats just 100 days, or less than 3 months of nursing home care.

    Additionally, Medicare will not cover custodial or personal care, in-home health aides, or even assisted living for dementia patients. For this reason, dementia patients almost always require secondary assistance, beyond the confines of Medicare. Which brings us to:

    Medigap and Supplementary Insurance

    Medigap care does not specifically cover dementia care, but it typically does pay the final 20% of nursing home care that Medicare does not cover.

    Veteran Assistance


    For dementia patients who require highly skilled care, Medicaid is the largest single payer of nursing home care.

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    Understand And Accept Your Loved Ones Dementia Diagnosis

    A dementia diagnosis is difficult on both the patient and their loved ones. For many, a diagnosis is the beginning of a long and uncertain journey. The road ahead could be difficult, but there are resources and education that can help, says Suzanne Havrilla, D.P.T., director of home support with Johns Hopkins Home Care Group.

    Many families begin their path to acceptance by learning more from Alzheimer’s support organizations. These organizations often hold support groups for patients and families affected by dementia. They can also connect families to area practitioners and information. Its important to reassure families that patients can have a very good quality of life with this diagnosis, explains Havrilla. Once they are accepting of that, it may be easier for the caregivers.

    Enroll In Medical Alert Programs

    The Nursing Home Decision – Memory and Alzheimer’s Disease

    Safety becomes more of a concern as dementia progresses. For peace of mind, consider enrolling in programs that can improve or monitor the safety of people with dementia. Many programs offer medical ID jewelry or 24-hour assistance if a loved one with dementia wanders off or becomes lost. If additional assistance is needed, medical alert services can help by checking in on loved ones and notifying caregivers if there is no response.

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    What Are Nursing Homes

    Nursing homes provide various levels of health care for their residents around the clock. In a nursing home, residents have 24-hour supervision and help with everyday activities such as meals, using the restroom, bathing, and getting dressed.

    Nursing home care is for people with many types of disabilities and health issues that require more care than can be easily provided in a home setting. They also house and care for seniors who are unable to live on their own or care for themselves but donât need to be in a hospital.

    Some nursing homes are intended for short stays after a surgery or hospitalization. People with Alzheimerâs may live in a nursing home for the long term, and they will require higher levels of care as time goes on.

    Along with basic care, nursing homes also provide skilled care from health professionals such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Nurses also provide direct medical care, such as managing medication, wound care, and giving IVs and tube feedings.

    Nursing homes vary greatly in their size, staff-to-resident ratio, and types of trained care workers. Every nursing home must be licensed by their state and regulated by the federal government.

    Nursing homes generally provide a higher level of care than assisted living facilities, which offer meals, housekeeping, help with personal care and medications, and social activities. The U.S. government doesnât regulate these facilities.

    Choosing A Care Facility

    Sometimes you can no longer care for the person with Alzheimers disease or a related dementia at home. The person may need around-the-clock care. Or, he or she may be incontinent, aggressive, or wander a lot. It may not be possible for you to meet all of his or her needs at home anymore. When that happens, you may want to look for another place for the person to live. You may feel guilty or upset about this decision, but remember that many caregivers reach this point as the disease worsens. Moving the person to a care facility may give you greater peace of mind. You will know that the person is safe and getting good care.

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    Does My Loved One Have A Healthy Structured Routine At Home

    People with Alzheimers benefit from a consistent, structured daily routine. They also benefit from a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and mental and social stimulation. Circumstances may make it impossible for you to offer your loved one a daily routine that supports their well-being: for instance, if you work long hours or depend on support from family members who cannot commit to regular hours, the patients routine may be frequently disrupted, which is not ideal.

    Factors Influencing The Cost Of Care


    Without question, hiring outside assistance to help care for a loved one with Alzheimers or related dementia can be very expensive. Of course, costs vary depending on the type of care. Home care, adult day care, assisted living and nursing home care all provide vastly different services and have dramatically varying price tags.

    Many subtle factors influence that cost of care, such as: What state you live in Population density Agency vs. independent caregiver Demand SeasonalityWhich activities of daily living you need help with Tax credits and deductions

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