Choosing Residential Care
Alzheimer's disease brings with it many tough choices for families. One that is often the most difficult is the decision to move the person with dementia from home into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Societal pressures to "take care of one's own" and financial considerations may discourage caregivers from considering this option. Caregivers may feel guilt because they promised to never put their loved one in "one of those places," or they may feel a sense of failure that they are abandoning or rejecting the person with dementia. In spite of this, it is often in the person with dementia and the caregiver's best interests to move the patient into some type of alternative living situation.
Deciding upon an alternative living placement is not easy. Families of individuals with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and/or a related dementia have a particularly difficult task because the diagnosed individual usually cannot participate in the decision. This leaves it up to the caregivers to decide when and where to move the person.
Most people are unaware that when you receive the call that a bed in a nursing home is available, you often have very little time to prepare. Sometimes you'll be expected to bring the patient in the next day.If you are on a waiting list, it is good to have the person's things prepared so you can move very quickly. Sometimes the facility will let you pass up a bed and wait for the next one, however, you run the risk of not having a new bed available for an undetermined amount of time.
Once a person with Alzheimer's moves into a facility, family and friends may find it difficult or uncomfortable to visit. Conversations may be strained and the visitors may not know what to say and do. Because visits are so important, here are some suggestions of how to make your visits more comfortable, and easier for you both.