Caring for a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s is not an easy task and comes with many challenges as the condition worsens. If you have been struggling to take care of the person with Alzheimer’s due to your 9 to 5 job or maybe due to any other reason, you might have thought about alternative options to help you cope, like moving the person into a nursing home. It is normal to feel guilty about placing your loved one in a nursing home, but sometimes it becomes the need. But when is the right time for an Alzheimer’s patient to go to a nursing home? How can one make this decision? Who should be deciding?
Here are four questions that you can ask yourself to decide whether you should move your loved one into a nursing home or not.
What is the progress of the disease?
Alzheimer’s disease has three stages, and with each stage, the symptoms of the patient start to get worse, and the patient requires a different level of care. In earlier stages, patients are able to live a relatively normal life, but as the disease progresses to the following stages, it starts to worsen, and the patient requires a constant caretaker near them. At an early stage, although they may notice memory lapses and may struggle in particular social settings, the patient may still have the legal capacity to make decisions.
But with the progress in the disease, patients become unable to function, cannot make their own decisions, and eventually lose control of movement and require 24-hour care and supervision. It becomes difficult for them to communicate, share their thoughts, and become more vulnerable to infections.
In earlier stages, patients require minimal care, but they need full-time care as the disease progresses. So, considering how much the disease has progressed, you can decide whether it is the right time to move an Alzheimer’s Patient to a Nursing Home or not.
Can you realistically offer home care?
Although a patient might not need 24-hour home care in the early stage, there is a need for full-time supervision with disease progression. Here are some things you can check to see whether you can offer proper home care or not.
- Support required by the patient!
Not only the stage of the disease but also the patient’s specific symptoms and difficulties decide how much support a patient might require. You can seek advice from Alzheimer’s Association or the patient’s doctor to know how much support the patient requires.
- Family support is available to take care of the patient!
Taking care of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s is an exhausting task, and every work should not fall on a single person’s shoulders. If you have family support that can help you out during the day and even at night, then a nursing home might not be needed, but otherwise, it should be considered for patient’s better care.
- Can you afford to pay for 24-hour home care?
Having 24-hour home care sounds a bit relaxing, but only if you are willing to pay for it. Especially if you are the sole earner in your home, the cost of hiring someone for constant supervision and care of the patient can affect your monthly expenses.
Do you feel the patient is safe at home?
As the disease starts progressing, patients become more forgetful and tend to put themselves at risk. Not only this, with regular memory lapses, the patient often wanders out into the street and gets lost. Not only this, but some Alzheimer’s Patients also develop aggressive behavior in later stages, and it becomes extremely difficult to handle them all on your own. In later stages, forgetful behavior and aggressive behavior can cause harm not only to them but also to the people around them. In such conditions, the nursing home would be the best option to go for.
Does the patient have a structured, healthy routine at home?
Having a structured healthy daily routine can help people with Alzheimer’s, but is it possible at your home? There are many circumstances like long working hours that can make it impossible for you to provide a healthy structured daily routine to your loved ones for their well-being. If you feel like you cannot provide a healthy daily routine to your loved one because of your long working hours, you should consider the option of a nursing home.
Do not worry; Nursing homes offer customized treatment programs according to the condition of your loved ones. Not only this, but you will also not have to worry about patients’ safety as they do provide 24-hour care to the patient. They make sure that the patient feels comfortable and free there. All the treatment is customized according to the stages of the disease and symptoms that the patient is suffering from.