There are many issues to take into account when choosing a care facility for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Beyond the care provided at a typical nursing home or assisted living, facilities that specialize in Alzheimer’s care must be equipped to handle a variety of issues such as memory loss, loss of speech and the eventual loss of all cognitive functions.
An Alzheimer’s care facility should have a physical layout that is conducive to patients who get lost easily and may become stressed by a feeling of confinement. Typically, you may see a circular hallway design in an Alzheimer’s care facility that allows patients to wander in a safe, confined space without risk of venturing into areas that could prove dangerous.
You’ll also want to determine what type of setting is best for your loved one as far as other patients are concerned. If your loved one is suffering from early- to middle-stage Alzheimer’s disease, then a mix of patients who do and do not suffer from Alzheimer’s might be best, since interactions with non-Alzheimer’s patients can help keep your loved one’s cognitive abilities sharper for a longer period of time. However, if the disease has progressed to the later stages, it may make more sense to place your loved one in a facility that caters exclusively to Alzheimer’s patients. The care facility will be set up to handle all of your loved one’s needs, and the staff will be more specialized in Alzheimer’s care.
Finally, you should pay special attention to the staff at the Alzheimer’s care facility. They will be interacting with and caring for your loved one more than anyone else, so you want to make sure they will be a good fit for your family member. A geriatric care coordinator could be a helpful resource when gauging how well staff members at a certain facility may care for your loved one based on his or her unique needs.
If you would like to learn more about choosing the right care facility for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, or if you would like advice regarding options available to you when looking for care for your loved one, please set up an appointment at our Los Angeles County elder law office by calling (818) 905-6088.