Having had the experience of losing my grandmother due to the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) I have been really reluctant to speak about my beloved grandmother’s condition for a long time with anyone else except her personal home nurse. This woman appeared to my child eyes as a representation of an angel, since she was able to take care of my grandmother who has always been taking care of me. Her love and devotion to her profession, made me consider her as the next Maria Teresa that one day I would proudly admit to have met. Today, after conducting some research on the subject of nursing, I understood that a home nurse taking care of Alzheimer’s disease patient is a very difficult issue and it can be a huge burden. Especially if the nursing is offered by a close family member, this act of caring and love can become too hard for one to bear and can be too time consuming even for those we would love to take care of, like our parents. Thus, researching and finding a nursing home for those we love but sadly suffer from AD has to be a conscious decision.
Preparing for such a crucial stage in one’s life is advised by experts, who support that when one feels that there is not yet a need to do anything-grandparents or parents are still young enough-then it is time to start planning ahead in order to avoid a crisis situation later. Even if you may never need a nursing home, it is wise to act in a proactive manner just in case something happens. As many can attest, having to make a decision during a crisis situation can be an extremely difficult, stressful and painful process for everyone involved.
First, begin by researching your area’s library and learning as much as possible on the Alzheimer’s disease and current methods of treatment. By finding out as much information as possible, one is not oblivious to the possibility that this disease may appear in the future and it is always better to be knowledgeable than ignorant and to be proactive. It is also a good idea to begin creating a list of nursing homes that operate in your area and are certified to treat Alzheimer’s disease patients. You local Alzheimer’s Association, or an elder law firm, can give you such information as a list of the facilities that offer dementia care or at least a dementia unit.
In case you are searching for a facility that will be able to host your beloved family member or friend as soon as possible, then it is advisable to check the following. First of all, try to estimate how the clinic’s appearance and general look made you feel when you entered its premises. Extremely important is if they are license accredited and also if you and your family will be allowed to visit your beloved one as often as you like. The facility’s location, cost of service and type of services provided, have to be explicitly checked in relation to the needs and schedules. Finally, check how the doctors, nurses and administrative personnel working there react to your questions and observe their behavior to Alzheimer patients that they already treat. Instances of socialization, encouragement and methods should be provided by the clinic’s staff to devote strength and energy in diverse activities, while keeping the focus on improving the patients’ overall experience.
Apart from the annual cost, there is one more thing one has to consider before deciding if the nursing home is appropriate for a loved one with Alzheimer’s; their overall happiness. Many people do quite well in nursing homes, while others suffer from depression. But keep in mind that usually the safe surroundings of most facilities for Alzheimer’s care have their own activity director and many times the direct care staff are also trained to participate in activities with the residents with dementia. Taking care of a person with Alzheimer’s is a difficult situation that you do not have to go through alone. Remember to ask for experts helps and rely on others.