Q: Linda, what do families need to know before admitting aging loved ones to any care setting due to Alzheimer’s or related dementias, physical decline, or diseases requiring 24/7 care? – Joan
|Linda Hitt Kempf, RN, LNHA|
A: When selecting the best care, do it right the first time so you’ll never have to do it over. Only consider care settings licensed to provide all levels of care. This way, only your loved one’s room number changes if they move from one level of care to the next, but not all the familiar faces of their nurses, staff and friends they’ve made. Change is not well tolerated with dementia. If a care setting is not licensed to provide “full service” to all residents, they must ask that your loved one be moved as soon as their care needs become more advanced.
- Aging loved ones, regardless of their diagnoses, demonstrate negative reactions to all moves if not properly orchestrated with every i dotted and t crossed. Dementia patients especially have adverse reactions to changes in surroundings or caregivers.
- Know that the time may come when you must act aggressively if your loved one’s safety at home becomes life-threatening. If proactive interventions are implemented in a timely way, it may be possible for your loved one to remain home longer if you create a safer environment.
- The average cost per month for a nursing home is $5500 to $7500 per month for room and board alone, not including medications or therapy. Rates vary greatly just as quality of care varies, even when facilities are owned by the same corporation.
- Invest in finding the best possible care. You need to feel at every visit that your loved one is receiving outstanding care, as evidenced by the fact they seem happy, clean, odor-free, and well groomed. Observe care on all three shifts before you consider admitting. Never settle for anything less for your parent or loved one. Know that clean people living in clean environments wearing clean clothing do not reek of odor.
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