Choosing Residential Care for An Alzheimer's Patient

Sometimes you can no longer care for the person with Alzheimer’s disease at home. The person may need around-the-clock care. Or, he or she may be incontinent, aggressive, or wander. When that happens, you may want to look for another place for the person to live.

According to the National Institutes of Health, You may feel guilty or upset about this decision, but moving the person to a facility may be the best thing to do. It will give you greater peace of mind knowing that the person is safe and getting good care. Here, the NIH experts offer some tips on what you should know when considering care:

Residential care options for people with Alzheimer’s include

continuing care retirement communities

assisted living facilities

group homes

nursing homes.

A continuing care retirement community (CCRCs) is a home, apartment, or room in a retirement community, where people with Alzheimer’s can live and get care. Some of these places are for people who can care for themselves, while others are for people who need care around-the-clock. An advantage is that residents may move from one level of care to another—for example, from more independent living to more supervised care.

Assisted living facilities have rooms or apartments. They’re for people who can mostly take care of themselves, but may need some help. Some assisted living facilities have special Alzheimer’s units. These units have staff who check on and care for people with Alzheimer’s disease. You will need to pay for the cost of the room or apartment, and you may need to pay extra for any special care. Some assisted living facilities are part of a larger organization that also offers other levels of care.

A group home is a home for people who can no longer take care of themselves. Several people who can’t care for themselves and two or more staff members live in the home. At least one caregiver is on site at all times. The staff takes care of the people living there: making meals, helping with grooming and medication, and providing other care. You will need to pay the costs of the person with Alzheimer’s living in this kind of home. Remember that these homes may not be inspected or regulated, but may still provide good care.

Check out the home and the staff. Visit at different times of the day and evening to see how the staff takes care of the residents. Also check to see how clean and comfortable the home is. You’ll want to look at how the residents get along with one another and with the staff.