A new dementia diagnosis in your family can have a significant impact on everyone involved. You and your loved one may have difficulty coming to terms with the emotions, lifestyle adjustments, and expectations that exist with that type of diagnosis.
Dementia care also presents your family with a number of decisions regarding treatment and location of care. Usually caretakers have one of two options, both with advantages and disadvantages, for long-term care. You can care for your loved one at home or make arrangements for care at a long-term memory care facility.
At Home Dementia Care
During the early stages of dementia, you may find it easier and feel driven by a sense of loyalty to care for a loved one at home. You may only need to make some minor adjustments to accommodate the person until the disease progresses. If you're considering taking care of someone with dementia at home, you may want to consider the following pros and cons:
Pros: Your loved one may prefer to remain within the comforts of their own home during the early stages of dementia for as long as possible, and this option honors those preferences. The familiarity of the surroundings and ability to maintain as much independence as possible may also benefit them. You don't have to assume full responsibility for dementia care either, because in-home visits are often an option to address medical needs and provide support.
Cons: You may not be physically or mentally equipped to care for someone with increasing needs over the course of their disease. Caring for an elderly person with dementia can place significant pressure on your work life and mental health, among others. Your loved one may eventually need more support and supervision than you can provide.
Setting Up Care at a Memory Care Facility
The decision to place a loved one in a memory care facility often involves a lot of emotion and thought and it isn't easy. However, in the later stages of dementia, the support provided by assisted living memory care facilities can come as necessary relief to caregivers. If you're considering long-term care for your loved one, you likely want to weigh the advantages and disadvantages.
Pros: Once a person reaches the later stages of dementia, they may have trouble performing the most basic tasks and be at increased risk for medical complications. The extensive memory loss may necessitate 24-hour care. At a memory care facility, staff with expertise in dementia are always available to provide a safe, supportive environment. If your loved one has a medical emergency at the facility, a medical provider is always there to intervene.
A memory care facility also offers social and recreational benefits for older people who enjoy the activity and companionship. Most of their appointments can be arranged in one place, and their meals, medication, and living needs are all provided, alleviating those responsibilities from family members.
Cons: Some caregivers grieve the loss of personal one-on-one time with their loved ones once they enter a memory care facility. You may have difficulty transitioning from being with the person around-the-clock to only seeing them during visiting hours. Your loved one may also have a difficult time adjusting to the unfamiliar surroundings in a nursing home. Financial concerns about memory care facility costs may also come into play and you may need experts to help you answer this question: Does Medicare cover dementia care?
The advantages and disadvantages of both types of care can complicate your decision-making process, and no single approach works best for every family. However, the decision usually comes down to what's best for your loved one. Many families choose long-term care once the disease progresses.
What are the final stages of dementia?
A few clear signs that show you should consider a nursing facility once your loved one:
- Reaches a more progressive stage of dementia
- Needs more care than you can physically or mentally provide at home
- Requires full-time supervision for their safety
- Has complicated medical needs in addition to their dementia
- Would have a better quality of life in a residential program
Locating Assisted Living Memory Care Facilities in Alabama
Once you decide that a memory care facility is in your best interest, you’ll want to locate one nearby. Rehab Select has five Alabama care locations close to major cities: For families needing dementia care in Huntsville, Birmingham or Montgomery, we can help.
We come alongside you and your loved one to provide a safe, nurturing environment to meet your personal and healthcare needs. In the care of our compassionate, competent providers, you can rest assured you made the right decision. To learn more, contact us today.