What Are The Alternatives To Assisted Living Or Nursing Homes For People With Dementia
There are alternatives to assisted living and nursing home care for people with dementia, but they will require careful monitoring.
In-home care is probably the most common alternative to assisted living for people with dementia. But there is a cost as care needs increase. Someone with dementia can do well for years at home with professional caregivers as long as there arent significant medical issues.
Board and care
Residential care homes can be an alternative to people with dementia as long as the person is relatively independent and doesn’t wander. Board and care homes have fewer residents5-10 on averageand can keep a closer eye on residents. However, if your loved one has complex medical needs, they may require a nursing home since board and care homes have minimal medical services, if any.
If you have the means to pay for private nursing for a loved one with dementia, you can use nurses to provide medical care, but you may also have to invest in medical equipment as well.
What Are Common Dementia Treatments
While dementia cannot be cured, there are treatments you can use that can help improve symptoms. There are many medications that are effective for treating dementia symptoms early on in the disease. Environmental therapy is also very helpful for seniors with dementia. This process involves making their environment cleaner and less confusing, and teaching them memory coping skills for when they experience an episode. Soothing activities, such as listening to music, coloring, spending time with a pet, or gentle exercise, are incredibly beneficial for dementia sufferers, because it helps them feel more comfortable in their environment.
Medicaid & Hcbs Waivers And Alzheimers Care
Medicaid is a state and federally funded health insurance program for low-income families and the elderly. Each state administers their Medicaid programs separately. Therefore, each state offers different benefits with regards to caring for individuals with Alzheimers or dementia.
Medicaid Waivers are state programs that allow individuals to receive care outside of nursing homes. Instead of requiring institutionalization, Medicaid Waiver participants can receive care, paid for by Medicaid, in their homes, the homes of relatives, and sometimes in adult foster care homes and assisted or senior living residences. Almost all Medicaid Waivers have both financial eligibility requirements and requirements that the participant have functional limitations. Very few, require a specific diagnosis of Alzheimers or dementia. Instead, they consider ones ability or inability to care for themselves by accessing their ability to perform their activities of daily living. From a functional perspective, mid to late stage Alzheimers patients typically qualify for Medicaid benefits quite easily.
For more information on Medicaid and each states waivers, please use the following links: General Medicaid, Home Care Waivers, Assisted Living Waivers, Adult Day Care Waivers, and Adult Foster Care Waivers.
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Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
As dementia progresses, it may be prudent for the suffering person and their carers to think about alternative accommodation like nursing homes for dementia patients.
The nursing homes typically admit individuals who can no longer care for themselves.
On this note, it is important to note that nursing homes have undergone major transitions over the years.
They are no longer the boring and scary homes that the elderly detested.
They have upgraded to try and offer cozy and fun accommodation to those in need.
Lets look at some of the reasons nursing homes for dementia patients are a great choice for weak individuals.
What Are The Different Types Of Dementia Care Found In Nursing Homes
In Australia, you can choose between three options for dementia care in nursing homes:
- Secure dementia
The specific care needs of the person with dementia will determine which option is right for them. Please see below for more information about each type of dementia care.
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Some Background On Dscus
In 2012, Massachusetts passed a law that closed a loophole addressing the nursing home care of those with dementia. Previously, nursing homes advertised themselves as having DSCUs, without specific training for caregivers or other special conditions. Now to be able to say that a facility has a DSCU, nursing homes must meet specific requirements for dementia care training, expanded activities, and physical plant standards.
Choosing a Nursing Home: What you need to know
Where Is The Best Place For Someone With Dementia
Dementia manifests and progresses differently in each person, which can make it difficult to know when to seek out residential care for a loved one. One person in the early stages of the disease might only need occasional assistance, while another needs daily care. The time it takes to move onto the next stage of care will also vary from one individual to the next. The best place for someone with dementia will depend on their medical needs and level of independence. Heres a basic overview of the care options available for dementia patients, from custodial assistance to full-time residential care.
Most dementia patients prefer to stay in their own home as long as possible. This is usually feasible in the early stages of the disease when the individual only requires basic care, such as food preparation, assistance with personal care and cleaning, and other household tasks. Caregivers in this scenario do not need to be trained medical staff, and are often family members or neighbors willing to lend a hand. However, professional in-home caregivers are also available, enabling the patient to maintain relatively independent living for as long as possible.
Adult day care programs
Adult family homes
Continuing care retirement communities
Nursing home facilities
Memory care units
How Can I Find Dementia Care Facilities Near Me
There are many ways to find a good dementia care facility thats conveniently located for you. The first is to look at local directories and call around to see which places offer specific memory care options. The next is to talk to your doctor, who likely can recommend a dementia care home that will work particularly well for your family members needs. You may also want to talk to your insurance company to find out which dementia care facilities are covered. If youre struggling to find a good option in your area, you may have to look a bit farther out in your metro area or in other parts of your state. Look through our directory of dementia care facilities to locate one in your area.
Although treating dementia can be scary, the range of dementia care facilities available throughout the United States are a great resource for families struggling with the condition. Dont wait until the last minute to find treatment for your loved one – start looking now to make sure theyre safe and taken care of. We’ve put together a nationwide directory of dementia care homes in the U.S., which you can access below to find a dementia care home near you:
Payment Options / Financial Assistance For Alzheimers Care
For most families, the expenses of caring for a loved one with Alzheimers or dementia are covered not by a single source, but instead by contributions from a variety of sources. Some of these resources are specifically designed for Alzheimers patients and others are of a more general nature.
Dementia Care Central is a free website that offers tips, suggestions, and videos on how to provide hands on care and gain the cooperation of persons with Alzheimers. Visit their site.
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Nursing Homes With Dementia Special Care Units Provide Better Quality Of Care
Around 750,000 individuals in nursing homes in the United States have a diagnosis of dementia, constituting 50 percent of longstay residents. Between 30 and 40 percent of adults across the nation with dementia reside in nursing homes, and approximately 70 percent of Americans with dementia will die in a nursing home. These high statistics beg the question- is quality better for dementia patients in a nursing home with a specialized unit focusing on their care?
In a study published in Health Services Research, former HCP post-doctoral fellow Nina Joyce, PhD, professor of health economics Thomas G. McGuire, PhD, and professor of health care policy David Grabowski, PhD, along with colleagues, assessed whether admission to a nursing home with a dementia special care unit improved quality.
Dementia special care units are generally designed to provide a supportive social and physical environment for older adults with dementia. Beds in these special care units make up 4.5 percent of all nursing home beds, and are the most common form of special care units in nursing homes. However, although these make up 72 percent of all special care beds, their effect on quality of care is unclear.
This study found that nursing home facilities with a dementia special care unit provide better quality of care as measured by several validated quality indicators. The team suggests that policies that promote the expansion and use of dementia special care units may benefit the aging population.
Care Arrangement: Geriatric Psychiatric Facility
When a loved one suffering from a degenerative brain disease like dementia starts to experience changes in their behavior, us caregivers are hopeful that it might be a temporary change, or that it was just this one time and might never happen again.
Days and weeks pass and those “once in a blue moon” episodes where you or your loved ones safety might be in question become more regular and eventually something snaps, it’s too much and you need help for your loved one.
Geriatric Psychiatric Facilities are there to focus in on how to stabilize your loved one by assessing their current medications and identifying what other options your loved one has to ensure they, yourself and everyone around them is safe and happy.
Read on for more details on this great resource available when you might need it the most!
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Applying For Funding As A Provider
A funding round opened on 17 March and closes 13 May 2022 to establish units across the following 9 Primary Health Network regions:
- New South Wales:
- Western Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
You can find the grant opportunity on GrantConnect.
Approved residential aged care providers will be advised of future funding rounds when they are advertised on GrantConnect.
Register on GrantConnect for automatic emails about new grant opportunities.
Dementia Special Care Units
There is nothing easy about watching a loved-one experience memory loss. When your loved- one has dementia, ensuring that his/her needs are met and that he/she is comfortable can be a difficult process. When looking at a nursing home for a loved one with dementia, making sure that he/she is receiving much needed specialized attention is important. That is where Dementia Special Care Units come in.
DSCUs provide specialized care to nursing home residents with dementia through a combination of additional and on-going dementia care training, expanded activities, and a safe and comfortable physical environment .
Not every nursing home in Massachusetts has a DSCU, since compliance with DSCU law is not mandatory. DSCUs must be certified every year by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health , so finding out if a nursing home has one is as simple as just asking. While DSCUs have an official disclosure form that is posted in the facility, here are a few questions you can ask a facility:
- What kinds of activities are there for residents with dementia?
- What is included in the training of care providers who work with dementia residents?
- Can you describe or show me the dementia unit and tell me about how its physical conditions help the residents?
- Are there reasons why a resident would be moved out of the DSCU? What are those? Whats the process?
Choosing A Memory Care Facility
You can start the search at AARP and the Alzheimer’s Association’s Community Resource Finder, an online directory of senior care services. Click on “Housing Options,” select a type of residence and enter your zip code the results will include information on whether the facility provides memory care.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, experts recommend visiting each memory care residence on your list several times, including at least one unannounced visit in the evening, when staffing is thinner. Here are some factors to consider during your search.
Layout and physical environment
Is the facility clean and pleasant? Does it have circular hallways, so residents don’t get frustrated by dead ends? Are rooms and doors clearly labeled to help residents find their way around? Is there an enclosed outdoor area with walking paths? Do residents seem happy?
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many long-term care facilities nationwide badly short-staffed. Ask about shortages at communities you visit and keep an eye on how staff members interact with residents: Are their needs met quickly? Is there a nurse who works in the building? What kind of dementia-specific training do employees receive?
Ask how they manage a person who becomes aggressive, suggests Laura Gitlin, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University and coauthor of the book Better Living With Dementia. They shouldn’t be relying on antipsychotic medications.
Senior Housing Options For Dementia Patients
Finding residential long-term care is relatively straightforward for most seniors. Are Mom and Dad still safe living on their own but craving a little more stimulation in their daily lives? Independent living is the perfect fit. Is Grandma largely independent except for the help she needs with bathing, dressing, and transportation to errands and appointments? Shed likely thrive in assisted living. Does your husband require around-the-clock supervision and skilled nursing care? Then a nursing home is the correct level of care for him.
The different types of senior living seem easy enough to understand at first glance, but deciding where and when to place an aging loved one is far more complicated when they have some form of dementia. One would think that the spectrum of long-term care would match up well with the progressive nature of Alzheimers disease and other types of dementia, but that is not always the case. Several factors go into choosing a long-term care facility for a dementia patient. Even if you get it right, theres no telling how long the perfect fit will last.
Using Reverse Mortgages For Alzheimers Care
The decision on whether or not to use ones home, through a reverse mortgage, to help pay for care is not an easy one. In many cases, it does not make good economic sense, but in other situations it does.
Reverse mortgages come due one year after the homeowner moves from their home. Given that most individuals with Alzheimers will eventually require residential care, it becomes a question of how many years until that point. Should one be at the early stage of the condition and wont require residential care for 5 years, a reverse mortgage might make good sense as a funding resource for occasional assistance around the home. However, if one might need to move within 2 years, a reverse mortgage would be considered an expensive source of funds. The exception to this rule is when the individual with Alzheimers has a healthy spouse who will continue to live in the home when the spouse with Alzheimers moves into a care facility. In this situation, a reverse mortgage could be a sound decision.
Choosing An Alzheimers Care Facility In Ontario
Most people will want to choose Alzheimers Care close to home or close to family. Other than proximity, though, there are other considerations to make. For example, check into a variety of options and learn which therapies and level of care are offered by homes. Homes with specialized memory care offer services that can meet specific medical needs of your loved one. For those dealing with another form of senile dementia, care will likely not differ but you can learn more in our page on .
Medical services you can expect from memory care and Alzheimers care homes:
Homes offering memory care for Alzheimers and dementia sufferers provide a suite of services that may include any or all of the following:
- on site or on-call doctors
- on site nursing staff
- full time supervision of all dementia care and Alzheimers care patients
- prescription services
- therapy programs including brain exercises and other innovative treatments, some of which may be exclusive to the home in question
- specialised nutrition programs that may help ease progress of the dementia
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Safety In Memory Care Facilities
The primary reason why Alzheimers and Memory Care Facilities exist is that they provide a better platform to keep patients safe. Before relocating to any facility, research. Ask yourself such questions like, does the institution you intend to relocate to have a history of neglecting patients? In other words, are you reassured that your loved one is not going to be hurt either physically or emotionally? You can get information on a nursing homes, assisted living facility or a CCRC reputation from testimonials, reviews, contact references, or by checking its rating from the Better Business Bureau. Note that although someone who has developed Alzheimer’s disease is susceptible to self-inflicted harm, nursing homes should minimize the risk by employing the necessary building and maintenance standards. In regard to safety, also check the ratio of patients to nurses if you are going to opt for a nursing home.