Placing a loved one in a nursing facility is a highly controversial issue.
Many people would rather die than do it. But in some — not all — cases, such placement may actually be the best solution for the patient.
Although your loved one may have previously stated his or her adamant opposition to moving to a facility, many mid- to advanced-stage Alzheimer’s patients will adjust — often sooner than the family caregiver — and soon forget they were even moved. That’s what people with Alzheimer’s do. They forget.
While you may not want to put your loved one in an institution, please consider the problems stated below before making a decision about this serious issue.
1. You’re not an expert at realizing when the person has a significant health problem and may need to see a doctor immediately.
This is probably the most important reason to place your loved one in a facility. The nurses are trained to recognize physical health problems, and there is a physician assigned to each facility who can immediately initiate treatment and/or refer the patient to a specialist if needed. In addition, the staff will likely know whether the person needs to be transported to the emergency room, and if so, they can provide immediate transportation there.
2. You simply can’t provide the amount of socialization that a long-term care facility can.
People with Alzheimer’s (and all of us for that matter), definitely need to be around other people for socialization. This typically improves the person’s mood and sense of well-being. Patients living in a facility have the opportunity to interact with staff and other patients on a daily — even hourly — basis. The patient at home will usually have few opportunities for such socialization.
Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer's and Joy
Marie's book tells the powerful 30-year love story of a young American woman and a delightfully eccentric Romanian gentleman and scholar, Edward Theodoru, PhD. A compelling love story, this award-winning book illustrates solutions to 14 specific problems that typically arise when caring for a person with dementia – from denial, diagnosis and difficult behaviors to nursing home and hospice care.
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