3. You can't provide the frequency and quality of activities a facility can.

Nursing homes have specially trained activity directors who devote 100% of their time to providing meaningful activities for residents. For example, sing-alongs are very therapeutic, and if you don't play a musical instrument, you'll have trouble providing sing-alongs at home. In addition, many activities are more beneficial if more than one patient is involved in them. There will be a sense of camaraderie and shared enjoyment, which, again, you can't provide at home.

4. You are not an expert at communicating and interacting with the person.

People with mid- to late-stage Alzheimer's may exhibit difficult behaviors. Most personnel in facilities receive training for dealing with these. You may have problems handling difficult behaviors, leading to stressful situations for both you and your loved one.

5. Placement will almost certainly be the best solution for you and thus, ultimately, for the patient as well.

This is another very important reason to place your loved one in a facility. Although you are probably staunchly dedicated to caring for the person at home, providing 24/7 care is exhausting. And you simply can't provide the best care if you're burned out all the time. Staff in facilities are usually only on duty for eight hours at a time. They have a good emotional rest before returning to duty the next day, whereas you will likely have very little if any respite. Another benefit is that when you aren't on duty all day every day you can relax and enjoy spending time visiting the person.

So if you have a loved one with mid- to late-stage Alzheimer's, try to take the person's overall well-being into account when deciding what to do. This will help assuage any guilt you may feel about the situation and will probably improve the care your loved one receives.

Reprinted with permission of Marie Marley

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Marie Marley

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