In the United States over 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and current trends indicate as many as 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by 2050. Alzheimer’s and dementia care are among the fastest growing health care concerns in America. Alzheimer’s disease affects almost every aspect of daily living, and its impact on those who are diagnosed as well as on their family members is enormous. Adapting to the changes and challenges that accompany Alzheimer’s requires a unique support network. As care giving needs increase, Alzheimer’s care services can make all the difference. Alzheimer’s care facilities can offer trained and experienced staff to provide expert care for people with Alzheimer’s while helping them remain as healthy and independent as possible. Here are some suggestions to help you find the best Alzheimer’s care for your loved one: First, research Alzheimer’s care options in your area. Use the internet: you can find various options for memory care in any given location, review their philosophy of care and scope of services, look at reviews and comparisons as well as personal recommendations of different care providers. Second, look closely at the quality of care provided.
Are staffing ratios rich enough to respond to the needs of clients? Are staff attentive to the interests and needs of the person with Alzheimer’s through all stages of the disease? Are they friendly and eager to help? Are they respectful and professional in their interactions? Are there planned activities to provide social interaction and physical activity for all levels of needs? Third, look for safety features in the memory care facility that will ensure the care and well-being of the person with Alzheimer’s. Is the facility wheel-chair accessible? Are stairways and exterior doors secured? Are bathroom facilities easy to locate, clean and appropriately equipped? Are call buttons or medical alert buttons easily accessible? Are there safety features on beds as needed, such as side rails? Finally, ensure that the staff are trained in caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Are they more people-oriented than task-oriented? Do they address the social, emotional and spiritual needs of their clients, or do they focus only on physical needs? How do they address challenging behaviors? Do they look for unmet needs that might be triggering those behaviors? There are many things to consider as you look for Alzheimer’s care services. By beginning to consider options early, you will feel better prepared when it is time for a transition to increased care.