Finding the right nursing home for your loved one with Alzheimer’s can ensure they receive the most appropriate care. Steps such as touring facilities, meeting staff, and asking questions can help you find the best nursing home for your loved one.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition that makes it difficult for people to live on their own as symptoms worsen. Often, nursing facilities are the safest and most appropriate places for people with Alzheimer’s receiving care.
Choosing the right nursing facility is an important step to ensure your loved one gets the care they deserve and to give you peace of mind. It’s best to choose somewhere you and your loved one feel comfortable and where you can communicate with staff whenever needed.
It can be difficult to know when it’s time for a loved one to move into a nursing facility. When someone has a degenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s, it’s common to be unsure when they have reached a point where professional round-the-clock care is appropriate. It can help to ask yourself questions about your loved one and their situation, such as:
- Is my loved one safe in their current living situation?
- Would my loved one with dementia benefit from activities, social interaction, and other nursing facility features?
- Do I have the physical ability to care for the person?
- Do I have the time between work, school, and other commitments to devote appropriate time to the person with dementia?
- Is my loved one’s health at risk in their current living situation?
- Is my health at risk?
- Am I feeling symptoms of caregiver burnout, such as stress and irritability?
Nursing homes are designed to be safe and caring environments for people who can no longer live alone. Sometimes, nursing facilities have specialized units just for people with Alzheimer’s.
These units have a staff of healthcare professionals who’ve received extra training about Alzheimer’s. They offer services such as:
- meals specific to any dietary concerns
- medication management
- physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- assistance with daily care activities such as bathing and dressing
Asking questions as you tour nursing homes can help you get a better feel for a specific facility. It can help you feel confident you’re choosing the right facility for your loved one.
It’s a good idea to ask about topics such as the:
- ratio of staff to residents
- presence of any strong odors you notice
- registered nurses’ and physicians’ presence on site
- ways families can communicate with staff
- Alzheimer’s training the staff has received
- available activities and when they take place
- religious services offered
- fall rate
- items residents can bring with them from home
- diets the dining services department can accommodate
The exact cost of nursing home care depends on factors such as the facility and the amount of required care. The average cost for a private room in a nursing facility is $115,007, and a semiprivate room costs around $100,679.
Many nursing home residents pay for their own care early in their stay. This is largely because health insurance plans, including Medicare, don’t typically pay for long-term care admissions for conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Numerous resources can help if you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s. You can check out:
- The Eldercare Locator: Eldercare locator can help you find care for older adults. You can reach them by calling 800-677-1116.
- Longtermcare.gov: Longtermcare.gov is another great way to find long-term care. You can reach them at 202-619-0724.
- The National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center: You can get educational and other resources when you dial 800-438-4380 to contact
Moving can be stressful at any time. Helping a loved one with Alzheimer’s move into a nursing home can add to that stress, but there are ways you can make it easier.
It’s a great idea to talk with staff at the nursing facility beforehand to see what they suggest for new residents. They’ll likely have tips to help the day go smoother.
You can learn more about the best time for your loved one with Alzheimer’s to move into a nursing facility by reading the answers to common questions.
Are an assisted living facility and a nursing facility the same thing?
No, an assisted living facility doesn’t provide medical care like a nursing facility.
What happens if my loved one falls or gets very sick in a nursing home?
Nursing facilities can call an ambulance and transport residents to nearby hospitals. If you’re on the resident’s chart as an emergency contact, you’ll receive a call informing you of the incident.
Can I get round-the-clock care at home?
You can find healthcare professionals, such as home healthcare aides, to come into your loved one’s home, but in many cases, working out a schedule to have that level of care 24/7 is very difficult.
Choosing the right nursing home for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is important. It can ensure they’ll be well cared for in a safe and comfortable environment. Asking questions and meeting staff are some of the best ways to ensure you find the right spot for your loved one.
Once you find the right place, keeping communication open will let you know things are still going smoothly.