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Caring for an Alzheimer's patient

What Is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care for people with Alzheimer's disease offers a vast range of medical, personal, and social services that are required to meet the physical, social, and emotional needs of people who have long-term illnesses or are disabled. A nursing home facility may be the best choice for people who require 24-hour medical care and supervision.

What Types of Care Do Nursing Homes Provide Those With Alzheimer's Disease?

There are two types of care provided by nursing homes for those with Alzheimer's disease:

  • Basic care. This provides services that will help to maintain a person's ability to carry out necessary daily functions, like personal care and getting around. They will also ensure that the person is supervised and safe.

  • Skilled care. This is care that requires the services of a registered nurse for treatments and procedures on a regular basis. Skilled care also includes services provided by specially trained professionals, such as physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists.

What Services Do Nursing Homes Offer People With Alzheimer's Disease?

The services nursing homes offer vary from facility to facility. Services often include:

  • Room and board

  • Monitoring of medication

  • Personal care like dressing, bathing, and toileting assistance

  • 24-hour emergency care

  • Social and recreational activities

Finding the Right Nursing Home for a Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, finding the right nursing home takes time. It is important to begin the search for a suitable nursing home well before you will need to take the step of moving. There are often waiting periods. Planning ahead can also make the transition of moving into a nursing home much easier.

Family and caregivers should talk about what services will be needed. Take time to consider what services are important to you before calling different nursing homes. Think about what kind of help is needed and how often it's needed.

Before scheduling a visit to the nursing homes you are interested in, ask about vacancies, admission requirements, level of care provided, and participation in government-funded health insurance options.

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