Dementia is a complicated and debilitating brain disease. The demands on a caregiver of a person with a neurocognitive disorder are typically overwhelming as the disease reaches its later stages. While some aspects of early dementia care can be managed at home, there comes a time when it is more beneficial and healthier for the individual to be cared for in a specialized community setting. It is important to recognize that moving your loved one to a care facility is not a failure on the part of the caregiver, it is not giving up, or a betrayal of the person’s wishes. Some people may view this transition as one or all these things, but that is simply not true.
How to Know If It’s Time to Transition to a Care Facility
As the symptoms of dementia and neurocognitive disorders become more severe and disruptive, it ceases to become reasonable or even possible to safely keep the person at home. And thus, during the middle and late stages of disease, at some point it is likely to be necessary to consider moving your loved one to a care facility.
While there is no perfect time to make this decision, The Alzheimer’s Association identifies these questions to help caregivers determine if a move to residential care facility is the right option:
- Is the person with dementia becoming unsafe in their current home?
- Is the health of the person with dementia or the health of a caregiver at risk?
- Are the person’s care needs beyond caregiver physical abilities?
- Am I becoming a stressed, irritable, and impatient caregiver?
- Am I neglecting work responsibilities, my family and myself?
- Would the structure and social interaction in this setting benefit the person with dementia?
If one or more of these scenarios sounds familiar, it may be time to seriously consider preparing for a move to a care facility. Occasionally, there are unexpected situations when it becomes clear that the time has come to move to an assisted living or a long-term care facility. These can include severe illness, injury, hospitalization of the person with dementia, or hospitalization/death of the primary caregiver. Having a plan in place can help alleviate any emotional decisions that may occur during an emergency should your loved one need rapid placement.
Choosing A Care Facility for a Loved One with Dementia
Choosing the right place is a big decision. It is overwhelming to even know where to begin. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right place. These include a community that meets your loved one’s physical and emotional needs, provides a safe environment, appropriate medical care and has well-trained staff that are not only kind but also responsive. Lastly, costs, fees, and affordability should be considered. Obtaining expert guidance and support during this process can help you feel confident in your decision-making process. At O’Connor Professional Group, we have a database of vetted communities and providers. We customize our recommendations based on the needs and wants of you and your loved one.
Your Feelings Matter Too – Reach Out To Us for Help
Many caregivers become preoccupied with worrying about how a parent will feel about moving to a care facility that they often neglect their own feelings. Moving your loved one to a care facility is a major transition for your loved one, but it is also a major transition for you as well. It is a good idea to find a close friend or therapist to talk about what you are experiencing.
Caring for a loved one with a neurocognitive disorder is a heavy burden. But it does not have to be. Our experts at O’Connor Professional Group can help you care smarter, not harder. We can help you find ways to improve your loved one’s quality of life and simultaneously improve the quality of your own, as a caregiver. We understand everyone has a unique situation and consider the wants and needs of everyone involved to help create a plan. Our comprehensive approach will help you to feel confident in making an informed decision.
Our team of compassionate care coordinators and consultants will help you with the long-term care decision-making process and provide you with the guidance you need. If you are caring for a person with a neurocognitive disorder and need support for yourself or assistance devising a plan for choosing a care facility, please contact us today.
Harrison, T. F., & Forester, B. P. (2022). The Complete Family Guide to Dementia. Guilford Publications.
Long-term Care. (n.d.). Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/care-options/long-term-care
Is It Time for Assisted Living Care? Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-decide-if-its-time-for-assisted-living-98182
Finding Long-Term Care for a Person with Alzheimer’s. (n.d.). National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/finding-long-term-care-person-alzheimers