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King Farm Blog

IKF Blog
Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2020

Discover Alzheimer’s community care - when cognitive needs exceed what home care can provide

If you’re a caregiver for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s, you’re aware of all the challenges that can arise. As a progressive disease, the behavior changes and care needs typically increase together. For many families, the time will come when a determination will need to be made about what is best for their loved ones – whether to continue care at home or to arrange for care in a Memory Support community.

It’s not an easy decision to make.

By reviewing the current status of home care, it may provide clarity when considering if it’s time to consider other options. 

Consider your answers to the following questions:

1. Do you believe your loved one is still receiving the best care possible?

2. Are you able to keep your loved one safe? Is wandering a concern?

3. Are your loved one’s physical needs becoming greater than you can handle?

4. Has your loved one become more paranoid, feeling threatened or mistrustful of you?

5. Are you unable to also take care of yourself and other family members?

6. As a caregiver, are you becoming more isolated, frustrated, exhausted or short-tempered?

7. Is full-time care and supervision now required, both during the day and night?

Are you taking advantage of the home care options?

Before you make a decision, make sure you’re not shouldering all the responsibilities of care alone. There are other options you may want to consider that can provide assistance or respite so you can take a break or take care of other obligations.

Depending on what is available in your area, you may have access to these possibilities:

Companion Services: visits, supervision and accompaniment to activities or appointments

Personal Care Services: assist with bathing, dressing, eating and other daily activities

Homemaker Services: help with light housekeeping, shopping or preparing meals

Day Center Services: provide meals, activities and social opportunities at their location

Skilled Care Services: help with medical needs that have been prescribed by a physician

Limitations of home care

While it is likely that you’ll be able to provide the care needed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, as your loved one’s illness continues to progress, you may find their needs exceeding what you are able to offer.

When their physical, behavioral or emotional needs escalate to a higher level, you may find that their quality of life is also suffering. Typically, yours will be as well. Home care is often limited to the ability and resources of the caregiver to respond to the increasing needs. Because you are human, those characteristics are finite.

What a memory support community can offer is a well-designed environment where you can find 24/7 compassionate care and trained staff, supervision, nutrition and programs specially created for those with cognitive illnesses.

The following information can help as you discover what a community can offer:

How to choose the right Memory Support community

Depending on what is available in your area, arrange to visit at least two or three communities. If possible, visit at different times of the day so you can get a better idea of what life will be like for your loved one.

Asking these questions can also paint a clearer picture of how the community makes their residents feel at home and encourages them to continue to live a meaningful life:

  1. Is the community welcoming to both residents and their families?

  2. After adjusting, do you think your loved one would feel at home there?

  3. Are there opportunities to live an enriched life with others in the community?

  4. Are the residents respected, independence supported and are plans formulated to meet individual needs?

  5. Is the daily routine flexible, healthy and a good fit for your loved one?

  6. What kind of training does the staff have? What staff levels are available on-site and when?

  7. What special therapeutic programs do they offer? Are there activities available of interest to your loved one?

  8. How do they keep the residents safe?

  9. Are residents encouraged to personalize and create their own home?

  10. Is the food appealing and appetizing? Can family join their loved one for a meal?

  11. What is the cost and what services are included?

Keep moving forward

Even when you know the best decision for your loved one’s care is a Memory Support community, it can still be hard on the family. Your loved one will likely need time to adjust to new surroundings. And it’s not uncommon to feel guilty, uncertain and to go back and forth on whether you made the right decision. The best advice is to keep moving forward. Remember that feeling unsure about your decision is normal but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right decision.

What is a priority is that you make sure your loved one has the best care possible. Whether that takes place in your home or in a Memory Care community is not as important as making sure that they receive quality and caring attention.

Ingleside at King Farm Memory Support Assisted Living

We understand that making the decision for your loved one to live in a Memory Support community is not an easy one. But we continue the same level of compassionate care while providing the extra resources needed to keep our residents engaged and safe.

We also are a resource for our families as they navigate the challenges of a cognitive illness and define their role in supporting their loved one. You will still be an integral part of the care team but now can rest a little easier knowing your loved one is receiving the best care possible from a highly trained staff.

Call (240) 455-4582 if you have any questions or would like to  schedule a personalized tour today.


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