Families often find themselves faced with the decision of when and if they should seek a full time residential care option for a loved one with Alzheimers disease. Living at home is a suitable option for most people who are in the early stages of Alzheimers disease, particularly if they are in the company of a spouse or other caretaker. As the disease progresses, a number of factors can contribute to the need to move a loved one into a facility where he or she can be cared for by experts who are experienced with Alzheimers disease.
The determination of whether to move a loved one into a full time Alzheimers care facility is based on circumstances unique to each case. For instance, the caregiver may become ill and unable to care for his or her loved one with Alzheimers. On the other hand, the patient may begin to be awake much of the night, attempt to cook meals while the caregiver is asleep or wander outside unnoticed, potentially dangerous actions which may suggest the time is right to obtain professional care. The decision to seek full-time Alzheimers care can be a difficult one, but is in many cases the best option for both the caregiver and the patient.
The experience of moving a loved one into a full time care home is often more distressing to caregivers than it is to their loved one making the move. Caregivers are commonly faced with feelings of guilt, uncertainty and stress about the decision and the process of the move. If you are in this situation, such emotions are common but it is important to remember all of the sacrifices you have made to care for your loved one and that you are acting in the best interest of your loved ones health and well being.
A question that often arises is whether you should inform your family member with Alzheimers disease that he or she is moving into a full time care home. This decision is largely a matter of personal preference, depending upon your familys situation and the severity of your loved ones disease. Some caregivers feel that it would be deceptive not to inform their loved one of the situation, while others feel that their loved one may not understand the situation and prefer not to discuss the matter beforehand. Regardless of whether you discuss the move with your loved one beforehand, do not intentionally mislead him or her by lying about where you are going. It is best to either honestly discuss the move or say nothing at all.
Make sure to bring along some of your loved ones personal belongings to make the transition to his or her new home more comfortable. This may mean the linens from your loved ones bed, photographs or whatever items you feel will help personalize his or her new room.
New residents of Alzheimers care homes sometimes protest the move, making the situation disheartening for their families. Resist the temptation to give in to your loved ones objections. Though it may take some time, your loved one will adjust to his or her new home, surroundings and friends. During your visits, do things that your loved one enjoys. Simply taking a walk outside, eating together or listening to music can be calming and excellent for your own and your loved ones well being.