Seeing a loved one suffer from significant memory loss can be a devastating experience. Memory loss can be a result of brain trauma, stroke, or a degenerative illness. Rehabilitation can commence in the hospital but follow up on the patient’s health is important.
There are different residential long-term care facilities such as retirement housing, assisted living communities, skilled nursing and rehab facilities, and specialized memory care. Each type of residential facility has its unique own set of rules that extends to the level of care provided. This article provides an in-depth view of the different senior living options to help you choose your best facility.
· In-home Care
Various services can be provided by a licensed health professional to help your loved one cope with memory loss while at home. These common services include companionship, personal care, housekeeping, and skilled care. Home care is classified as non-medical support and is customized to address the needs of the patient.
In this setup, a licensed medical professional can schedule regular visits to monitor health, administer injections and provide physical therapy exercises. In-home care lacks socialization platforms provided in rehab facilities and assisted living communities. For in-home care to be effective, it is important to encourage your loved one to exercise even when the therapist is not available.
· Retirement Housing
This is the best living option for patients exhibiting early signs of memory loss. Unlike in rehab facilities, patients are still able to care for themselves with minimal assistance. Only self-reliant seniors can reside in such independent living communities.
With time as memory fades, patients with dementia cannot continue living in such a facility. Independent living communities are suitable for aging couples who wish to live together and the healthy spouse can take care of their partner. To facilitate a relaxed living arrangement; meals, social and recreational amenities are available. If you anticipate further memory decline in your loved one, you could opt to move to an assisted living community.
· Assisted Living community
These facilities bridge the gap between independent living and skilled nursing facilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016 there were 28,900 assisted living and similar resident care facilities in the United States. Assisted Living facilities typically offer hands-on help with everyday activities. The daily personal care allows the patients to retain some independence while watching out for their health and safety.
It is important to inquire about the services and amenities available in these facilities as they vary depending on location and patients’ illness. In case your loved one is depressed, socially isolated, and unable to carry out routine chores by themselves, it is best to move them into an assisted living facility. Seniors often prefer assisted living facilities to rehab facilities as they are less restrictive and offer good rehabilitation options.
· Skilled Nursing and Rehab Facilities
The term nursing home is used interchangeably with a rehab facility. A skilled nursing home offers the highest level of long-term care for patients with memory loss. These particular facilities are usually licensed by the state and regulated by the federal government. The staff in rehab facilities offers help in nutrition, recreation, and medical care.
If your senior loved one requires an all-round the clock attention, a skilled nursing facility is the most favorable option. The staff to resident ratio is a key factor to consider when choosing a rehab facility as it helps you gauge the ability of the staff to care for its residents. Some nursing homes have memory care units that are designed to meet the particular needs of Dementia and Alzheimer patients.
Conduct thorough research on the different senior living options, and settle for the one that meets your needs. Make a list of the questions to ask the facility and schedule a visit beforehand.