Many nursing home residences can safely accommodate residents in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. They’re integrated into the general population of the residence and receive the same general supervision, personal care assistance and structured activity programs that are typically provided to all residents. However, as Alzheimer’s or dementia progresses, a resident living with Alzheimer’s may develop the need for more specialized services because they have the tendency to wander, are less able to receive direction, and require more frequent monitoring or one-on-one assistance. Residences with a Special Needs Assisted Living/nursing home certification tailor programs to serve them in a secured environment.
Initial selection of a nursing home or long-term care facility for an Alzheimer’s patient is no different from the selection of a nursing home for a non-Alzheimer’s patient. The first step is to do some research about the facilities via friends or on the internet.
After conducting some initial fact gathering about the facilities, a visit to the facility is a must. Do not risk the safety and happiness of your loved one at a facility without physically visiting the facility. Before deciding on a facility at least two visits are in order. The first visit should be a scheduled visit to get a tour from the staff. If the initial visit passes muster, a second unannounced visit should be made. The second visit will likely be more telling than a carefully coordinately tour. Do not hesitate to talk with the staff during your visits. You can learn a lot about the facility depending on their attitude and demeanor.
- Place restrictions on in-and-out privileges for residents. Safeguards to prevent elopement and wandering common sources of injury to Alzheimer’s residents.
- The facility should have clearly marked walkways inside and outsides the facilities. The walkways should be well lit, have directional signage with diagrams as opposed to written diagrams.
- Have a circular configuration. Alzheimer’s patients get particularly frustrated when encountered by dead-ends and right angles.