Caring For Your Parent With Alzheimer's: Home Care Vs Facility Care

Health & Medical Blog

When your mother or father is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, you may feel simultaneously devastated and relieved. You feel relieved to understand what is happening to your parent, and why their memory and personality appear to be so altered and problematic. But, on the other hand, you understand that Alzheimer's is degenerative and has no known cure, and that the diagnosis is just the beginning of a potentially long and difficult journey for you and your family. One of the many decisions you will have to make regarding your parent's care is whether to provide them with home care services or to help them transition into living in a facility for care. In order to make this decision, you need to know the benefits and risks of each type of care. 

Home Care Surrounds Your Parent With The Familiar

One of the benefits of home care for Alzheimer's patients is that remaining in the home allows them to stay in a familiar setting. In the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, your parent will likely still be able to navigate around their home, finding the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom with relative ease. 

Being around their possessions, photos, and the like may also help to jog their memory when they forget certain events or people. However, as their Alzheimer's progresses, the familiar will become less and less important. 

Alzheimer's affects the newest memories first and then progresses backwards until even the most deeply ingrained memories are lost. As such, if your parent has not lived in the same home for their entire life, the familiarity of the home environment will be lost relatively early in the degenerative process. Once these memories are lost, your parent will not be any more familiar with their house than they would be with a senior or Alzheimer's care facility. 

The Home Environment Is More Difficult To Regulate

While the home may be more familiar to your parent, at least for a period of time, it is also more a more difficult environment to fully monitor and regulate. Even with twenty-four hour care with a home care provider, your parent may suffer an accident or incident in the home. 

If, for example, your parent is taking a nap and the care provider is in another room cleaning, your parent could get out of bed, wander into the kitchen, and start a fire, or cut themselves with a knife. Home care providers monitor your parent as closely as possible while performing all of the tasks required of them. This can mean that your parent does not have eyes on them at all times. 

In a facility (such as Bethesda Health Care Facility), however, your parent will have limited access to areas and items that could cause them harm. And although a nurse or caregiver will not be at their side every second of everyday, this will be compensated for with security systems and cameras that monitor residents, as well as locks on the doors to prevent wandering out of designated areas. 

When your parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, you find yourself faced with difficult decisions. However, the decision between home care and facility care does not have to be difficult. Consider your parent's current mental state, the dangers and risks, and what is best for your piece of mind, and the decision should be clear. 


15 January 2015

Finding the Right Healthcare: Putting Families First

A few years ago, I experienced a huge health scare with my blood pressure. My doctor at the time didn't offer evening or late night care, which forced me to visit the local emergency room for help. Although it may seem like a small thing to some people, not having access to my doctor when I needed it really bothered me. It bothered me so much that I searched for a new doctor after my child was born. Now, I'm happy with my family's new physician. The doctor offers after-hour care, which is a wonderful thing for us. My blog offers tips on how to find the right doctor for your family, as well as many other services you might need one day. So, please read through the blog for the information you need now.