Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Homes and Dementia Care

Questions and Answers about Nursing Homes for Dementia Care
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Sorting through the options when considering how best to care for someone with dementia can be challenging. Here are a few frequently asked questions when looking at facility care such as a nursing home, options for care at home, and the possibility of a secure dementia unit designed specifically for people with memory loss.

Question:

Our mother has Alzheimer’s disease, but we’ve committed to caring for her in our own home.

Why should we take any time to look at the facilities in our community?

Answer: 

Sometimes, events happen or circumstances change. Being prepared “just in case” can save you time and worry at a time of crisis. I’ve spoken with several families over the years that, because of an unanticipated need, ended up looking for nursing home placement even though that was not at all in their plans.

If your goal, like that of many, is to avoid nursing home placement, you may want to research some supports you can bring into the home such as home health care services or meals for seniors. These services can often extend the time someone can live at home.

However, you also should consider identifying your options in case if your loved one would ever need a facility. Remember that finding out a little information about some facilities will be much easier if you’re able to choose the time to do this research instead of rushing a decision of where to move your mother who’s at the hospital and needs to be transferred out in an hour.

If you never need to use that information, perhaps it will still bring you a little peace of mind.

Question:

I’m not familiar with any of the nursing homes in my community. How do I know which facilities are good?

Answer:

Consider these suggestions on researching and choosing a nursing home. It’s an important task, so ask around and drop in on a few facilities.

One of the best resources is word-of-mouth from a friend.

Question:

How does home health care work? I’d like to have some help come into my dad’s home so that we can keep him home as long as possible. He has dementia and gets confused, but I know he wants to stay at home.

Answer:

Home health care can be very helpful in supporting someone at home. Here's how home health care works and how it can help someone with dementia. Remember that the goal of keeping someone at home is quality of care and safety in their home.

Question:

I’m worried about the care that my father will receive in a nursing home. If I move him to a facility and I have a concern about the way they provide care for him, what should I do?

Answer:

Knowing how to approach a facility when you’re concerned about the care they’re providing is half the battle. Advocating for your loved one in a calm, respectful and effective way can improve his care and open the door for ongoing communication.

Question:

My sister and I are moving our mother into a nursing home next week.

We didn’t want to do this but we just can’t handle her care at home anymore. She is in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s, and we’re wondering what we can do to help her adjust to this big change.

Answer:

Here are some tips on how to help your loved one with dementia adjust to a facility.

Question:

The nursing home that my friend recommended to me has a separate area where they can care for people with memory loss. My wife has dementia, but I’m not sure that I want her to be in a place where everyone else is confused. Is there any benefit to one of those facilities?

Answer:

There are pros and cons to special care units that offer dementia care. I’ve outlined a few factors for you to consider when deciding whether or not to seek care in a dementia unit.

Question:

I found out that nursing homes are pretty expensive. Are there different ways to pay for it? Does insurance cover anything?

Answer:

Nursing homes are costly, to be sure. Payment options for long term care include:

  • Medicare / Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Private Pay
  • Medicaid

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