September is World Alzheimer’s Month, with the 21st known as World Alzheimer’s Day. Each year those involved in mental health and elderly care take this time to raise awareness of the condition, and educate others about it, as well as other types of dementia.
This year at The Beeches, we’re taking the opportunity to speak about choosing the right Alzheimer’s care for your loved ones this World Alzheimer’s Month.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is “a degenerative brain disease that is caused by complex brain changes following cell damage. It leads to dementia symptoms that gradually worsen over time.” The organisation also states that Alzheimer’s Disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.
When is it time to consider residential or at-home care?
It can be hard to navigate when a loved one is no longer able to lead an independent life.
Their individual needs and preferences will need to be taken into consideration, but here are some factors that might indicate that it’s time to consider care options:
- If their physical health and mobility become a concern: Our mobility is something that we can often take for granted, and if/when it declines it can very quickly become unsafe for the individual or those around them
- They need a change in their social interactions: If your loved one is no longer able to get the amount of social interaction they need then it might be worth considering a care facility where they can have the opportunity to socialise with other residents
- They have a small network: Some people have a large network of family and friends which can make staying at home easier, however, this isn’t always the case and some of that support may need to be outsourced
- Their finances: Care does come at some kind of cost, whether that’s time and energy from family and friends or the monetary cost of moving into a specialist home
Residential vs home care:
Just like any big decision, creating a list of pros and cons may help decision-making easier. We’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of residential and home care respectively, as some food for thought should you be considering these options.
- Your loved one will receive specialised care for people with Alzheimer’s
- There is 24/7 supervision, so you can worry less about the safety of your loved one
- Lots of activities and social opportunities
- Less stress for family caregivers
- Can be expensive
- May be difficult to find a good facility, and may be time-consuming to make an informed choice
- It could be harder to see friends and family if the care home is far away
- Allows the person with Alzheimer’s to stay in their own home
- Easier to keep existing routines
- It can be less expensive than residential care if you just need visits
- Looking after a loved one can be challenging for family caregivers
- Your loved one may not have 24/7 support
- It can be difficult to find qualified caregivers
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between residential and home care, and to reiterate, the best decision for your loved one will depend on their individual needs and preferences.
It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully and to talk to your loved one about their wishes. You should also talk to other family members, friends, and healthcare professionals to get their input.
Choosing the right type of care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a difficult decision. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and it can take a while to make what feels like a good choice.
If you think that residential care might be the best choice for a loved one, and would like to speak to someone from the team here at The Beeches, please feel free to contact us by calling 01359 230773 or via our contact form.