The fast-paced modern world has made it challenging to always be available when loved ones need you. This outcome is especially true if constant attention is necessary. Being able to provide adequate care for the elderly in our lives is a significant concern for many Americans today. The multitude of physically debilitating conditions synonymous with old age further complicates this situation. Alzheimer’s disease is one such increasingly common, life-disrupting condition.
In the United States, one in every eight Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s. The implication is that there are over 5.9 million elderly Americans who are living with this condition. A well-known characteristic of Alzheimer’s is the decline in the cognitive abilities of the sufferer. This decline is shockingly rapid at times. The decrease in the person’s memory, reasoning, and thinking abilities marks the onset of the condition. However, these symptoms are not conclusive indicators of Alzheimer’s. What follows is a broad discussion of Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Dementia
Alzheimer’s is one of several conditions that affect the cognitive abilities of the elderly. These conditions are collectively known as dementia. An increase in the frequency of forgetfulness is a standard indicator of the onset of dementia. Early-stage memory loss involves forgetting minor details. A good example is the misplacement of items of clothing or other favored objects. As dementia advances, the degree of cognitive impairment also increases. Advanced memory loss will involve the inability to recall significant life events. A good example would be forgetting dates for birthdays, anniversaries, and other important events.
The loss in temporal and spatial association indicates late-stage Alzheimer’s. A person living with Alzheimer’s begins to exhibit confusion related to time and place. They may also start having trouble recognizing pictures of loved ones. It is highly advisable to have a loved one in a nursing home before full-blown Alzheimer’s manifests.
Final stage dementia symptoms require professional care. These symptoms include speech impairment, social-withdrawal, and complete personality transformation. The next section deals with the prerequisite features of a suitable nursing home for older adults living with dementia. An ideal, assisted living situation for elderly people living with dementia should offer three key benefits to its clients.
1. Competent and Qualified Staff
All forms of dementia tend to manifest in gradual and progressive stages. The stages vary from mild symptoms at the onset to full-blown symptoms towards the end. The assisted living facility you pick must, therefore, possess an experienced and qualified nursing staff capable of providing stage-specific care. Caregivers in the nursing home must have the competence to identify manifesting symptoms of dementia correctly. This way, the nurse will be able to respond appropriately and effectively to the needs of the client.
2. Semi-Permanent Support Staff
The facility should also have the capacity to handle any other medical and non-medical needs adequately. The implication is that apart from the permanent nursing staff, the facility should also have a semi-permanent team. Doctors, psychologists, pharmacists, dietitians, aerobics instructors, artists, and other professionals are part of this team. Such an arrangement will empower the nursing home in catering to every possible need of their elderly clientele.
3. Extensive Amenities
The assisted living facility that you pick must offer a wide range of amenities to its clients. The amenities should include an entertainment room, visitors lounge, a crafts room, a kitchen, a garden, an outdoor patio, a common dining room, an exercise room, and so forth. Such amenities will ensure that your loved one has productive, activity-filled days while living at the nursing home. Furthermore, such a facility is best located away from the hubbub of urban areas. A rural or semi-urban setting for the home will provide a quiet living place for your elderly family member.
Modern-day assisted living facilities are viable care options for the elderly. Such facilities are indispensable in the care of individuals requiring specialized care. These specialized nursing homes are ideal for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.