When someone you love suffers from dementia, it can be very difficult. Long term care offers support and relief for everyone involved. Here’s what to expect.
It’s always hard when you’re watching a loved one suffer from dementia, but know you’re not alone. 47 million people worldwide are currently suffering from dementia, so there are a lot of people who understand your struggles… and your options. When your loved one gets to a certain stage of dementia, the best thing to do for them can be to look for a long term care facility so they can get the help they need.
Even if this is the best thing for your loved one, though, it’s probably pretty nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing for you. After all, when you have no idea what to expect and the livelihood of someone you care for deeply is at stake, the situation is pretty high-stakes.
You’re probably confused, but we’re here to help. We’re going to tell you exactly what to expect when committing your loved one to long term care for dementia, both for them and for you.
Monetary Expectations for Long Term Care
It might sound like a crass thing to talk about, but you need to know what to expect financially when committing a loved one to long term care. If you don’t consider the finances, it’ll be hard to select a living facility that is both good for the person and within your budget.
Before you commit to a facility, see what’s covered by your insurance. Contact both your insurance company and the care facility to figure out what’s going to be covered and how much you’re going to be chipping in out of pocket.
If you know how much different places are going to cost you, that’s when you can start comparing homes. Figure out what the best place is for your loved one, of course, but also consider how much long term care is going to cost you and the rest of your family. It would be bad if you realize you can’t afford the home later and have to pull your loved one out and place them somewhere else.
Because of that, cost assessment is helpful for your loved one, too, not just you. Prevent creating hardship or instability later by looking into our options early.
One-On-One Assistance with Everyday Life
When putting someone into long term care, you probably are asking yourself what kind of benefits care facilities can offer. One of the main things that these places do is to give residents assistance with everyday life activities.
At home, your loved one’s physical health probably wasn’t as good as it used to be. After all, when someone has dementia, it can be difficult to remember to keep up with personal hygiene like showering, or even necessary tasks like eating. In long term care, assistants provide help to jog the person’s memory and make sure they do these essential tasks.
Not just that, though, but there are assistants that actually help with the tasks themselves. Help with dressing, grooming, bathing, and using the bathroom are going to be essential for your loved one in their poor health. This way, they won’t be left high and dry when they’re struggling to perform these tasks.
Assistants also help with giving medication to patients. These pills will become essential to the resident’s quality of life, and having someone there to make sure that they take them is going to be a necessity.
There are a few different types of care that you can look into getting for your loved one. The kind you’re probably going to consider first is an on-call care facility where the resident will, for the most part, live alone. Assistants will just be there when they’re needed.
This is sometimes the best way to start someone’s journey with long term care facilities. These make the transition from solo life to life with help a little easier because they don’t thrust the change on the person all at once.
These beginning care stages let the person in care have a little bit more independence than they’ll have in later stages of care. They’ll be able to decide on their own activities more easily than they will later. There will be someone to remind them to do things, yes, but they’ll have a lot more alone time than they would with a 24-hour assistant.
In the end, this beginning stage of care might not be enough for your loved one in the long term. But it’s a start, and when it becomes absolutely necessary, the transition into 24-hour care will be much easier for everyone.
Putting a loved one into 24-hour care isn’t an easy decision, but in a lot of cases, it’s for the best. In these situations, there will be an assistant to work one on one with the resident 24 hours a day, every day.
This can be the best thing to do when it becomes clear that the person in question can’t care for themselves at all anymore, no matter how hard they’re trying. More often than not, a person with memory impairment is going to need someone with them at all times to help them with essential daily activities.
In 24 hour care, your loved one will never be left to fend for themselves in situations that they can’t handle. There will always be an assistant- someone that they know and trust- on hand, and this person’s sole duty will be to help them in these situations.
Even though the decision is hard at first, these 24-hour care situations will, in the end, make it easier for you to rest easy. You won’t have to worry about whether your loved one is alone anymore, because you’ll know that someone they know and trust is always on hand.
Emotional Support for the Resident
Another important service that most long term care facilities provide to residents is emotional support. Lots of people, when they get to the stage in their life that they’re losing their memory, will have a lot of difficulties adjusting to new situations. This will be especially hard going into long term care when they’re changing both their place of residence and the people they’re seeing every day.
At home, it’s likely that your loved one was growing isolated and, as a result, depressed. This is pretty common in people who need memory care, but it’s something that you need to fight for the well being of your loved one. Lots of people who need long term care have also had issues with hoarding, leading to other emotional issues.
In long term care your loved one won’t only have an assistant to help them with physical needs, but to help them emotionally, too. Talking to caregivers will of course help with isolation. Many facilities also have options for residents to talk to each other.
When your loved one is moved into long term care, they’re also being placed into a community of people. These people will do all they can to help your loved one transition smoothly into their new arrangement.
Making the Adjustment
Your loved one isn’t going to be the only person who needs emotional support. You and other loved ones of the person going into long-term care are also going to need people to talk to and connect with during this difficult time.
Of course, for practical reasons, you’re going to want to be in contact with the staff of the care facility that your loved one is living in. You’re also going to want to be in contact with your insurance to make sure that your money is going into all the right places.
But you’re also going to want to get some emotional support. Talk to other people who have loved ones in long term care for dementia. A good place to start might even be with people whose loved ones are in the same facility as yours!
There are also countless support groups out there for people who are in similar situations as you are. You don’t want to go through this alone, and talking to others is bound to make you feel more supported and less alone.
Care for Your Loved One
In the end, the point of placing your loved one in a position of long term care is so they can be cared for. Of course, you love them, and always will, but the people in these facilities are more knowledgeable and equipped to deal with whatever pops up.
Now that you know what to expect when a loved one goes into long term care, contact MediLodge to talk to people who can help.
Remember that no matter how hard this is, you aren’t alone.