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If you are caring for a loved one who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most frightening things can be when they start needing more help than what you can give them on your own. You cherish the memories you are making with your loved one, but realize that additional help is needed. You are not alone in this. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 50 million people around the world suffer from dementia. There are many others who have gone through the same thing.

If this sounds like the situation you are in with a loved one, it might be time to consider Alzheimer’s care, dementia care, or memory care. It is understandable that you might be worried about putting your loved one into the care of someone else. You want to know more about the options and details of the care your loved one will be getting. This guide will walk you through the information that you need before getting your loved one extra help.

Overview of dementia care

Dementia care or Alzheimer’s care is designed to address specific needs an individual with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease has. There are many different types of dementia care units including memory care, assisted living facilities, and more. Many of these units are secure or locked, while others may not be. The majority of dementia care units are placed within a larger residential care facility. However, there are some facilities that are designed solely for the purpose of caring for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease patients.

If you are looking into getting dementia care for your loved one, you will want to find a facility with staff members who are trained in dementia care. The facility should also provide specialized activities. Before placing your loved one into a dementia care unit, you should make sure they offer the services that your loved one needs.

If your loved one lives with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they are more than likely going to need a specific set of services. Some of the services that your loved one might need include walking assistance, wandering prevention, assistance with transfers, bathing assistance, grooming care, help to get dressed, medication monitoring and reminders, meal preparation, housekeeping, appointment assistance, and more.

When you decide that your loved one needs Alzheimer’s care or dementia care and you take them to a dementia care home or assisted living facility, they can get an assessment done. This will help to determine which services they are going to need. The assessment will also help to develop a care plan for your loved one based on their symptoms and needs.

Dementia care costs

There are different types of care people can receive for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If your loved one suffers from either of these conditions, you might be concerned about how much it is going to cost. The truth is, there are different factors that cause the costs for memory care to vary. Learning about these factors, the costs of different types of Alzheimer’s care, and how to pay for the care your loved one needs can be very helpful.

Factors That Influence Costs of Dementia Care

Are you looking into memory care, dementia care, or Alzheimer’s care for your loved one? If so, it can be helpful to know about the different factors which could affect the cost of their care. Some of these factors include the following:

  • Services received by the memory care or assisted living facility
  • State where your loved one is receiving services
  • The area where your loved one gets services (urban or rural)
  • Extra activities that may be provided by the facility

These are just a few of the factors that may influence the costs of dementia care. The type of care that your loved one receives would affect the cost as well.

Cost for Different Types of Care

When looking into dementia care, memory care, or Alzheimer’s care, you will find there are different ways to receive services for your loved one. The costs associated with the care will vary based on the type of care your loved one is receiving.

It is possible for your loved one to get home care assistance for dementia care. Most of the time, home care agencies or individuals are going to charge by the hour. When looking across the nation, the average rate for home care services is $22.50 an hour. However, it should be noted that many people who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease need more than home care services.

If your loved one was just recently diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they may qualify for adult day care. Generally, this type of care is billed by the day, usually between $58 and $75 a day. However, if your loved one’s disease is more progressed, they are going to need more advanced care.

The next step up is assisted living. For those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, this is often called memory care. In this type of living situation, your loved one would receive more care than they would with at-home care or adult day care. The assisted living facilities provide more security for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. For instance, if your loved one wanders a lot, this type of living situation would be more secure, to prevent wandering. Memory care facilities vary in cost, based on the area the facility is located in and services that are provided. However, the average rate for this type of care is around $5,000 a month. It could be a little less than this or in some states, up to $7,000 or $8,000 a month.

Finally, if your loved one suffers from late-stage dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they might be in need of nursing home care. Nursing homes charge daily, generally between $130 to $340 a day.

As you can see, the costs for most of the types of dementia care or Alzheimer’s care are quite high. However, it is important to know that there are many different ways to pay for memory care services.

Paying for Alzheimer’s Care or Memory Care

If your loved one needs Alzheimer’s care or memory care services, there are many ways in which these services can be paid for. This type of care can be covered with private funds, assistance programs, government assistance, insurance, and other options, as well.

Medicare is one of the options that can be used to pay for memory care. However, there are limitations on how long Medicare will cover these services and how much they will pay for. Medicare will pay for all of the costs of nursing home services for 20 days. They will cover 80 percent of costs in a nursing home for another 80 days. However, this is not even 3 months of coverage for nursing home care. Medicare won’t pay for assisted living or in-home care unless the patient is determined to be in their last 6 months of living. In that instance, other options would become available such as Medigap and supplementary insurance. Medigap will usually cover the other 20 percent of care in a nursing home during the days of 21 to 100.

If your loved one qualifies for veteran’s assistance, this could help to cover some costs associated with memory care. In some instances, the VA will cover a maximum of $2,500 a month to those who qualify.

Medicaid is another option for covering dementia care costs. However, your loved one may not qualify for Medicaid. If they do qualify, Medicaid will cover all of the costs of nursing home memory care services at specific facilities.

There are some other options available to help cover the costs of memory care, as well. These include personal payments, state-funded programs, loans, and long-term care insurance.

As you can see, there are many options for covering the costs of memory care or Alzheimer’s care. You just have to figure out what your loved one qualifies for and what services they need.

Amenities found in dementia care homes

One of the things that you will want to look into when choosing a dementia care home for your loved one is the amenities they offer. Different memory care facilities will offer their own set of amenities and services. Some of these amenities include the following:

  • Help with bathing and getting dressed
  • Medication management
  • Help with toileting
  • Meal preparation and help with eating
  • Collaborative personalized care plan
  • Private or semi-private unit
  • Housekeeping
  • Nursing services provided around-the-clock
  • Socialization activities
  • Transportation for doctor’s appointments, outings, and field trips
  • Gardening, art, music, and dancing classes
  • Puzzles
  • Faith-based services
  • Pet therapy
  • Secure facility
  • Courtyard
  • Personal monitoring devices
  • Security cameras
  • Therapies
  • Encouragement to be physically active

These are some of the many different amenities that may be provided by a memory care facility. When you call different memory care facilities, ask them for a list of the amenities or services that they will provide for your loved one.

When is dementia care right for you?

As mentioned, there might be a time when your loved one needs more help than they can get at home. In these instances, they might be in need of memory care services. If you are unsure of whether your loved one needs dementia care, some of the things you should look for include the following:

  • Does your loved one need around-the-clock care?
  • Is it unsafe for your loved one to stay living at home?
  • Would your loved one’s health be at risk if they didn’t receive dementia care services?
  • Are you no longer able to provide all the care that your loved one needs?
  • Would your loved one benefit from the structure they would get at a memory care facility?
  • Is your loved one’s disease progressing?
  • Has your loved one said they don’t want to be a burden on you or other family members?

If you have said yes to any, some, or even all of these questions, then it might be time to move your loved one into a memory care facility. Getting them dementia or Alzheimer’s care could be the best thing for them.

How do I find dementia care near me?

To find a dementia care home for your loved one, you can look online for the best home for your loved one. You can also look at reviews to find the right placement, as well. When you are looking for the best dementia care home for your loved one, there are some things you should consider.

One of the things that you will want to make sure of is that family members will be allowed to be involved in the care of your loved one. For instance, is the memory care home going to allow you to be involved in care planning? Will they inform you of any changes that are made in your loved one’s care or condition? If so, this is the type of dementia care home you should place your loved one in.

Another thing you should look for when trying to find a dementia care home for your loved one is proper staffing. You will want to make sure the home has enough staff members to provide your loved one with the proper medical care, personal care, and dementia care. The staff members should be trained in dementia behaviors and care. When you call around to homes, ask what their staff-to-resident ratio is.

You will want to make sure the memory care home you choose for your loved one provides the appropriate programs and services. Talk to the staff at the home about your loved one’s conditions and behaviors. Make sure they plan activities that are going to help your loved one. Another thing that may be important to you is if the home will provide transportation for your loved one to doctor’s appointments. Will they provide different types of therapy for your loved one, including recreational, speech, occupational, and physical therapy?

When choosing the proper memory care home for your loved one, be sure the environment is right for them. Is there enough space for your loved one to still move around and feel somewhat independent? Is the home or facility secure? Is there an area designated for family members to visit? Can your loved one bring items with them such as their favorite chair?

You will want to consider the meal preparation and management that the memory care home provides, as well. Will they provide snacks and meals at regular times every day? See if the home can show you a sample menu of the food they provide. Can family members come to mealtimes? Will the staff members monitor how well your loved one is eating? Will they accommodate your loved one’s dietary needs? Will they help your loved one eat if needed?

Lastly, you will want to know about any specific policies and procedures the memory care home has. For instance, how involved can you be in your loved one’s care on a regular basis? What are the visiting hours for family members and friends? What is the discharge policy? What is the policy for any changes in care that are needed? Can your loved one stay in the same room throughout the progression of their disease? What happens if an emergency arises? Will they provide end-of-life care?

There is a lot involved in choosing and finding the best memory care home for your loved one. However, once you ask the above-mentioned questions, you can narrow down the list of the best options for your loved one.

Dedicated dementia care community or assisted living - which is better?

If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you might not be sure what type of care is best for them. Many family members of those with dementia consider dedicated dementia care communities or assisted living facilities. To help you better decide what is best for your loved one, there are some things you should know between these two types of care.

One of the differences between memory care and assisted living is the cost. This can vary based on the services provided, the area where the home or facility is located, and based on some other factors, too. However, the average rate for dementia care is around $5,400 a month nationwide. The average rate for assisted living is around $4,000 a month nationwide. This might be a factor for you to consider depending on what your loved one can afford.

There are some physical differences in dedicated dementia care and assisted living, as well. In many dedicated dementia care homes, the layout is in a circular fashion. This is because many people with dementia become overwhelmed with the barriers of hallways that end. In addition, circular set-ups allow residents to wander safely. Dedicated memory care homes also have added security to prevent wandering and to keep an eye on residents.

Dedicated memory care units emphasize relaxation more often than assisted living homes. This is done by offering an area where residents can relax such as a common room, having colorful hallways, and letting in more natural light.

Medication management is another change between dedicated memory care homes and assisted living. However, this does vary based on the state where the home or facility is located. In some assisted living facilities, residents can administer their own medications, while memory care residents need help with their medications.

Assisted living staff members are often trained in helping residents with activities of daily living. However, staff members of memory care homes are trained more in dealing with the specific behaviors and needs of dementia care residents. These staff members understand more about how the disease progresses, what behaviors might be present in different stages of the disease, and how to communicate better with those who have dementia.

The staff-to-resident ratio is generally better for dedicated dementia care homes than in assisted living facilities.

It should be noted that safety checks are done more in dedicated memory care than they are in assisted living facilities.

Memory care facilities have more strict schedules, as well, due to dementia residents needing more routine to minimize behaviors.

Lastly, memory care facilities offer more encouragement with meals than assisted living facilities do. Many people who have dementia have issues with their appetites. The staff members at dedicated dementia care homes know this and are able to address this problem more directly.

Questions to ask dementia care homes during tours

There are many questions that you might want to ask dementia care homes during tours. Some of these questions include the following:

  • What is your staff-to-resident ratio?
  • Do you offer customized meal plans to residents?
  • What is the process of developing a care plan for individual residents?
  • What is the cost of services provided at your home?
  • Does the cost vary every month or is it a flat-rate every month?
  • Is there a strict schedule for all residents or does it vary for every individual resident?
  • When can family members or friends visit?
  • What are the hours of visitation for family members?
  • How often will the care plan be adjusted?
  • What happens if an emergency situation occurs with my loved one?

These are some of the most commonly asked questions that people have for staff members at dementia care homes. If you have any questions related to how the memory care home operates or how your loved one will be cared for, be sure to ask the staff members when calling each home. It might be best to look into multiple dementia care homes to make sure you are getting the best care for your loved one.

If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it might be time to get them Alzheimer’s care or memory care. There are many different types of services and care programs for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Now that you have more information about different types of care, the cost of care, and the services that your loved one might receive at memory care homes, you can choose the best care facility for your loved one.

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