Thursday, December 17, 2015

Long Term Care Options for People with Alzheimer’s disease

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Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive organic brain disorder that leads to the irreversible loss of
cognitive abilities such as reasoning and memory retention. In year 2000, around 4.5 million Americans suffered from this disease and this number is expected to triple by year 2050 as the number of Americans aged 65 and older increase. People with this disease will eventually lose the ability to perform basic activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring. When this happens, they will need long term care.


Home and Community Care

1.     Family Caregivers are the primary providers of long term care in America. However, most of them do not have proper training on how to provide care for AD patients.  When the symptoms of the disease worsen, the patient may have to be transferred in a facility where the level of care he needs can be provided.

2.     Respite Care Services are commonly provided by community organizations that advocates for the welfare of seniors and family caregivers. For a minimal fee, they give family caregivers a chance to have break from their caregiving responsibilities.

3.     Adult Day Care Centers provide long term care and at the same time, give AD patients an opportunity to participate in activities that promotes social interaction. Most centers are open during normal work hours. This gives family caregivers an opportunity to work while their loved ones are in the center.


Facility Care

1.     Care Facilities for Dementia Patients provide specialized long term care for people with cognitive disorders. Due to the level of care required by people with such kind of disorders, these facilities commonly have more staff and more secured exits.

2.     Assisted Living Facilities are for AD patients who need personal care but do not require intensive medical care. These facilities are appropriate for people who have moderate functional impairment but can still move around safely on their own.

3.     Nursing Homes are the best option for AD patients who need intensive medical care. It provides 24/7 nursing care. AD patients who have the most severe manifestations of the disease such as those who can no longer walk, have difficulties swallowing food and have lost the ability to talk are recommended to receive care in these facilities. 

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