You’ve made it through the holidays and as you settle back into your regular routine, you may be reflecting on those you love. For many of us, the holidays are a time to get together with friends and relatives we haven’t seen in a while. As joyful as these gatherings can be, they can also bring new worries.
You may have noticed that your father seems more forgetful. Perhaps your aunt’s dementia seems to be getting worse. Or, a dear friend may have seemed frailer than you remembered.
We try to care for our loved ones at home for as long as possible. But when a person has dementia, this can be a struggle, even for families who have lots of resources and live close by.
As hard as it is to make the decision, moving to a long-term care home is more the norm than the exception for families of someone with dementia. Research shows that 57% of seniors living in a residential care home have Alzheimer’s disease, or another form of dementia, or both. And, 70% of people with dementia will eventually die in a nursing home.
At the Alzheimer Society, people who have dementia often tell us they worry about someday moving into long-term care. Their families tell us that it can be the hardest decision they’ll ever make: “How will I know it is time?” “What about the promises we made to care for each other until the end?” “How do I choose a home?” “How much will it cost?” “Will she get the care she needs?”
That’s why the Alzheimer Society has created a new series of checklists to help families know what to ask and look for when choosing a long-term care home. They come in four easy-to-use brochures with lots of practical tips:
You can also get printed copies from your local Alzheimer Society. Visit our Directory to find one close to you or call us toll free at 1-800-616-8816.
About the Author
Mary Schulz is Director of Education for the Alzheimer Society of Canada.