Choosing a Nursing Home for an Alzheimer’s Patient  


If your parent has Alzheimer’s and requires daily care and monitoring, there may come a point where you realize that you’ll need to choose a nursing home them. There could be a multitude of reasons for this.

You may need to work and there’s no one to look after them. You may be exhausted and need help to manage the patient… and so on.

Whatever the reason may be, do not view the situation negatively and think that you’re abandoning your loved one.

Nursing HomeYour parent can still get frequent visits from you and you can bring them home on days when you’re free and so on. What matters when you’re choosing a nursing home is that you choose one that is reputable and delivers value for money.

You’d be shocked to discover just how many nursing homes provide the bare necessities and care to keep the seniors alive. The focus is on cutting costs and increasing the bottom line rather than the welfare of the patient.

There have been many videos posted on social media where caregivers at the nursing homes have been secretly filmed abusing their patients. This can be worrying because you don’t want your aged parent to be at the mercy of any wretched caregivers.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, it’s crucial that you do your homework before placing your parent in any nursing home.

Let’s look at a few pointers you should observe.


  • Are there other Alzheimer’s patients in the nursing home?

It’s crucial that the staff at the nursing home understand how to handle patients with dementia. There’s a difference between looking after someone who is just old and looking after someone who is old and has Alzheimer’s.


  • Is there 24-hour care?

Ideally, the home should have 24-hour care and be staffed with medical and support personnel. When choosing a nursing home, make sure it is close to a medical center or part of one (in an adjoining building). In the event of an emergency, the patient will have immediate/quick access to medical treatment.

The home should have sufficient certified personnel to provide care for the patients. It shouldn’t be understaffed, and the caregivers should be trained in geriatric care.


  • How secure is the facility?

In most nursing homes, patients with Alzheimer’s are housed separately and more care is given. The place is more secure with locked doors to prevent patients from wandering off and getting lost.


  • Visit the home first

Exercise due diligence and visit the nursing home and ask for a tour of the facility. Look at the cleanliness and orderliness of the place.

    • Is it well-kept and clean?
    • Do the conditions look hygienic?
    • Does the place smell good?
    • Do the other patients look neat and well-taken care of?
    • Is there privacy for the patient?

Even if a senior has Alzheimer’s, they should be able to dress and undress away from the eyes of others. The home should respect the patient’s need for privacy.

Look at the toilets and see if they are clean. A sign of a good nursing home is clean toilets.

If you visit during meal times, take note if staff are assisting patients who can’t eat on their own.

Another interesting way to determine if the home is suitable will be to talk to some of the residents there. Many of them will be old but are of sound mind and will be happy to have some conversation. Ask them if they’re satisfied where they are or if there’s anything bugging them.


  • Other factors

Besides these obvious signs, trust your gut instinct. If the place looks good and feels good, it probably is. You may wish to check what types of recreational activities the home provides. This is very important because seniors can get bored.

Take a peep at the kitchen to see if the food preparation is hygienic. You may even wish to taste the food and see if it’s palatable. While you can’t expect a fine dining experience, the food shouldn’t taste like soggy cardboard either.

Do choose a good nursing home that’s close to you. This will make it easier to visit your parent and check on them.

At the end of the day, no matter how much research you do, you’ll only discover if your parent is happy in the nursing home once they’re inside. While it’s normal for them to grumble or be unhappy during the transitional period, in most cases they’ll settle down and enjoy being around others instead of sitting all alone at home.

Monitor their welfare and always keep an eye on the situation in the nursing home. If standards start to slip, you can always move your parent to another home. In most cases, you won’t have to because the good homes always strive to maintain their standards.

See you in the next post.


Rich Jablonski






P.S. There are other Alzheimer’s Care Options click here.

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