Alzheimer's is a form of dementia affecting many people over the age of 50. No one can predict the onset of Alzheimer's or fully diagnose it until after death. Alzheimer's nursing homes are skilled medical facilities that possess the equipment and staff that specializes in catering to patients in different stages of dementia.
Some retirement homes are multi-care facilities and are qualified to deal with dementia as it appears and progresses. Other homes are not equipped and the resident will have to be moved to another facility after a decline in mobility.
Alzheimer's nursing homes are specifically designed to deal with dementia patients, but some do require that a resident be ambulatory. It is best to ask about long-term care services when seeking a nursing home where the staff is ready to handle the late stages of Alzheimer's.
Who Lives in Alzheimer's Nursing Homes?
The residents at an Alzheimer's nursing home are people who are afflicted with different forms of dementia. The seniors who reside there are in various stages of the disorder unless the nursing home is specifically designed for late-stage dementia, in which case only patients with the more severe symptoms are present. There are large and small communities and it is a good idea to visit a community in order to get an idea of how the population affects daily living.
What Services do Alzheimer’s Nursing Homes Provide?
Alzheimer's nursing homes provide many services beyond medical care, including quality of life programs designed to help residents remain active and give purpose to daily living.
Most early-stage Alzheimer's nursing homes offer opportunities for social living and events that stimulate and inspire their residents. A full-time care staff ensures that patients who need help with everyday tasks are properly assisted. This includes assistance with activities of daily living such as:
- Taking medicine
- And more
How Can I Pay for Alzheimer’s Nursing Care?
Alzheimer's nursing homes can cost considerably more than other nursing homes. It is important to understand the costs involved before agreeing to stay. Approximately 50% of patients pay for nursing home costs out of their own savings, yet there are several other ways to finance nursing home care:
- Medicare will pay for some costs under some conditions, however, only a Medicare-certified skilled nursing home will qualify. Medicare offers supplemental personal insurance called Medigap.
- Medigap is private insurance that pays for gaps in Medicare coverage and will pay for most nursing home costs.
- Medicaid is a state and federal program that will cover most nursing home costs provided the resident has limited income and assets. If a senior is paying for costs from their own savings, they usually become eligible for Medicaid when those funds are spent down.
- Long-term care insurance is a private insurance policy specifically designed for those who are in need of long-term health services.
- Employer-based health plans may also cover costs. Employers and insurance brokers can offer more information about specific policies.
No matter what your financial situation, counselors are available to determine what assistance a senior may qualify for when moving into an Alzheimer’s nursing home.
Written by senior housing staff writer.