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Navigating the Decision: When Alzheimer’s Patients Should Transition to Nursing Homes

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Making the decision to move a loved one with Alzheimer’s to a nursing home is undeniably challenging and emotional. This choice requires a careful evaluation of numerous factors, including the patient’s medical, emotional, and daily living needs. 

“There are only four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.”  – Rosalyn Carter

As a caretaker of a nursing home in Lakewood, CA, I offer you a thoughtful guide to recognizing when it might be time to consider a nursing home for your beloved family member with Alzheimer’s.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Progression

Recognizing the Stages:

  • Early-Stage: In the initial phase, patients might still enjoy a fair amount of independence. However, subtle signs of memory loss and difficulty performing familiar tasks begin to appear.
  • Mid-Stage: During the middle stages, memory loss becomes more noticeable, and assistance with daily activities becomes more needed. The person might experience more mood swings, confusion, trouble recognizing loved ones.
  • Late-Stage: This stage sees significant cognitive decline, where patients may need help with all activities and lose the ability to communicate coherently.

Indicators for Nursing Home Consideration

Escalating Care Needs:

Patients in the latter stages often require round-the-clock care and supervision. When day-to-day responsibilites become too demanding for family members or in-home caregivers to handle, a nursing home can be considered. Our facility is equipped to provide intensive, 24-hour care tailored to Alzheimer’s patients.

Safety Concerns:

Safety is paramount when caring for Alzheimer’s patients. The risk of accidents, falls, or wandering off can increase as the disease progresses. Nursing homes offer a secure environment where patients are supervised and protected from potential hazards, providing peace of mind for families.

Declining Physical Health:

Alzheimer’s doesn’t just affect memory; it can also lead to a gradual decline in physical health. If your loved one faces difficulty in moving, swallowing, or is prone to infections and other health issues, the skilled medical staff at nursing homes can provide the necessary support.

Emotional and Psychological Factors

Caregiver Stress:

The emotional and physical strain on family caregivers can be overwhelming. If you, as the caregiver, are feeling stressed, burnt out, or are struggling with your mental health, it’s important to recognize that a nursing home might be the best option for both you and your loved one.

Patient Anxiety & Depression:

Alzheimer’s patients often suffer from anxiety and depression, and their mental health may deteriorate further if they sense the exhaustion and stress in their love ones providing demanding care for them. A nursing home staffed with trained professionals can offer the emotional support and stability these patients need. 

Preparing for the Transition

Professional Consultation:

Engage healthcare professionals who can offer expert advice and assessments regarding the patient’s condition and care requirements. A thorough medical evaluation will provide a clearer picture of their needs and help in making an informed decision.  So, have their medical history information as ready as possible.

Facility Research:

It’s imperative to research and visit various facilities, comparing the services, staff expertise, environment, and support provided. Facilities specializing in Alzheimer’s and dementia care are preferable, as they are more adept at handling the unique challenges associated with these conditions.

Emotional Preparation & Support

Coming to terms with the decision to move a loved one to a nursing home is emotionally draining. Feelings of guilt, sadness, and anxiety are normal. Seek counseling or join support groups where you can share your feelings and concerns with others undergoing similar experiences.

Financial Considerations

Explore different payment options, insurance coverage, and any available financial assistance or subsidies that can alleviate the monetary burden, and speak to different nursing homes before making your choice.  

Remember, this decision is not a sign of giving up or failing to provide care. Instead, it’s an act of love and responsibility towards ensuring that your loved one receives the best possible care and support in their battle against Alzheimer’s.

We Care

Elite Care Homes


24/7 Care


5602 Whitewood Ave,
Lakewood, CA 90712






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