Guest Post: Pros and Cons of Dementia Patients In Nursing Facilities

February 26, 2013 developer Comments

This blog post was written by Assisted Living Today who is a premier publishing resource focused on providing high quality, trustworthy information about various aspects of senior living.

Dementia patients can be extremely difficult simply because they are no longer themselves. They are unpredictable because they don’t remember what they should be doing, who they are or what is considered socially acceptable. This unpredictability can make it difficult for them to go into a nursing facility – though there are still many pros involved with it as well.

When it comes to caring for a dementia or Alzheimer’s patient, they are often in a permanent state of confusion. If they don’t want to do something they are being asked (or forced) to do, they can become violent. As a result, it is not easy to care for such a patient in their home. It often requires round the clock nursing care to ensure they are receiving their meds as well as being bathed on a regular basis.

For those living in the house with the person that has dementia, it can be extremely taxing. If they are placed in a nursing facility, the other members of the household will not have to be on guard all of the time. They will be able to relax and feel safe in their home – without worrying about what the person is going to do next.

Many who have a person with dementia living with them get onto a first name basis with the local law enforcement because of having to call due to the person with dementia having violent outbreaks. This is not something that the average family member is trained to deal with – and it can be very scary. Because of this, they are often better suited for a nursing home.

One of the main cons to placing a dementia patient in a nursing facility is that many nursing facilities will not accept dementia patients because they are ill-equipped to dealing with the violent outbreaks and they are not prepared to provide the level of care that is required. Additionally, if the patient needs the medicine provided in an unorthodox manner, the nursing facility may not be able to do that.

There are a number of individuals who have dementia who are older in life and live with their spouse. They feel a familiarity with that person, although they cannot remember the person’s name at all times. This familiarity can help them to thrive. As soon as they are placed in a nursing home, they are suddenly surrounded by faces they don’t recognize at all and they begin to decline quickly.

Another con of placing a person into a nursing facility with dementia is the costs involved. Because not all facilities take a dementia patient, they usually end up at a very high-end facility that can handle violent outbreaks as well as the 24/7 care that is often required. The loophole around the costs is to have long-term health insurance, which will cover the facility costs – or at least a large portion of them.

Everyone’s situation is different based upon how the person with dementia is acting. In many instances, a person is able to live with the people they love – at least up until a certain point. When the dementia gets to be too bad, they will need to seek additional help. This can be in the form of home nursing assistance or placing the person into a qualified senior housing option, particular a skilled nursing facility.

Weighing the pros and cons is important to determine what the right step is. What is important is that the dementia patient is getting the help they need medically and that they are not a physical threat to themselves or anyone else. As a person’s mind begins to deteriorate, they do not think rationally, so that aspect needs to be considered when determining the best path for care.

The pros of going into a nursing facility is that they get the round the clock care, they get their meds and they are bathed. They are no longer taxing the emotions of the family and they are removed from creating physical harm to others. The cons of going into a nursing facility are that it is difficult to find a location, they lose the familiar faces and the costs can be overwhelming.

There is no right answer as to whether a person with dementia should go into a nursing facility or not. For those who are not equipped to handle the patient at home, it may be the best solution in the interest of getting that person a high level of care at all times of the day or night. While everyone wants to keep their loved ones nearby, it is simply not always possible. At some point, it may be necessary to let go and have a nursing home take over the care because it becomes too difficult to do alone and inside a home.

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