nursing homes care

How Nursing Homes Can Provide Better Care for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

The number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is growing at an unprecedented rate. Almost two-thirds of all residents in nursing homes in America are diagnosed with some type of cognitive impairment including Alzheimer’s and these patients rely heavily on the quality of care given in these facilities to help them enjoy a good quality of life even as their disease progresses.


The importance of optimal care in Alzheimer’s patients


Unlike other forms of health care, caring for Alzheimer’s patients take on a more person-centered approach, which focuses on allowing the patient as much independence as possible while still providing him the level of care he needs depending on the stage of his disease.


Optimal care in nursing homes covers different domains of a patient’s life including his functional and social status, security, comfort, and emotional and physical health.


As the disease progresses, patients also experience a decrease in their quality of life, especially when they start to feel functional impairments and depression. But it is the job of professionals in nursing homes to make sure that optimal care is given to patients, no matter the stage of their disease.


The elements of optimal care in nursing homes


To achieve the goal of providing optimal care to Alzheimer’s patients, nursing homes must have these essential components:


Proper assessments


Both federal and state regulations require nursing homes to conduct proper assessments of all residents using the Minimum Data Set of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease should also undergo more in-depth assessments to determine the progression of the disease and the proper care to be given to them.


Adequate staffing


Since individuals with Alzheimer’s disease need more care than other patients, nursing homes should be able to attend to the needs of their residents by making sure that they meet proper staffing requirements.


Staff should also be trained in caring for Alzheimer’s patients and they should follow rules in making sure that each resident is given adequate care not only by nurses but also by recreational therapists, social workers, and nursing assistants.


Care planning


Since caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s disease should take the person-centered approach, it’s very important to involve the patient, his family and the staff in creating an effective care plan tailored to his needs. The primary goal for care here is to give patients as much independence as possible while making sure that they have the assistance they require in doing certain activities.


Proper medical management


As Alzheimer’s disease progresses to its moderate and severe stages, patients will start to manifest more psychological and behavioral signs of dementia, which deserve attention from healthcare providers.


A nursing home should be able to deal with these problems as they arise, especially in managing the symptoms through both pharmacological and alternative methods.


Individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease deserve the best quality of life. Whether they live for four or twenty years, they should be able to enjoy their surroundings while making sure they are safe and well cared for by the competent staff in nursing homes.


Richmont Senior Living is proud to serve Ashland, NE and the surrounding cities: Memphis, Springfield, South Bend, Greenwood, Murdock, Waverly, Murdock, Ithaca, and Chalco

Alzheimer's assisted living

A Closer Look at the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

The numbers say it all. 1 in 3 seniors die from Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, more than 5 million Americans are living with it and this year, the disease will cost America more than $305 billion. But the question that most of us often choose to overlook is: how does Alzheimer’s disease progress?


Alzheimer’s disease generally has three stages: mild, moderate and severe. Here, we take a look at what happens during each stage and how memory assisted living helps patients with the disease get the best quality of life:


Mild Alzheimer’s


At this stage, the individual may still show little signs of the disease. He may not be aware yet that he is showing some signs of Alzheimer’s, but his family and friends will start to notice some changes and challenges that may prompt a consultation. But he is still able to function independently and perform self-care and social activities.


During a thorough medical interview, the doctor may be able to determine difficulties like challenges in performing usual tasks, problems coming up with the right name, difficulty remembering names of newly introduced people and misplacing an important object.


Moderate Alzheimer’s


Lasting for years, this is the longest stage of the disease and it’s typically when the individual would require care in memory assisted living. In moderate Alzheimer’s, the symptoms are more pronounced including severe forgetfulness, changes in mood, disorientation with days and times, and even trouble controlling bladder and bowels.


The individual may also be at risk for wandering and he may have difficulties establishing a proper sleeping routine. This is why it’s not surprising that some patients with moderate Alzheimer’s may sleep during the day and become restless during the night.


Severe Alzheimer’s


In the final stage of the disease, the symptoms of dementia are already severe and the need for care in memory assisted living is inevitable. The individual is already unable to respond in his environment, engage in conversations and even control movement. He may also require round-the-clock assistance with self-care and activities of daily living.


Moreover, because he may experience challenges in physical abilities like sitting, walking and even swallowing, he is at risk for accidents, which is why it’s very important to have him assisted by a healthcare professional at this point. A lot of individuals at the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease are already more vulnerable to infections and are at risk for pneumonia.


The bottom line


The survival and progression rate of Alzheimer’s disease differs for each individual. But most people over 65 years old would survive for up to eight years after diagnosis. Some even live for 20 years, although most of this time will be spent in the most severe stages of Alzheimer’s disease.


Every 65 seconds, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the rate of individuals affected by the disease continues to rise rapidly. But while there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s, the best thing that families can do is to provide the right support and love to their loved ones suffering from the disease.


Richmont Senior Living is proud to serve Ashland, NE and the surrounding cities: Memphis, Springfield, South Bend, Greenwood, Murdock, Waverly, Murdock, Ithaca, and Chalco