Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision regardless of the circumstances. In the case of Alzheimer’s, most research shows that at some point in the progression of the disease a nursing home becomes the right decision for the family in Maplewood. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are nearly 2 million people currently living in some form of nursing home. Over 90% of these residents are over 65 years old and most require 24 hour supervision due to some physical limitation or dementia.
Alzheimer's Care Options in San Diego
Alzheimer’s disease is an extremely sad and difficult condition to work with. This disease is very difficult on the family members in Maplewood. Just thinking that as the days slip by your aging loved one will soon become more and more distant. This can be very depressing and an emotional time for most family caregivers. Besides the common emotion of depression, most family members often feel angry, frustrated, and even at a loss for words.
Working as a home health aide with mentally ill patients requires a special sensitivity to the needs of the mentally challenged. Too often, people tend to think of the mentally challenged as being somehow inferior and as such, they tend to talk down to them. However, what the mentally ill really need is what anyone else needs - they need someone who will take them seriously and make sure their needs are met while giving them as much freedom as possible.
Just What Is Mental Illness?
Before we can begin to discuss how to work effectively with mentally ill home care patients, it's important to understand what mental illness actually means. Let's start with the most basic definition and then go into a more detailed explanation. At its most basic, mental illness means that someone is incapable of functioning independently in society due to some kind of problems with how they experience the world emotionally. Exactly how this manifests itself and what the issues are do require additional explanation however.
Some indicators that a person may be mentally challenged include:
- Inability to Develop and Maintain Healthy Relationships - Many mentally ill people find it difficult or impossible to create healthy interpersonal relationships.
- Lack of Impulse Control - Another common problem for mentally challenged individuals is a lack of impulse control. Many mentally challenged individuals will for example do things in public or even in private that mentally sound people won't do (i.e. scream out loud at no one in particular, cause damage, public urination, etc.).
- Inability to Tolerate Anxiety and Frustration - We all deal with anxiety and frustration on a daily basis. However, those who are mentally challenged often find that they cannot handle any (or very little) anxiety and or frustration in daily life.
- Inability to Respect Others - Finally, many mentally ill people find it difficult to respect others, in terms of private space and or in terms of regular verbal abuse.
Your mentally challenged patients may also experience changes in behavior which are of a positive nature. Thus, it's important to note when and if such changes occur and to note changes in personality, either for the good or the bad.
While you should note environmental factors surrounding such changes in behavior, it's important not to draw conclusions on your own as to what precipitated these changes. Instead, you should note only the facts and allow mental health professionals to make such diagnoses.
Making Sure Patients are Cared For
It's important as a home health care worker working with mentally ill individuals to make sure that they are complying with their treatment regimen. This means for example that you need to ensure that the person is taking their medication on time and in the correct doses.
You must also watch carefully to ensure that dangerous behaviors do not put your patients in harm's way. When danger does present itself, you should call 911 to get emergency workers to help deal with the problems rather than attempting to deal with it on your own. For example, if your mentally challenged patient overdoses on sleeping pills, you should call 911 immediately rather than try to induce vomiting on your own.
Provide Patients with a Path to Recovery
Finally, your role as a home health care worker is to facilitate the patient's path to recovery. This means that you work with them to ensure that they will have the right kind of support to deal with their problems and that you help to keep the family involved as well in the recovery of the mentally challenged patient that you work with as a home health care worker.
How to Find the Best Live in Personal Care Agencies in Maplewood,Essex County?
Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision regardless of the circumstances. In the case of Alzheimer's, most research shows that at some point in the progression of the disease a nursing home becomes the right decision for the family. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are nearly 2 million people currently living in some form of nursing home. Over 90% of these residents are over 65 years old and most require 24 hour supervision due to some physical limitation or dementia. However, due to the increase in "familial Alzheimer's", aka Early On-Set Alzheimer's, there are many people in their 40's and 50's that are now requiring long term care.
A memory care facility is a specialized nursing home that provides - in addition to a room and food - full time medical (nursing) care and in-house rehabilitative services, along with close supervision to provide some measure of physical protection for the residents. The home will not be designed as an acute care facility, but the goal at an Alzheimer's care facility should be to help people maintain, as much as possible, their daily independent functioning.
It is obvious that when choosing a care facility or nursing home it is first necessary to consider the needs of the individual for whom you are providing Alzheimer's care. You must determine what special care needs the facility can provide. What type of therapy is available. Ask if these needs and therapy are handled by in-house staff or outside care. What are the qualifications of the individuals who provide these.
Before signing a contract for care at a specific facility you should fully review the contract and know your rights and responsibilities as the family and also those of your loved one as the resident. Review the admissions agreement carefully and have anything explained in detail that is not fully understood. Spend $150 or so to have an attorney review this for you if necessary. Do not sign any paperwork that has not been fully explained. The admissions contract should, at a minimum, contain the daily or monthly room and meals rate, any specific reasons for discharge or transfer from the facility (these items should apply to your family member if they do them or to anyone else in the facility if done to your loved one), and the policy regarding payment of the daily room rate if the resident goes to the hospital or the family brings the resident home for a short period of time. Is there a reduced or prorated rate or do you continue to pay full price to keep the room/space available?
You may question if you're really making the right decision to place your loved one in a facility at all. This is an agonizing decision that you will routinely question, but remember, you can do no more than your best. If you have done that, then you should not continue to ask more of yourself and know that you have done the best, as an Alzheimer's caregiver, for your family member.