Can Dementia Patients Live in an Assisted Living Facility?
According to reports by long-term care ombudsmen in America, assisted living facility evictions are in the top ten of all grievances they receive each year. In many cases, family members have little to do about an eviction taking a mother, father, or grandparent out of an assisted living center.
Most states regulate and govern how assisted living centers handle their evictions with flexible laws that tend the side with residential care businesses and memory care facilities over the resident. However, there are remedies for patients with Alzheimer’s disease who have suffered at the facility staff or caregivers’ hands.
Have you suffered injuries through medical negligence or been asked to leave an assisted living community because of your health? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can help. Call at (888) 424-5757.
Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia and Memory Care
Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other debilitating memory illnesses rob an individual of their independence, creating life-altering changes in their daily lives. Typically, memory problems occur in the elderly when children and grandchildren can no longer provide home care.
Elderly Alzheimer’s patients and those with dementia usually live in assisted-living communities and nursing homes, receiving care, medical treatment, and hygiene help daily. Unfortunately, many residents with dementia suffer from neglect, preventable accidents, and abuse caused by those in charge of providing them care in a safe environment.
Progressing dementia can cause severe damage to an individual’s memory and alter their awareness levels and cognitive abilities to manage even the simplest the tasks. Thousands of new dementia and Alzheimer’s disease cases are diagnosed every year in the elderly living at home, in hospitals, nursing centers, and assisted-living facilities.
Statistics maintained by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), National Center for Health
Statistics reveal that nearly 85,000 individuals died in 2013 of Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the deaths are associated with declining cognitive ability and impaired memory.
Without effective treatment and daily assistance, individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia could not survive living a healthy and normal lifestyle. In response, many families will hire nursing agencies to provide care in the resident’s homes before placing them in memory care facilities, assisted living communities, and nursing homes.
Many families receive assurance that the nursing staff, doctors, employees, and other caretakers will provide the best care by following established standards and the resident’s care plan.
However, many residents with Alzheimer’s become the victims of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment at a senior living center that often goes unrecognized at first because the patient cannot speak up or defend themselves.
Overworked Family Caregivers: Alternative Living Options for a Loved One
Many families with a loved one at home suffering from memory issues become overworked and exhausted in providing around-the-clock care to ensure all needs are met. Providing care to a spouse, parent, or grandparent with dementia behaviors in tight living spaces is often more than challenging.
In time, the caregiver will make the tough decision of considering other residential care options, ensuring that medical professionals in memory care units provide specialized care to their loved ones along with other patients.
Not all senior care retirement communities accept individuals who require around-the-clock dementia care.
Before selecting the optimal senior care community location, families must consider the extent of their loved one’s memory loss, current medical care plan, and the need for help with activities of daily living.
Common questions to ask include:
- Does the extent of the family member’s memory loss and desire to wander (elope) necessitate living in a secured memory care unit?
- Is the health care provided in assisted living residences sufficient to meet the family member’s requirements?
- Does the family member require skilled nursing home care to maintain their current health?
In some cases, the extent of dementia behavior is too severe for someone to provide the care alone when the dementia patient is angry, hostile, or uncontrollable. Usually, the patient’s health has declined to the extent where they require intensive care that is only provided in hospitals, medical centers, and special care units.
Memory Loss and Assisted Living Facilities
Many people with dementia and Alzheimer’s live in assisted-living facilities receiving specialized care and ongoing support. These dementia residents enjoy living in a community that provides continuing care, social interaction, and assistance in an individual residential apartment.
These residents often enjoy the best quality of life with access to fun social events, freshly cooked meals, and activities of daily living with nursing assistance in comfortable and pleasant living accommodations. An assisted-living center and senior living care facility are often the first step between living independently at home and moving into a nursing facility.
The federal government does not regulate assisted living facilities. Instead, numerous agencies provide state regulations, inspections, and surveys on assisted homes to minimize problems, including neglect, abuse, and mistreatment.
The Benefits of Long-Term Care
Long-term care facilities provide various services for those who require medical and hygiene assistance and memory care. These facilities often offer 24-hour care for senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other memory challenges.
The services ensure that the resident remains safe and in an enclosed environment with adequate supervision to prevent wandering.
Some of the specific memory care services received in an assisted living facility and nursing home include:
- 24-hour (round-the-clock) care and supervision
- Memory-enhancing private and social activities
- Medication administration and management
- Mobility assistance
- Personal care and hygiene assistance
- Nutritious meals and hydrating beverages
- Toileting and incontinence care
- Transportation services to doctor’s appointments, therapy, and rehabilitation
- Laundering and housekeeping
The care provided by experienced, trained staff members specializing in dementia care and supported by affected dementia therapies enhance dementia patients’ lives. However, not every facility has the best staff-to-resident ratio, creating problems with overworked employees in an understaffed environment.
Other facilities have confusing layouts or do not coordinate their patients’ care with specialized care providers to meet the needs of those with dementia.
Dementia: A Progressing Disease
In many cases, Alzheimer’s and dementia are progressive diseases where symptoms associated with the condition worsen over time. The debilitating transformation within weeks or months often takes independence away from dementia patients, causing a significant burden on every caregiver and family member.
Dementia, in its advanced stage, requires around-the-clock supervision in secured memory care units to ensure their safety and quality of life. The most advanced stages leave the individual unable to perform necessary activities like toileting, dressing, and bathing.
Instead, the individual is confused, disoriented, or possibly aggressive, creating a caregiver’s emotional or physical stress that could lead to mistreatment, neglect, or abuse. Because of that, many administrators managing and operating assisted-living facilities will quickly evict people diagnosed with early-stage dementia long before the condition has progressed to a debilitating condition.
Assisted Living Home Dementia Patient FAQs
Our legal team understands that many families have unanswered questions on what to do with a loved one residing in an assisted living home, about to be evicted. Our Chicago assisted living injury lawyers have answered some common questions to ask yourself when dealing with a spouse, parent, or grandparent who requires special care in a competent memory care community.
Please contact our offices at (888) 424-5757 today for additional information and legal options about how to keep your loved one healthy in a safe environment.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of End-Stage Dementia?
In its most advanced age, the individual with Alzheimer’s is likely unable to move about without assistance or unable to speak to be understood. According to the National Institute on Aging, the most advanced stage of dementia requires assistance with all activities of daily living, including self-care, grooming, and eating.
In some cases, the individual can no longer eat due to difficulty swallowing or cannot recognize anyone, including family members and caregivers. These dementia patients may need special care, medication management, medical care, bathing, dressing assistance, and other care options that retirement communities can provide.
How Do You Move From Dementia To Assisted Living?
If your loved one’s memory loss is not yet severe, started a conversation about looking ahead and what to do when the disease progresses. Talk about what should happen if the loved one is no longer capable of living an independent life safely at home.
Next, select the best available assisted living community that specializes in memory care. Choosing the best place first is imperative to ensure you will not have to relocate your loved one when their condition progresses.
Use all available counseling services, especially those that provide a transitional program to help your loved one readjust to a new life.
Do All Nursing Homes Accept Dementia Patients?
Medical and hygiene care in memory-care nursing homes or assisted living communities are not always available to every individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other related dementia (memory loss) conditions. Typically, the state will require that an individual with dementia must need assistance in performing up to three necessities (ADLs, daily living activities), including dressing, eating, or bathing.
Usually, people with dementia can perform most of their activities until the mid-end late stages of the disease when debilitating problems like confusion and disorientation set in. At the last stage, dementia patients require the highest level of care, including ongoing supervision, that assisted living residences and senior living memory care facilities can provide.
Not all senior living communities have specialized care units to provide the level of care the patient may need to ensure their quality of life is maintained while controlling their debilitated condition with nursing care, supervision, and medications.
At What Point Do Dementia Patients Need 24 Hour Care?
Families are often faced with the unenviable decisions to place a loved one in an assisted living home, memory care center, or skilled nursing facility once diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. During the early stages, the memory loss may only minimally affect the individual that often expresses itself as confusion or disorientation.
In its middle stages, the condition often requires around-the-clock supervision to ensure that the individual remains safe and does not wander away or cause self-injury.
In its most advanced stage, care becomes intense, and keeping them in most assisted living, memory care, dementia care, or hospice care homes is not always possible due to unsafe conditions, usually from an inability to provide continuous supervision.
Many families feel guilty and wonder if they have made the right choice in relocating a loved one into a memory care center or skilled nursing facility. However, selecting the best place for a loved one can be done with careful planning, visiting numerous facilities, reviewing their latest inspection/survey, and interviewing staff members.
Can Dementia Get Worse Suddenly?
According to the National Institutes of Health, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other memory loss diseases are progressive conditions that worsen significantly over time. However, the speed at which the condition progresses is based on unique circumstances between people.
The memory loss in some dementia patients in good health without any underlying diseases tends to deteriorate slower. However, the condition could lead to significant brain damage, causing the disease to suddenly and rapidly decline.
Dementia deterioration is usually a gradual, slow process that takes months or years to advance to its next stage. The condition will progress quickly in rare cases, making significant deteriorating changes in just weeks or months.
What Do You Do If Your Elderly Parent Refuses Assisted Living?
Nearly every individual would be uncomfortable with the thought that they need to make significant life-altering changes by moving out of the house into an assisted living care facility or senior living care unit. In months or years, the individual may experience new aches and pains and increased daily life challenges due to illnesses or decreasing mobility.
Some studies found that nine out of every ten senior citizens would rather stay at home at “age in place” than relocate to a residential care unit. However, that option is not always available.
There are practical steps to help a senior parent understand the benefits of relocating, including:
- Ensuring they have a sense of control and are part of the process of exploring every option
- Highlighting every available benefit of living in a caregiving community that provide social activities and a nearly independent lifestyle
If all else fails, back off for a time to allow your loved one to get familiar with the idea that they can move forward in their life without losing control.
Hiring an Elder Injury Attorney to Represent Your Loved One in an Assisted Living Compensation Case
Did caregiving negligence harm your loved one? Are you being asked to leave an assisted living community because of your health? Contact our nursing home abuse attorneys to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.
Our Illinois personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can provide advice and counsel to file and resolve a personal injury claim for maximum compensation. Our nursing home abuse lawyers will never charge a fee unless we can secure a financial award for you in your case.
All information you and your loved ones share with our experienced Chicago law firm concerning a nursing home or assisted living facility will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Our Illinois law firm currently follows CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Covid-19 guidelines on social distancing to maintain everyone’s well-being.