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Choosing a nursing home for someone with dementia

Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are terrible diseases. It can be devastating to watch a loved one suffer through losing their memory, personality and connection with the world.

At a certain point, this person's care may become more than your family can manage on its own. You may want to consider moving your loved one into a nursing home.

Choosing a nursing home is an important, but difficult, decision. Not all nursing homes are created equally. Here are a few things to consider.

Where is the facility located?

Facilities in quieter neighborhoods tend to be better than those in very busy areas. Noise and commotion can be very stressful for people with dementia. In addition, busy streets can be hazardous for patients who are prone to wandering.

Are there appropriate activities for residents?

Look for homes that foster a sense of community and provide stimulating activities for their residents. Isolation and boredom can lead to even greater mental and physical distress.

How do they deal with outbursts?

People with dementia can get loud or combative when they are stressed. How does the facility deal with this? Do they rely on physical restraints or sedatives to quiet residents?

Does the staff seem happy?

Caring for others is very hard work. Staff who are overworked or stressed are more likely to engage in abusive or neglectful behaviors. Make sure that the facility is staffed appropriately and that workers are trained to behave respectfully towards residents.

Are other families satisfied?

When you take a tour, stop and chat with family members who are visiting their relatives. Would they recommend the facility?

Of course, these are only a few of the many things to consider when choosing a nursing home for your loved one. For more information on this topic, the Alzheimer's Association offers a very helpful guide.

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