A few reminders when moving a Loved One to a Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility
When choosing a “group home,” Nursing Home, Assisted Living facility or other residence for our loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, we usually have a long list of requirements that we expect to find there.
Below are a few essentials that generally aren’t remembered at a time of crisis when making the huge decision to move our loved one to a care home, but they are to be considered once the patient is settled into their new home. The group home where Mom lived made all of these services available to the patients. It was the families responsibility to set appointments. Payments for each service could be included with our monthly payment to the “group home” at reduced rates.
Beautician: A Beautician visited the “group home” where my mom lived once every week. The visits were so enjoyable, I often visited the same time, myself. The ladies would giggle and laugh as each one took their turn for a shampoo and set, permanent curl, hair color, etc. And, I can tell you, their mood was improved ten-fold on the days the beautician came.
Mom wore her hair in a loose perm that only needed combing each morning. It’s beneficial to the patient, and caregiver as well, to have a worry-free hair-do.
Some of the ladies received manicures and pedicures. It’s easy to forget that finger nails and toe nails need to be clipped when the patient can no longer do this themselves. My mom absolutely refused those amenities as too expensive, though she had no clue how much they cost. She believed herself to be living during the “depression” as she did in her childhood.
Podiatrist: A podiatrist visited the home on a monthly basis. Some of the patients had severe corns or other issues with their feet and toe nails which he attended. My mom would accept his cutting her toe nails without worry of the fee. She didn’t think of it as an unneeded amenity since it was done by a physician rather than a beautician. The Alzheimer’s patient can be set in their ways and beliefs and sometimes it’s easier to accept “their terms,” of agreement.
Eye Glasses: Be certain to remember the patient’s regular vision exams and eyeglass updates. If a patient is having difficulty seeing, they might not relate the cause as being their eyeglasses. Some things you must think of for them.
Hearing Aids + Batteries: Find a safe place to store your loved ones hearing aid and batteries. They may need to have a location in plain sight, so the patient will remember to wear them. Be certain the staff knows where these items will be located. Check their supply of batteries often. My Mom’s hearing aid was a matter of great angst once she entered the “group home.” She would take it out often, but seldom remember where she had placed it. Later, as noise began to disturb her, she would hide the hearing aid so the staff wouldn’t make her wear it. Eventually, Mom dropped her hearing aid into the washing machine, purposely, to finally be done with the nuisance of it.
When my mom entered the “group home” she had just begun to remove her hearing aid more and more often. What I had not known at the time was that as the Alzheimer’s advances, the patient is more affected by noise. The Alzheimer’s patient prefers quiet times and will often remove any kind of hearing aids for the calm of silence.
Dental: If your loved one has their natural teeth, be certain to make regular dental appointments for cleaning and check-ups. An Alzheimer’s patient may have a tooth ache but not realize why they feel bad. If they have dentures, they need check-ups and possibly alignments. Poor fitting dentures can become miserable for the patient, wearing sores on their gum.