When Should Someone With Dementia Go Into a Care Home?

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elderly woman sitting and looking out a window

If you’re someone who’s looking after an aging loved one with dementia, “When is it time for a care home?” might be a question that’s on your mind.

Deciding when to put an Alzheimer’s patient in a nursing home can be an emotional and difficult decision to make as a family caregiver. You may feel guilty for giving up care duties or like you’re abandoning your loved one.

However, there are also alternatives to nursing homes, like in-home care for seniors with dementia. Home health care for dementia patients allows an elderly loved one to age in the comfort of their home instead of moving into a new residence.

Both options can be helpful, but is one better than the other? When should someone with dementia go into a care home vs. receive dementia home care services?

In this article, we’re providing expert insight into Alzheimer’s care options. First, we’ll walk you through some top considerations regarding Alzheimer’s home care options and nursing homes. Then, we’ll share how to connect with an elder care expert who can help you through the decision-making process.

If you’re a family caregiver in need of help caring for dementia patients at home, then you’ll want to keep reading.

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Dementia Home Care Services vs. a Memory Care Facility

There are two main options for those who need help caring for a loved one with dementia:

  1. In-home health care for dementia patients
  2. Dementia care facilities (nursing homes)

But how do you know which one to choose? 

Here’s more in-depth information about in-home care for seniors with dementia and when to put consider a nursing home for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

1. In-home Care for Seniors with Dementia

Alzheimer’s home care options provide family caregivers with many benefits. However, there are also a few drawbacks to in-home care.

Below, we outline the pros and cons of home health care for dementia patients.

The Pros

With in-home care, loved ones receive one-on-one, hands-on help with daily tasks from trained caregivers. These caregivers enter into your loved one’s home to provide dementia home care services, like:

  • Bathing, grooming, and dressing
  • Light housekeeping and chores
  • Transportation services
  • Medication reminder
  • Cooking or preparing meals

In-home caregivers also have specialized training to handle and manage common symptoms associated with dementia, including:

Routine and familiarity are essential for individuals with loved ones. In-home care allows your loved one to receive care and age in the comfort of their home.

Another benefit of Alzheimer’s in-home care is that you pay caregivers by the hour—you only pay for what you need. If your loved one is still in the early stage of dementia and doesn’t need much assistance, you can have a caregiver come a few times a week. Or, if your loved one is in the late stage of dementia and needs more serious care, you can hire a caregiver to provide 24/7 care.

The Cons

There are also some disadvantages to in-home care for seniors with dementia

For one, 24-hour in-home care can become expensive, especially if your loved one needs it for many months or years. For example, the average cost of hourly in-home care in Wisconsin is around $23/hour. This would equal $3,864/week and about $15,456/month.

In addition, in-home caregivers can’t provide medical services. Your loved one will still need to stay in close contact with their medical provider. If anything happens with their health, or they experience an accident at home (i.e., a fall), the caregiver can only tell you or call an emergency number.

However, the intentional one-on-one attention that your loved one receives with in-home care often outweighs these two disadvantages.

2. Dementia Care Facilities

Like in-home health care for dementia patients, there are advantages and disadvantages to a memory care facility or nursing home.

The Pros

Elder care facilities can be an excellent option for loved ones with dementia because they often provide your loved one with:

  • Living arrangements that change with their needs: Your loved one can start in a more independent apartment and slowly transition into a more dementia-friendly room as their symptoms progress.
  • Companionship with other elderly adults: In a care facility, your loved one will be surrounded by other elderly adults. They will also have access to regular activities and social engagements.
  • Easy access to medical care: Some memory care homes have medical professionals on-site that can provide immediate care to your loved one in the event of an emergency.

Memory care facilities offer a wide range of conveniences that can be valuable for those with dementia.

The Cons

For all the benefits a nursing home can provide, there are also some disadvantages. 

A few of the main cons to a memory care facility are that:

  • Your loved one will need to move to a new place, leaving the comfort and familiarity of their own home.
  • Nursing homes often have a lower ratio of caregivers to patients (around 12:1), so your loved one won’t get the one-on-one care they might need as their symptoms progress.
  • They have a base monthly fee (usually $4,000 – $6,000)  and then an additional fee ($1,000 – $4,000) for dementia-specific care services.

Each memory care home will have slightly different services and fees, so you’ll want to do some personal research into the facilities in your area to understand their differences.

Get Expert Advice Regarding Dementia-related Decisions 

Looking after a loved one with dementia can become complicated, especially as symptoms progress. As a family caregiver, you may reach a point where you need help caring for a loved one with dementia.

Two of the best dementia care options are:

  1. Getting in-home health care for dementia patients
  2. Putting your loved one in a memory care facility

But since in-home care and nursing homes both have pros and cons, how do you decide which is best for your unique situation?

Connecting with a Stowell Care Manager can help you better understand your caregiving situation, your loved one’s needs, and which dementia care options are best. 

Care Managers are elder care experts who help families navigate difficult care situations. They provide solutions and support that give you clarity, stability, and peace of mind during challenging times. Care Managers can provide answers to your questions, like:

  • With dementia, when is it time for a care home?
  • When are dementia home care services beneficial?
  • When do dementia patients need 24-hour care?

They can help you find a suitable care facility or connect you with in-home caregivers for seniors with dementia.

Talk with a Stowell Care Manager today to get expert advice regarding dementia care for your loved one.

In-home elder care solutions in Southeastern Wisconsin

Contact us for a free consultation

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