Alzheimer's and Assisted Living: The Considerations
It's estimated that Alzheimer’s care costs over $277 billion annually. More than 5.7 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, and by the year 2050 predictions claim that Alzheimer's costs will be over $1.1 trillion.
Hilde Bonesteel, an established licensed adult foster care homeowner/operator and registered nurse, says, “We do a cost comparison (for a potential resident) and look at what it costs to stay in their home if it’s a financial issue, but even more so, we can provide even more complete care, we’re monitoring that person from a medical and cognitive standpoint.”
Knowing when to use an assisted living facility has many factors. These include safety, well-being, general health, behavior, and caregiver burdens.
Consider safety: is your loved one safe in their own home? Are they at risk of falling often or do they wander the neighborhood? Would it be okay to have a caregiver live with them or someone come into their home several times a day to help?
When deciding on assisted living, it's also important to think about your loved one's general health and well-being. Ask yourself these questions: Is your loved one physically able to take care of themselves? Do they eat enough food and get any exercise? Can they manage their own activities? Are they socially isolated?
We know, it can be a burden to take care of someone with Alzheimer's disease. The disease is more than just monetary costs. It can affect both you and the rest of your family. And, as Alzheimer's advances, the care only gets more intense.
You start to forget about yourself while caregiving. Rest goes on the backburner as you make sure that your loved one has the necessities. And, when it comes to the disease's more advanced stages, you must ask yourself if you can really continue to care for your loved one at home.
You may ask yourself:
- If you get enough rest.
- If you will ignore the rest of your family to care for your loved one properly.
- If you have an adequate income to keep your loved one with you at home.
The financial issues aren't just with home care. They are also with assisted living. But, there are some benefits that caregivers should consider. Hilde Bonesteel emphases that many times when someone with Alzheimer’s socializes with others with similar issues there is a socialization benefit. “Believe it or not, there’s a great comfort in that for them,” Bonesteel said. “They’re not the odd one out. That really helps their kids as well.”
It is tough to decide on an assisted living facility. With it, may come feelings of heartbreak and guilt. However, there are times when assisted living is the only option, even when it's a big expense. Bonesteel says, “We sure understand it. It comes to the point where it affects the quality of life. It’s either the children’s lives, are drastically affected, and we see more and more either the husband or wife is taking care of the spouse and they’re struggling.”