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Throughout my professional career I have always made it a point to remember the significance of the fact that we all see the world through different eyes. And, through the eyes of someone living with Alzheimer’s, it can sometimes be frightening and lonely. Sally G. has written in with a question pertaining to her husband who is currently suffering from the disease.
Question: My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about 3 years ago. It has recently progressed and I am struggling with the decision whether or not to place him in a nursing home. He has always been extremely independent and I am afraid he will lose sight of his independence if I admit him to a nursing home. Please help me to realize the benefits of admitting him while ensuring that his “quality of life” will not be severely affected.
Answer: It is important for you to understand that placing a loved one in a facility can sometimes be harder on you, the caregiver, than it is on your husband. There are a lot of emotions involved with the process and therefore it is important that you choose the right facility. With a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s, it is integral to choose a Center which specializes in Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care. Many facilities such as AristaCare offer a separate and secured dementia community designed to enhance the quality of life for residents suffering from Alzheimer’s. When touring this type of community you should always ask questions regarding staff training. In a specialty Dementia Community, like AristaCare’s Nostalgia Park™, the staff undergoes intense sensitivity training and learns how to relate to each resident. It is also important to feel a positive energy from the environment; do you feel comfortable and relaxed? Is it clean? Are the residents smiling and involved in participatory activities?
Activities are crucial to maintaining the dignity and independence of your loved one. Residents are able to express themselves and feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose while participating. You should always ask to see an activities calendar that details the types of activities your husband will be enjoying throughout the day. You need to feel as though the facility is able to embrace the world from your husband’s eyes. Sally – please feel free to schedule a comprehensive tour of Nostalgia Park™ at AristaCare at Cedar Oaks…it is then that you will be able to make your decision more peacefully.