Dementia patients with no family can move into memory care facilities permanently for their long-term dementia treatment. These facilities have staff who can handle the details of insurance, reimbursement for services and medical decision-making on behalf of seniors who can no longer take care of themselves and who don’t have a family member to look out for them.

Dementia Care Options for Seniors

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, advanced Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea and other forms of dementia gradually tend to lose the ability to take care of themselves at home. For most, it eventually becomes necessary for a family member or a trusted friend to step in as a guardian and take over medical and care-related decision-making, which may include placement in a memory care facility. 

After placement in a residential long-term facility, seniors’ needs and care decisions are typically handled by the person on record with durable power of attorney, also known as the medical decision maker. This person acts on behalf of the senior and makes care choices based on the individual’s perceived best interests.

How to Get Memory Care With No Family

If a senior with dementia starts to have trouble living independently, but there’s no spouse or family member to step in to help them find long-term care, it may be difficult to diagnose the problem and help the senior get the help they need to stay safe. Often, the senior’s condition is first noticed by a doctor, nurse or first responder, who reports a potentially dangerous living situation to the local office of adult protective services, which may be known by any number of names. A social worker typically investigates to see if the senior is capable of continuing independently or if their condition requires the supervision and care that’s offered in a memory care facility. 

If the assessment shows a need for care, and a family court finds the senior isn’t able to manage their own care decisions due to advancing dementia, the court may appoint a guardian to authorize placement in a facility. The guardian is authorized by the court to make all the necessary arrangements, including liquidation of property and claims on the senior’s insurance to pay for memory care. If no resources are available to pay for care, the guardian is able to apply for Medicaid on the senior’s behalf . The court-appointed guardian then acts as the advocate for the senior for as long as they’re at the facility.

Life in a Memory Care Facility

Seniors with no family who move into a memory care facility get much the same level of treatment and care as the other residents, though their care plan is administered by the appointed guardian, rather than a family member. On a day-to-day basis, seniors who don’t have family members can count on the same lodgings, medication management and physician-directed care the other residents have. 

Staff at a memory care facility is expected to treat all residents equally and within the standards of care their state has adopted. Many facilities offer continuity of care, which allows indigent residents to remain in place at the same facility even if their resources run out, which can be a great comfort for seniors with no other place to go and limited ability to understand their financial situation.