How can I find out what kind of care facility my mother needs?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 24, 2016
Cuckoo asked...

How can I find out what kind of care facility my mother needs. She has been diagnosed w vascular dementia, probably middle stages


Expert Answers

Kay Paggi, GCM, LPC, CGC, MA, is in private practice as a geriatric care manager and is on the advisory board for the Emeritus Program at Richland College. She has worked with seniors for nearly 20 years as a licensed professional counselor, certified gerontological counselor, and certified geriatric care manager.

Your decision is actually more complex than it appears. Dementia is always a downward progression, so your mother is going to get worse. You therefore need to find a facility that provides care for someone with dementia that will be able to continue that care as her disease progresses.

Independent living can work for a while, until they ask her to leave because she cannot find her room or in some other way cannot live safely without more attention.

Assisted living is great, and she could remain in such a facility for a much longer time. The most common reasons a resident must leave are wandering outside the building or incontinence. Assisted living communities offer a broad range of care, some have a more narrow range and others can keep residents until they need full time nursing care. Your job is to find this type of community, where your mother can live safely for the longest period of time.

Another type of 'assisted living' is a free-standing building that provides care only for dementia patients. Usually these are locked so residents cannot leave the building without someone with them. These are wonderful, and she could live here a long time.

The last type is a nursing home. This is the most expensive option, and the most restrictive in terms of quality of life.

The Alzheimer's Association website has loads of information. Get on their mailing list!