What is Better for Alzheimer Patients – Home Care or Assisted Living?

What is Better for Alzheimer Patients – Home Care or Assisted Living?

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old lady with alzheimer with caretaker

Alzheimer’s is a complex condition that can dramatically change the lives of both patients and their loved ones. It raises many questions, including “What is better for Alzheimer patients – home care or assisted living?”

That’s why we at Aurora At Home are here to guide you through the process and help you explore the pros and cons of both options.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, a brain disorder, is the most common form of dementia, primarily affecting older people. This disease progressively worsens over time and severely impacts memory, cognitive abilities, and other critical functions. The unfortunate part is that Alzheimer’s is not a standard part of aging.

It occurs due to the death of brain cells, which factors including age, genetics, and lifestyle could fuel. An irreversible condition gradually destroys the ability to perform the simplest tasks.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in problem-solving or planning
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

What Are the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease?

1. Mild Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease

During this early stage of Alzheimer’s, a person may experience occasional memory lapses, forget familiar words, or lose track of daily routine items. These initial signs could affect the home care for Alzheimer patients, especially in maintaining a daily living structure.

However, they might still manage many aspects of their lives without assistance. Despite these seemingly minor memory issues, consultation with a health care provider would benefit early disease management.

2. Moderate Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease

As Alzheimer’s progresses to its moderate stage, patients’ cognitive impairments become more noticeable and can affect functioning in daily activities. It might be necessary to start considering Alzheimer’s in home care since regular tasks, including meal preparation and personal care, may become difficult.

Patients at this level of care may show significant memory loss and might begin to forget important past moments or fond memories. Changes in behavior, including mood swings and mental withdrawal, can pose challenges, and social activities may become stressful.

3. Severe Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease

In the severe or late stage of Alzheimer’s, individuals need rigorous assistance, often warranting 24-hour care. This phase could prompt a senior care decision to move the patient to a more intensive care setting like a memory care unit, skilled care facility, or dementia care community. Assisted living facilities, nursing home care, or even home care for Alzheimer’s patients can be considered.

Severe Alzheimer’s patients can no longer communicate effectively and lose their understanding of the environment, leading to safety concerns. A safety evaluation might be necessary to ensure their living facility or home is safe and secure.

What Is Home Care Services for Alzheimer’s Patients?

Home care for Alzheimer’s patients is the provision of medical, personal, and daily living support in the comfort of the patient’s own home. Services typically include help with routine tasks, meal preparation, medication management, wound care, and physical therapy.

Home care workers from a professional home care agency can provide one-on-one care while allowing patients to remain in a familiar environment.

What Is Assisted Living for Alzheimer’s Patients?

Alternatively, assisted living for Alzheimer’s patients is a safe, secure environment where a team of trained professionals provides a higher level of care. Assisted living communities often feature a memory care unit specifically for dementia care.

Many facilities also offer recreational activities, such as pet therapy, art therapy, and reminiscence therapy, to spark fond memories for residents with dementia.

senior lady with alzheimer's disease sitting on sofa in home

Home Care Vs. Assisted Living: What’s the Difference Between Them?

1. Services

Home care is ideal for Alzheimer’s patients who need help with daily living activities such as cleaning, cooking, shopping, or personal care. This care setting allows patients to receive more one-on-one care with a professional caregiver, which can benefit people with dementia.

However, assisted living facilities provide a unique environment to support Alzheimer’s patients, with specialized memory care units dedicated to residents with dementia. These facilities aid with personal care services and meal preparation and provide structured recreational activities tailored for people with cognitive impairments.

2. Cost

Home care for Alzheimer’s patients may be seen as a more budget-friendly care provider option, depending on the level and duration of care needed. Given the progressive stages of dementia, professional home care may become more costly over time.

In contrast, the cost of assisted living facilities includes accommodation, food, and health care, making them generally more expensive. However, it provides a more comprehensive level of care for those with advanced dementia.

3. Flexibility

Home care provides Alzheimer’s patients with a familiar environment and flexible schedule. Staying in their homes can help create fond memories, which can be therapeutic for memory loss.

On the other hand, living communities offer less flexibility with daily routines due to their institutional nature but provide a secure environment and 24-hour care for residents with dementia, which is a significant safety concern for these individuals.

4. Social Opportunities

Social activities can be limited in the home care setting. Although care workers offer companionship, opportunities for seniors to engage with their peers may be less.

Compared to assisted living facilities, it offers various social and recreational activities like art therapy, reminiscence therapy, pet therapy, promoting social interaction and helping alleviate feelings of loneliness among their residents.

5. Level of Care

In-home care for Alzheimer’s patients, often referred to as “Alzheimer patient home care”, can range from helping with daily living activities to wound care and physical therapy. However, limitations may arise as Alzheimer’s progresses toward the latter stages.

On the other hand, assisted living facilities provide a wider range of care settings, including medical and therapeutic services. This makes them a preferred health care provider for Alzheimer’s patients requiring a higher level of care, with a memory care unit designed to cater to the specific needs of residents with cognitive impairments.

Home Care Vs. Assisted Living: Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between home care or assisted living for your loved ones can be a difficult decision. It largely depends on their individual health needs, lifestyle preferences, and financial capabilities. Home care allows seniors to remain in the familiar surroundings of their own homes but would require a dedicated caregiver.

Alternatively, assisted living offers a community-oriented environment with round-the-clock medical care support. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Digging deeper into each option can help you understand which would be the best fit for your loved one’s situation.

Aurora Home Care

Your Journey With Alzheimer’s Does Not Have to Be Alone

A journey with Alzheimer’s is full of uncertainty, but one thing you can count on is that your loved one needs care that’s supportive, comforting, and tailored to their needs. Whether that is the familiarity of in-home care or the specialized attention offered by an assisted living community is your decision to make.

At Aurora At Home, we pride ourselves on offering professional home care services prioritizing your loved one’s security and well-being. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist in providing the right level of care for your loved one.

Remember, while Alzheimer’s is a challenging journey, you do not have to walk it alone. At Aurora At Home, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

We take processes apart, rethink, rebuild, and deliver them back working smarter than ever before.