If you have a parent with dementia, you may need to look into nursing home care or assisted living. You might want to care for your parent in your home for as long as possible, but at some point, your parent may be safer in a facility that knows how to care for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Here are some reasons why.
Tendency To Wander
If your parent is still mobile when dementia becomes more advanced, he or she will probably wander. This can be very dangerous if your parent can get outdoors. Even getting lost in the backyard is dangerous if your parent is in the hot sun for a long time. A nursing home that accepts dementia patients is set up to handle wandering. Your parent will be free to walk around as much as they like, and they'll be able to do so safely since the doors have secure locks that keep patients from getting outside or into areas where they could be harmed.
Sundown syndrome is a common condition experienced by people with dementia. Your parent may seem relatively lucid during the day, but once night falls, the confusion and irrational behavior increases. You might have to stay up all night just to make sure your parent stays safe and is assured everything is okay. If you're still working, it won't take long for you to become exhausted when you have to deal with the sundown syndrome.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are common in people with dementia and older people in general. This is partly because of the need to wear adult diapers once they can no longer control their bladder. Poor fluid intake and dehydration can compound the problem. A urinary tract infection can cause a rapid decline in your parent's condition. Proper treatment is needed to keep a more serious kidney infection or sepsis from setting in. This medical care may be more than you can handle at home if your parent has frequent urinary tract infections.
It is sometimes difficult for older people to get enough calories and proper nutrition. They often have poor appetites. Combine that with confusion from dementia and it's possible your parent will need nutritional supervision in a nursing home. As the dementia advances, difficulty swallowing usually sets in. When swallowing problems develop, the risk of aspiration pneumonia is a real concern. You may feel better if health care professionals feed your parent when they are at risk of choking and when they have a hard time maintaining enough weight.
Although you may hate the idea of not being able to take care of your parent when he or she becomes disabled with dementia, you need to do what makes them most comfortable and keeps them safe. Staying at home may not be the best option. Fortunately, you can find nursing homes, like Alta Ridge Communities, with facilities and programs for people with dementia that enrich their lives to the best degree possible.