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Long-Term Care Facilities: Helping to Care for a Person with Dementia or Alzheimer’s

Hearing that you or someone close to you has dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease can be scary. There’s a lot of unknowns and questions you probably have about the diagnosis. Knowing the difference between the two medical conditions and when someone with one or both needs a long-term care facility, like Zerbe Retirement Community, can ease the stress for the patient and caregiver alike.

Dementia is a Symptom of Various Diseases

One of the main differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease is that dementia is a group of symptoms of various diseases, not just Alzheimer’s. Abnormal structures called plaques and tangles in the brain that interfere with memory cause it. Dementia is also a generalized term for cognitive issues after a stroke, called vascular dementia, or even a reversible vitamin deficiency.

Although each form of dementia carries specific symptoms, there are plenty of similarities between them. Medical experts agree that if a person has two or more of these cognitive issues, it could be due to dementia:

  • Memory loss—both short-term and long-term
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Changes in mood, behavior, or judgment
  • Communication issues or problems with language
  • Visual perception impairment

If you or someone you love has these symptoms, it’s wise to seek the advice of a medical doctor for help.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a Degenerative Brain Disorder

On the other hand, Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia that causes memory, thinking, and behavior problems. It develops slowly and gets worse over time. Alzheimer’s Disease has more plaques and tangles in the brain, causing a degenerative brain disorder. It almost always affects memory first, followed by communication struggles, personality changes, and a decline in cognitive function.

How a CCRC Can Help a Person with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

Long-term care facilities, especially a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), can help care for a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Because both dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are progressive—meaning they typically get worse over time—a safe, caring place with different levels of care is often an excellent fit.

In the early stages of either condition, a person could live in personal care. Harvest View at Zerbe Retirement Community provides care services for residents who require supervision or assistance with activities of daily living. These residents live in a private room, with common areas for the library, private dining room, laundry, and more. They receive assistance with medications, bathing, personal grooming, cleaning, and dining.

As the diseases progress, there may be a time where a person needs 24/7 care. At a CCRC, that person can move to a skilled nursing facility when required. Zerbe Sisters Skilled Nursing Center at Zerbe Retirement Community provides quality, long-term care services in a warm and loving environment. Here, your loved one will live in a spacious room that offers 24-hour care to keep them safe and ensure they receive the personal care they need.

The Best Time to Move to a Long-Term Care Facility

So, when is the right time to move to a CCRC like Zerbe Retirement? The earlier you can get someone into long-term care services, the better their quality of life may be.

Suppose you are the person recently diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. In that case, you probably realize that while you can make decisions on your own, that can change within a year or two. You may want to take the burden off your family or caregivers in the future by moving to a long-term care facility that allows you to move through multiple levels of care as your needs change.

If you are the caregiver or family member of someone who has dementia or Alzheimer’s, transitioning your loved one into a CCRC as early as possible can help ease your loved one’s life and yours. Waiting until you can no longer care for them because they become incontinent, aggressive, or start wandering can make a move even more stressful. A CCRC will provide the loving, quality care your loved one needs while taking the stress off you.

How Zerbe Retirement Community Can Help

Zerbe Retirement Community is a long-term care facility that provides skilled nurses who treat you like family. Many residents choose to move in as early as they can, so they can take advantage of the many amenities and services provided by our community. A person with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease can progress through our levels of care as their health care needs change.

When that person needs it, Zerbe Retirement can help with multiple services, including:

  • Carefully managed medications
  • Assistance with mobility and daily tasks
  • Safety from wandering into dangerous situations
  • Decreasing stress for caregivers
  • 24/7 care at our skilled nursing center

To learn more about how Zerbe Retirement Community can help care for a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, contact us today!