Caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer's can be very difficult, as well as heartbreaking. As the condition worsens, many families may not be able to keep their loved one at home as they need more skilled medical care. Making the decision to place a loved one in a long-term care facility is difficult, but there are factors that can help you to determine if it is time to consider a placement in a facility.
Issues with Eating
As Alzheimer's progresses, patients often find it increasingly difficulty to chew and swallow food. They may even have a hard time swallowing liquids. Food can get trapped in the airway, causing the patient to aspirate. This is dangerous, as they can choke and require help to dislodge the food.
Another concern is that when patients choke and cough, some of the liquid or food can get aspirated into the lungs, which can cause pneumonia. For the critically ill, such as Alzheimer's patients, pneumonia can easily cause death.
People with Alzheimer's will also start wandering, which can lead to them becoming lost. Even if they have lived in the home for several years, they often will be become confused and unaware of their surroundings. If they can get out of a door, they could wander away from the neighborhood and the police may need to be called to help find the patient. Some patients haven't been found for several days, far from where they lived.
Even the most docile person can turn violent when they suffer from Alzheimer's. Something that would have been a minor issue in the past can escalate until the patient lashes out. If they cannot communicate their anger or frustration, patients usually lash out physically by hitting or throwing things.
Lax Personal Care
Many people with Alzheimer's have problems taking care of themselves. They often forget to comb their hair or bath, and they have trouble dressing themselves. If your loved one can no longer bath, wash themselves, comb their hair or put on clothes by themselves, it may be time to consider getting more help for them.
Putting your loved one in a long-term care facility can be tough to do, but Alzheimer's patients often need more care than they can get at home. As their physically and mental health deteriorates, professional care will be needed. Don't hesitate to give your loved one the care he or she requires. For more information, contact a personal care service, like Argus Home Health Care.