When a loved one is progressing through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease, transferring him or her to a nursing home may seem inevitable. But is this truly the best option? According to the Journal of the Medical Directors Association (JAMDA):
- The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 35.6 million, with numbers expected to almost double every 20 years, to 115.4 million by 2050. Today, nearly 70 percent of Americans with advanced dementia will live their final days in an institutionalized setting.
- The mobility of older adults with dementia often declines following admission to a nursing home. Sedentary behavior and limited mobility, common among older adults in nursing homes, can contribute to disability in activities of daily living and increased need for personal care. Furthermore, those with reduced mobility are more likely to experience adverse events such as falls, incontinence, pressure ulcers, and pneumonia, all of which reduce quality of life and exponentially increase the cost of resident care.
- 80% of nursing home residents with dementia use psychotropic drugs, despite documented evidence of their limited effectiveness and a litany of serious side effects including increased risk of falls, stroke, and mortality. These drugs are also linked with accelerated cognitive decline in people with dementia.
Fortunately, for those in the Atlanta area, there is a long term care alternative for those with dementia: Residences by Regency. Those with Alzheimer’s are thriving in our unique residential care homes, for a number of reasons:
- Familiar Environment We have found that the anxiety associated with being in a foreign and intimidating environment is dramatically reduced in a Residence by Regency. No long hallways, distracting bells and noises, or other institutional characteristics; a Residence by Regency is a quiet, private, and authentic home in a real neighborhood.
- Care Delivery As a result of the ability to deliver more care to each client, we’ve found that personalized strategies such as redirecting, reminiscing, and reminders are more effective. Residences by Regency clients receive an average of 6 hours of direct care per day, as opposed to an average of 2.4 in facilities.
- Cooperative Family By living with only a few familiar faces, we’ve found that people with dementia or Alzheimer’s don’t feel the anxiety that comes with the many unfamiliar faces of facilities.
- Caregiver Consistency The THRIVE Institute reports that in the average nursing home, a senior will receive services from 15 different caregivers during the week. This lack of consistency in caregivers is not only unsettling, but it also means that each caregiver will lack the familiarity with seniors’ routines and preferences, both of which are critical in caring for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. In a Residence by Regency, a consistent core of 6-8 caregivers, working at the same time on the same days, provide care in each home. We’ve found that this continuity creates the trust and familiarity to best care for clients with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
If a residential care home, complete with a private bedroom, living area, porch, and home-cooked meals sounds more appealing than an institutional environment for your loved one with Alzheimer’s, contact Residences by Regency to learn more.