Are group homes appropriate for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease?

States use different names for residences like these, which may have four or five people each. In some states, they are referred to as boarding-care homes. Some states license them and some do not. You should call your state’s facility licensing agency and ask. You also can inquire about getting a list of them.

Look for homes like this, which are specifically designed to help people with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Typically, staff there will be specially trained to work with such individuals, and keep everyone safe. If there isn’t a facility like this near your home, you might want to reconsider pursuing such living arrangements.

One of the considerations for this type of living arrangement is whether your loved one can live out the rest of his or her life there. What happens if he or she runs out of money? Does the place accept Medicaid? Can he or she stay if she becomes bedridden, needs incontinence care or needs a wheelchair?

With regard to dementia care, sometimes the smaller homes are ideal because they feel more like home, not an institution. The facility manager can keep a closer eye on things, though the appropriate employees still need to be hired and trained. Smaller homes like these typically have staff members cross-trained; they might be personal care assistants, as well as cooks and cleaners.

You’ll want to observe at any home like this you may be considering whether residents have a daily schedule and routine. Some tasks might need to be modified to take an individual’s level of functioning into consideration. But by and large, residents can assist with things such as preparing meals, setting the table, folding clothes and towels, sweeping the floor, watering plants, helping in the yard, taking out the trash, and numerous other tasks. Allowing residents to help with daily chores makes it feel more like a family environment for everyone.

This will be a community of its own for your loved one. It should be a place where he or she will make friends and have other caring individuals around.  For more information about Alzheimer’s click here.