Approximately 500,000 people living in Canada have some type of dementia, and 60 percent of those people have Alzheimer's disease. For those people with an Alzheimer's diagnosis, day-to-day living at home may become nearly impossible. While Alzheimer's disease can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families, it is possible to find supportive care for you or your family members battling the disease. Whether you have Alzheimer's disease or you have a family history of it, you'll want to take extra care when looking at retirement communities.You'll want to find a community that lets you be as independent as possible while still providing support and care for those times when you can't care for yourself. Here are a few things to look for as you shop for a retirement community.
Do The Residents Look Happy?
As you visit different retirement homes and communities, you'll likely meet some of the residents. Do they seem happy and well cared for? Can you envision the people living in that building as your friend or neighbor? If the answers to these questions aren't positive, you may want to move on to another facility. The residents at any facility are the best advertising for what life is like in that particular community, so pay close attention to the residents at evry facility you look at.
Will You Have Access To Your Doctors?
Continuity of care is important for any patient, but it is particularly important for people with Alzheimer's or dementia. Make sure that the community you move to is served by your regular physicians. This will make it easier to remain comfortable with your doctor as your memory begins to fade. In the event that you can't continue care with your current medical team, talk to your doctor about the physicians who serve your retirement community. Your doctor may be able to help you choose a new doctor to help you with your treatments and care.
Will You Be Able To Bring Your Personal Items With You?
When you move to a retirement home or community, you will have to part with some of your belongings, particularly if you have a larger home. You'll want to check with your retirement home to see if you can bring some of your items with you, such as a favorite chair or table, to make yourself feel more at home. Personal items, such as photos or mementos that have a strong sentimental attachment, can actually help you to hold on to some of your memories as Alzheimer's progresses, so make sure you are allowed to bring these items with you.
Can You Have A Trial Visit?
Getting to spend a few days at the retirement community you like best can help you make your final decision. Ask if you can arrange for a trial weekend to see if you feel the community is a good match for you. This will also help you begin to ease into your life away from your home. Be sure to have friends or family available to bring you to the retirement community, so they can take a tour and get a sneak peak into what your new life will be like as well.
Moving to a retirement community can be stressful, particularly for people with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Contact professional facilities, like Communities Central Place Retirement, take your time and find the community that provides a supportive network of staff and residents, and use this short list to help you narrow down the perfect choice for your needs.