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How should nursing homes care for a person with Alzheimer’s?

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you may be thinking about securing quality nursing home care in Maryland. To ensure the resident’s needs are sufficiently met, it’s important for a facility to follow certain guidelines when it comes to Alzheimer’s or dementia care, which entails quite a few challenges. The Alzheimer’s Association makes the following recommendation in this case, which explains the fundamentals of providing quality care.

An assessment must be performed

Before your loved one begins living in a facility a comprehensive assessment should take place. There is no one-size-fits-all approach with Alzheimer’s, as each patient will respond differently to the illness. When performing this assessment, staff should consider a person’s current abilities, physical and mental health, background, family, behavior, cognitive capacity, and communication skills. These factors can be used to devise the best possible treatment plan.

Nutritious foods and beverages should be available

People with Alzheimer’s may forget to feed themselves. They may also be unable to perform meal preparation tasks, which would make them the responsibility of the staff. It’s up to a facility to determine a patient’s nutritional needs, while also ensuring these needs are met on a regular basis. For instance, in later stages of the disease dysphagia or problems swallowing may occur. In this case, having a person on staff with knowledge of how to address these issues is a must for families.

Social engagement should be encouraged

Socialization is important for all people, but it can be especially beneficial to Alzheimer’s patients. Consider that for many residents of nursing homes staff contact is the only socialization that’s available. As a result, staff must take the time to connect with residents on a personal level, whether providing other services or by participating in an activity. It’s also important that any activities offered meets the definition of meaningful. This includes things like listening to music, crafting, watching a movie, or having a staff member read to residents.

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