A Loved One with Dementia: How to Look For Proper Services in a Nursing Home

In our last post, we suggested tips for confirming that a potential skilled nursing facility or residential nursing home has the appropriate staff to address the needs of elders with dementia. To recap, dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, behavior and thinking. This causes many who suffer from dementia to lose the ability to perform their regular activities. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, though there are multiple types of dementia.

Elders suffering from dementia need special care when they move into a long term care facility such as a California nursing home. If you are considering helping to move a loved one with dementia into a nursing home, there are specific questions you will want to ask about the services provided for your loved one.

Questions should include:

• Does the facility plan activities specifically designed for those with dementia?

• How often are activities provided? Daily? Weekly? During the weekend?

• Does the nursing home participate in a “Safe Return” program?

• Does the facility post clear signage/pictures to identify doors and rooms?

• Does the facility meet licensing standards to provide dementia care?

• Are special services available for residents with dementia? If so, what are the charges, and what services are provided?

• Is the facility associated with organizations known for expertise in dementia and Alzheimer’s?

• Does the facility provide routine night checks?

The decision to put someone you love into the care of others can be an intimidating experience. However, by conducting thorough research into multiple California nursing homes, you’ll be far more likely to find a residence where you feel comfortable that your loved ones’ best interests are at heart. By looking into the staff and services provided for dementia patients, you are liable to be able to weed out facilities that definitely don’t meet your needs, and find one that will.

Christopher C. Walton is a San Diego, California based elder abuse attorney who specializes in advocacy for elders. If you suspect that someone you love is being abused while in a long term facility, report it to your local authorities immediately, and contact a California elder abuse attorney. Chris welcomes questions and provides free, confidential consultations. Contact us at (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation.