I am caring for my husband at home and as of now he is capable of dressing, toileting, eating and and showering (his ADLs). He does have considerable confusion at times, but is not dangerous. He no longer drives. At what stage is admission to memory care appropriate? His diagnosis of Altzheimer's is new and so is his med, generic Aricept. Many thanks!
Each facility and home healthcare agency has their own screening tools to help determine appropriate placement or resources. Basically, it all comes down to needing more care than you can give alone for most of the day. That is when it will become more feasible to move him into residential care.
Get you ducks in a row now. Hopefully you have POA. If not and he understands what POA entails then get one now. See a lawyer about splitting your assets. His split will go to his care and when almost gone, you apply for Medicaid for his care. At that time you become the Community spouse staying in ur home, get a car and enough of your combined monthly income to live on.
To the regulars, just try to remember how overwhelmed you were in the beginning and how desperate you were for an answer that would be the magic potion.....
Bring out the compassion and understanding and patience. That is what helps the most. And for goodness sake, don't gang up, it makes a very difficult situation even tougher. These people are often desperate for answers! Try to be helpful and empathetic.
I am now working on getting him into a senior day care center in my town. I can take him there in the morning and pick him up in late afternoon. He can go five days a week or only a couple of days. It offers the same programs as the memory care facility. He may not like it any better than the memory care but at least he will be living at home. I am also working on finding caregivers to help me as needed when he is home.
I think placement in a care home will also depend on your ability to care for him at home when he exhibits dementia behaviors or you become physically limited. At 82 my energy level is not what it used to be four years ago when he was first diagnosed even though I'm healthy and physically fit. I was exhausted by the end of the day and I was becoming impatient with him.
My husband also has confusion and Meletonin does seem to reduce "sundowner's syndrome".
I hope my experience is helpful. Consulting with a neurologist may also provide insight. I think the time to consider memory care is when your husband's dementia becomes too difficult for you to handle and when you are physically unable to care for him. Taking care of someone with a dementia and making decisions that will benefit both of you, at any given time, is the most difficult decision to make.
I wish you all the best.
Before we consulted the doctor, we toured facilities that had both Assisted Living and Memory Care thinking she might be ready for memory care. But we realized that she was more "with in" than the memory care residents and we started thinking that while she could benefit from some of the activities, she might lose her "spirit" in Memory Care. When we consulted with the doctor who tested her, he suggested putting her in an Assisted Living facility that is licensed as direct care for maybe one or two years...I now think it will be less because the decline has accelerated.
As others said some of it is up to how well you can tolerate his changes. If you have the same doctor as him, maybe he can counsel you as what to expect and what may be best for you. If you decide to get him into Assisted Living, make sure it is licensed at a level that they won't kick him out if he becomes assessed as needing memory care. The facility my MIL is going to said that if a memory care room is not available, they can provide the care in AL until Memory Care is open.
There are financial considerations too. Get an understanding of the costs of AL and Memory Care and consult your financial advisor how to make it work when the time comes.
Tour some Memory Care Assisted Living facilities and get a feel for which one fits his needs best. My mother lived in regular Assisted Living for 4 years and then segued into their Memory Care building when her dementia advanced and she required more care and a shrunken world due to her deficits. Incontinence, being wheelchair bound, needing help with showers and transfers in and out of bed all made it necessary for her to have care 24/7 by a team of people. She also benefited from the socialization and activity program offered in the MC.
In the end, nobody but you can decide when it's time to place dh. Have your ducks lined up with memory care ALs to take him in when the time is right. Don't wait for an emergency situation that forces his placement...but have him make the move when things get too much for you to manage alone at home, in terms of his care. Some people keep their spouse home for the duration while others place them right away. Every case and everybody is different. We all have different tolerance levels for providing hands on caregiving, too.
Good luck to you, whatever you decide.
Have you considered hiring a caregiver to come in for 8 hours a day to help lessen the duties you are doing now. It would give you more personal time to do things you like. One would need to budget for a caregiver, which can cost between $15/hour for non-Agency, to $30/hour for a licensed Agency [cost vary from area to area].
Once you feel that you need someone to come in for more than 8 hours, then it would be time to think about Memory Care as having 2 shifts of caregivers would cost more than the cost of one month's rent at Memory Care.
My Dad was living in a senior facility in Independent Living, after selling his house as the maintenance on the house was too much for him to do. It was when he started to wander at night, trying to leave the building, that the Staff informed me it is time for Memory Care, which they had available.
indicating moderate dimentia we were told the facility does their own test and will dermine their placement--after placement the unit reavaluates yearly to determine correct placement.
we only looked ar facilities with multiple levels of care. he's at home so we didnt have to activate assisted living, the one i liked best had an apartment building that was independent---just had access to staff if requested..and full independent living with three meals a day a frige and mic in their room for their own snacks, the facility did their laundry a nurse monitored their health.
it was an unlocked unit. then they had a memory unit that looked the same but it was locked and didnt have microwaves in their rooms because they can put metal in a mic and not safe for memory care patients to have their own microwave......
another facility had the independent living and memory care.. but the memory care looked like a prison. I guess they don't know or care anymore,,,but
then it would come down to beds available. the facility i liked the most only had 1 bed available in memory care..so he would have entered by that memory care then been transfered to independent living when a bed opened up.
My dad needed indepent living care and a facility that had both would be less upseting when be needed to be transfered to memory care