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My dad has moderate severe stage of ALZ - his memory is blank, can hardly communicate, but can still eat and do bathroom himself. Can easily become restless and seek any way to escape, he is on 24x7 supervision by caregiver (from the family) at home. All his doctors advise NH placement, preferably with memory unit. He has no assets/income (SSI only) and can only afford Medicare/Medical (he is in CA) bed. From what I understand, Medicare does not cover memory care and Medicaid/Medical sponsored memory care units in nursing homes are extremely scarce
Question: is there a chance that regular NH (without memory care) with Medical beds will accept him with his diagnosis and in his state and what might be cons of such placement?

If he is an escape artist it is very doubt a NH would allow him to reside anywhere but MC, for his own safety and the liability of the facility. Maybe they could do an ankle bracelet like Ahmijoy posted, but only if they are set up for it already.
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I was extraordinarily lucky that my mother was in a wonderful facility. It was a Medicaid facility. She was on the regular floor to start out and was moved to Memory Care when she became too combative. The staff was very diligent about reminding and helping her with her ADL’s. When she was found at the entrance they put an ankle monitor on her and when she cut it off, we had a meeting about transferring her to MC. She did well there. There were many activities for those who weren’t so “compromised”. There were plenty of people on her floor who were well-functioning like she was. She was anti-social, but if she hadn’t been, there were plenty of activities for her to join.
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fram96 Nov 22, 2019
Thank you, this is very good to know. I had a very vague idea what MCs look like
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The obvious disadvantage to a regular NH is that physically your father is in good shape, able to eat and manage personal care, and he doesn't need to be in a Nursing Home surrounded by people who are seriously ill and/or disabled, and being cared for by (good) staff who are not trained in dementia best practice.

He needs 24/7 supervision, prompting to manage his activities of daily living, appropriate socialisation and stimulation, and to be kept safe from harm.

How is the family caregiver coping so far? The ideal answer would be to hold out for one of those rare specialist dementia care places and to support the family meanwhile, but this may not be possible - what's the situation?
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fram96 Nov 22, 2019
Thank you for your thoughtful and caring advice! Indeed after visiting quite a number of NHs I got the impression that they may hardly be suitable for relatively healthy and still physical person - albeit unfortunately with severely impacted mental abilities. The family caregiver is holding for now but it's taking its toll - as close supervision is literally needed 24x7; just today he slipped away from attention for few minutes and managed to break the window and escape outside, fortunately without serious consequences...
I will be looking for NHs with memory units and, possibly, for some inexpensive board & care options - although, honestly, so far I am finding it hard even to find reliable lists of those. I will probably make a separate post about this problem
Thank you for your help!
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Reach out to several area NHs that you might consider. Try to choose ones that have a memory-care unit. They’ll let you know if your dad is appropriate for their facility. I’ve known some to even visit in order to perform an assessment. It’s a place to start. Even if there are no beds available in the memory care unit, they’ll place him on a waiting list and he will be given priority if he’s already a resident of the NH.

Hope this answer makes sense. Was a long night and probably need more coffee. Best wishes to you and your dad.
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fram96 Nov 22, 2019
Thank you for your advice! It's been a challenge though. I tried to cold call all NHs accepting Medicaid in the area and only in few cases I managed to talk to admission person. In 80% of cases I was sent to overflown admission voice mail where I could not even leave a message. Maybe I was just unlucky so far, will continue more systematically..
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