My 85-year-old mother has been bedridden with Alzheimer’s for three years, looked after by caregivers with support from my sister and me. She mostly sleeps and looks out the window. How long might this phase last? And, in your own opinion, do you believe Alzheimer’s patients benefit more from staying home or living in a memory care unit?

Most families coping with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia travel what we call “the continuum of care.” They start out doing everything on their own, then graduate to adult day center and in-home care. With advancing care needs, many will eventually move their family member to residential care – hopefully a long-term care community that specializes in persons with dementia.

In my experience, most families hope to keep mom or dad at home as long as possible. Look for Alzheimer’s home care help individuals who also can bring a sense of fun and energy to the home setting.

Residential care is a good option for many people. Persons with dementia respond to being with others and a social environment and a team of professionals can sometimes provide more comprehensive personal care and medical support.

In my personal case supporting my mother with Alzheimer’s disease, my dad had in-home help for five years before finally placing my mother in a residential care community. My mother did well in her assisted-living community and received excellent care. Her in-home workers actually continued to work for the family, visiting mom in assisted living and giving her some extra attention.

In your mom’s situation, I take note of the fact that you said she “mostly sleeps.” I would encourage you to get a good medical evaluation to see if her constant sleeping may be caused by medication or depression.

If possible, work to get your mother up and active. Play some of her favorite music or get her outside for some natural sunlight and Vitamin D. These small steps may help her enjoy a greater quality of life at home or eventually in residential care.

4 thoughts on “Do Alzheimer’s Patients Benefit More From Home Care or Residential Care?

  • Bob Walker

    In my experience with being a Home Instead caregiver,I have found my clients to do very well at home with HISC,and when placed in a facility,they do not get the personal attention HISC caregivers provide.this I have noticed in several of my clients,and I firmly believe Alzheimers patients should be kept in their homes around familiar surroundings as long as possible.

  • Lynn

    My 84 year old father has been diagnosed with early stages Alzheimers/dementia. He is home after a 3 month stay in the hospital, with my mother who is also 84. I have seen such a change in him over the last couple of years. He has medical issues, requiring care from my mother. My mother is a saint, he is so miserable and plain rude to her. I have been trying to get over to their home so she can get out, she still drives 🙂 , just to give her time away from his demanding nature. I take meals over as much as I can. I worry so much about the two of them.

  • sandy

    My mother-in-law has been diagnosed with Alzheimers for around seven months. She and her husband live at home. Her short term memory is gone. She calls and says there is someone in the house, we check, no one, she is asking for her mother, sometimes does not know her husband at times during the day…are we at the stage of getting someone full time in the home? We have a day CNA but I think we may need someone at night, too.
    We are on a large farm, not too far from their home but I worry she may leave, wander, etc.

  • Kathy Bella

    Since a fall several months ago, my 90 year Old father
    developed dementia. Up until then he was independent. My brother and I have been sharing our homes with him, with most of his time spent at my brother’s home, it seems that each time he is moved to my home to give them a “break”, the transition has become more difficult for him. He has become more agitated and overly concerned with the location of his possessions.
    Any thoughts on how consistent the living arrangements should be.

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