People with dementia often have a hard time comprehending the world around them. They forget easily, so when they are told they will be moving, they don’t remember. As the process begins, they wonder what is going on and become frightened.
If you’ve been trying to figure out How to Move a Parent with Dementia to Assisted Living for additional care, it’s important to make the process as painless as possible. It’s also important to know what help you can expect from Medicare and Medicaid. The following tips from Medicare Wire will help you make the move as easy as possible.
Does Medicare Cover Dementia Care?
Home Health Services
In the early stages of dementia, many people benefit from being at home.
Medicare will pay for up to 35 hours a week of home health care for people certified as “homebound.” Medicaid will pay for in-home care if, without that in-home care, the person would require care in a nursing home.
Adult Day Centers
Medicaid covers adult day care programs, which offer activities and may offer meals and transportation. These centers also provide relief for caregivers.
Later Stages of Dementia
In the later stages of dementia, people often need more care and are unable to live at home. At this point, 24-hour care may be necessary.
Medicare pays for only the first 100 days in a nursing home facility. After 100 days, nursing home care can be paid using your personal resources, Medicaid, or a combination of the two.
Medicaid covers memory care units in nursing homes. Staff in these units have specialized training in caring for people with dementia.
Medicare will pay for hospice care for people who have been determined to have less than 6 months to live. Hospice care includes doctor, nursing, and personal care; prescription drugs; and counseling for patient and family.
Talk About It
If your parent is in the early stages of dementia and memory loss isn’t yet a problem, begin talking about the move. Describe the assisted living facility, the staff, and what it will be like living there. Only talk about the positive aspects of the assisted living facility by saying that it’s going to make life so much better.
If memory loss is a concern, save the talk for when the move is about to happen. Spend quite a bit of time right before the move discussing what it’s like, and what will happen in the next few minutes. Do not rush the move at all. Talk about it as much as possible until it feels like the right time to get into the car and drive to the facility.
Visit the Assisted Living Facility
Visiting the assisted living facility a few times before the move is a great way to help your parent feel more comfortable with the process. If it’s possible to participate in events and activities while at the facility, that would be another good way to help your parent become part of the community before moving.
Most assisted living facilities won’t have a problem having someone who is moving visit once and a while leading up to the move. Just ask when would be the best times to not disturb the current residents.
Schedule the Move During the Best Time
People suffering from dementia have times of the day when they feel the best. That can be in the morning or late afternoon after a nap. Try to schedule the move during the time of day when you know your parent will be in the best state of mind because that will make it easier for everyone involved.
Let Your Parent Pack Valuables
Allow your parent to pack valuables to feel more secure about having belongings moved to another place. A small bag or suitcase should be sufficient to place a few special items into transport by hand. The rest of the items can be sent at a later time to not overwhelm your parent.
Stay for a While Before Leaving
It’s going to take some time to become acclimated to the new living space. Try to stay for as long as you can to ensure your parent is comfortable before you leave.
The stress of moving a parent with dementia to an assisted living facility is not only on the parent. It’s stressful for you too. Be sure to seek counseling to help you process the move to understand it’s the best situation for everyone.
Communicate with Staff
The staff knows this is a transition for you too, so don’t feel as though you’re bothering anyone when you want to check on your parent. It will make you feel much better and speaking to your parent when you call will make everyone feel more at ease.
Move your parent with confidence that you’re making the right choice when it comes to providing quality care. Instead of burning out on caregiving, you can spend time with your parent enjoying this stage of life.