Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes significant problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. This disease is characterized by the slow development of symptoms that get worse over time, leading to an individual’s inability to complete daily tasks of living. The early stages of this disease are associated with mild memory loss, however as it progresses to late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, individuals will lose the ability to respond to their environment. Although the greatest known risk factor for the development of dementia is increasing age, this disease is not a normal part of the aging process.
At Cedar Crest Hospital, we understand how scary it can be to learn you have Alzheimer’s disease. Our compassionate staff is here to provide a full spectrum of care that will make you feel safe and supported. The Generations™ program at Cedar Crest has helped many older adults get their Alzheimer’s symptoms under control and return to their highest possible level of functioning. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, with good support and treatment you can help reduce your symptoms and gain maximum functioning and independence for as long as possible.
How to Help a Family Member or Loved One Get Treatment
If your loved one or family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease they are going to slowly become more dependent upon you for every day needs. Not only are you going to be facing your own emotions about your loved ones diagnosis, but you may find yourself becoming frustrated with your loved one. It is devastating to watch someone you love slowly lose their memory and independence especially as the disease reaches the later stages. If your loved one is struggling with their Alzheimer’s disease it is important to talk to them about getting additional treatment and planning for the future. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind:
- Research inpatient programs: If you believe that your loved one is having a particularly difficult time dealing with their diagnosis it may be beneficial to look into treatment programs that can help them learn more about their disorder and ways in which to cope with their symptoms. A program that is specifically designed for geriatric patients will ensure your loved one is getting proper medications, help them deal with their emotions surrounding the disease, and provide you with information needed so that you can be as supportive as you can be.
- Plan for the future: Since Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease it is only going to get worse over time and it is important to make plans for the future care of your loved one. Make the time to sit down with your loved one and other family members so that you can all lay out a plan you can agree on. This can help lessen some of the anxiety and worry about the future.
- Self-care: Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease is an ongoing job that can leave you feeling exhausted. After a while you can become frustrated and burnt out, which will impede your ability to be a good caregiver. Make sure you take some time out for yourself to avoid such circumstances. Join a support group, talk to the family physician, or someone else you trust. In order to be the best caregiver you can you have to take time for yourself to rest and regroup.
Why Seek Inpatient Care at Cedar Crest Hospital
The symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease progress slowly over time, eventually getting to a point where an individual is no longer able to care for themselves. This disease is not curable, however if treated early there are medications and treatments that can prolong the development of certain symptoms.
An inpatient program that is specialized in treating an older population can be very helpful for those struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. Inpatient programs that have years of experience treating this disease allow patients to become stabilized and gain back some of their lost independence. Most inpatient programs provide patients with individual therapy to work through personal emotional problems related to the disease, group sessions, and family therapy. Groups allow patients the ability to interact with others who are struggling with similar issues and gain insight into others’ lives. Finally, an inpatient program can help you and your loved ones work toward planning for the future and connect] you with available community resources to ensure that all needs are met for all involved.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Cedar Crest Hospital for the past 25 years we have successfully helped thousands of older adults and their families return to their maximum level of functioning so they can lead happy lives once more. We understand that making the decision to seek help for Alzheimer’s can be hard for older adults who are slowly realizing that their memory is not what it used to be. At Cedar Crest we proudly offer a geriatric-specific unit called The Generations™, which is completely devoted to caring for the challenges faced by many older adults. Our compassionate care team of fully trained professionals is here for you and your family throughout the entire process.
Treatment Options Offered at Cedar Crest Hospital
Upon arrival at Cedar Crest all patients will undergo an assessment to determine what their exact treatment needs are. Through these assessments we will be able to determine if you have any additional medical concerns or other co-occurring mental health disorders. Once the evaluation is complete the information we have gathered will be used to develop a treatment plan for your stay. Here are some of the treatment methods we may use to help treat your Alzheimer’s.
Medication: Medication can be very helpful at stabilizing your mood and overall feeling of wellbeing. If you are in need of medication we will make sure that you are getting the meds that are most appropriate for your needs and that they are working effectively. We will assess your progress throughout your entire stay and make any changes if necessary.
Individual therapy: During your stay you will most likely meet with a therapist on an individual basis at least once a week. This time can be spent addressing your emotions surrounding your diagnosis and helping you identify skills that can allow you to be more independent for a longer period of time.
Group therapy: Groups are often the main form of treatment we offer as they can be very helpful for people with Alzheimer’s since they allow you to socialize with others who are struggling with different challenges. Groups are held multiple times a day and may focus upon topics such as self-care, education, and life skills.
Family therapy: Family involvement is a crucial part of the treatment process for older adults with Alzheimer’s disorder as they are usually the caregivers for their loved ones. Family sessions will focus upon planning for the future, supporting you and your loved ones through this hard time, and educating your loved ones about the disease process.
In addition to traditional types of therapy, The Generations™ program at Cedar Crest Hospital is proud to offer a variety of experiential methods. These may include:
- Recreational therapy
- Art therapy
- Physical therapy to increase mobility
- Activities of daily living
- Swimming therapy
- Nature walks
Continuing Care and Levels of Care
As your time with us comes to an end we will work with you and your family to put in place the discharge plan that has been developed throughout your stay. Our fully committed staff will be beside you every step of the way as you leave The Generations™ program, ensuring that your next phase of treatment is already in place. Some of our clients will leave us to step down into our intensive outpatient program (IOP) which allow you to focus on your healing during the day while spending evenings at home. Some have made enough progress that they are ready to return home once they have become stabilized and learned new living skills. Finally, a select number of patients may no longer be able to return home and require the services of an assisted living facility. If this is the case we will work with you and your family to find the perfect place for you.