Finding a Nursing Home for a Dementia Patient

Nearly two-thirds of nursing home patients have cognitive impairment, while 64% of Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes have Alzheimer’s Disease or a related dementia.  Access to high-quality nursing home care for dementia patients is imperative.  Optimal nursing home care for dementia patients begins with person-centered care, or individualized care focused on maximizing quality of life, which adapts to the patient’s changing needs.  Adequate numbers of trained staff is essential to providing optimal care for cognitively impaired residents of a nursing facility.  An estimated 50% – 80% of Alzheimer’s patients have behavioral and psychological symptoms, such as aggression, wandering, or inappropriate behavior.  Optimal dementia care in a facility includes appropriate management of these and other behavioral symptoms.  The initial management of behavioral symptoms should be nonpharmacological and delivered by trained staff.