Alzheimer’s disease is a complex brain disease that systematically targets areas of the brain, causing neuron death and decreased communication throughout the brain in a progressive, predictable pattern. If you or a loved one is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, you’re probably scared about what the future may bring. You may become frustrated with yourself, knowing you’re not quite making the connections between things as you once did. You may find yourself in an unfamiliar place, unable to perform tasks you’ve done a million times before. Your mood may swing from cheerful to tearful at the drop of a hat. You’re facing an uncertain future.
At Highland Ridge Hospital, located in Salt Lake City, we understand the fears associated with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. We also know that while this is not a curable condition, with the right combination of medication and therapies, we can help you or your loved one maximize your life and maintain your independence as long as possible while at our treatment center. When you come to Highland Ridge Hospital, you will know that we can help you plan for the future and build a brighter today.
How to Help A Loved One Seek Treatment
If your loved one is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, you may be terrified of what happens next. You know that Alzheimer’s is an incurable form of dementia and you know that you will probably need some help as the Alzheimer’s advances. You may not know how to bring up the topic of inpatient treatment at a hospital or treatment center for Alzheimer’s disease with your loved one. Here are some tips for helping a loved one seek inpatient treatment for Alzheimer’s disease:
Learn all that you can: Alzheimer’s disease may not have a cure, but it does have a predictable course. Learn about the different stages of this disease, what you can expect, and what to plan for. Find local area treatment centers or hospitals that specialize in caring for those who have advanced Alzheimer’s disease and look into home care options. Armed with knowledge, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about your loved one’s future.
Seek support: Caring for a loved one who has a form of dementia can be overwhelming and exhausting. The symptoms of the disorder may keep you up at night to prevent your loved one from wandering, while your days may be filled with helping your loved one perform simple daily activities. You need a support group to turn to. There are many Alzheimer’s and dementia support groups offered by area hospitals, treatment centers, and churches as these groups can be an amazing resource. A local therapist may also be able to provide self-care tips to prevent caregiver burnout.
Find an inpatient center: Call around and find an inpatient treatment center or hospital that specializes in care of older adults who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Ask the intake staff any questions you may have about their treatment plans and the ways they handle the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.
Why Seek Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease?
If you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease, you’re probably pretty scared. You know that there’s no cure for this type of dementia and you want to make sure you prolong your quality of life for as long as you can. You know that Alzheimer’s is a progressive disorder and you want to make sure that you’re treated with dignity, care, and respect during the later stages of this disease. You may not know who to turn to or what to expect next.
An inpatient treatment center or hospital for Alzheimer’s disease can be an ideal way to begin treatment for this disease. While it is progressive and incurable, there are a good number of medications available that will allow you to remain as independent as possible and lead a fulfilling life. By taking you out of the stresses of daily life, an inpatient treatment center or hospital provides the one thing needed most – the ability to focus on you. You’ll be able to get a medication plan in order with the physicians at the treatment center or hospital, begin any self-care activities suggested by the therapists, and help make plans for your future.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Highland Ridge Hospital, we believe that you’re more than symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease – we know that you’re a whole person who has unique needs and abilities. We approach each person who comes to our treatment center as their own person; we never use a cookie-cutter approach to Alzheimer’s disease care. Our multidisciplinary treatment team will work with you and your loved ones to create a plan of care for your stay with us at our treatment center that meets all of your needs – mind, body, and spirit.
Treatment Options at Highland Ridge Hospital
When you come to our treatment center for help managing your Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll first undergo a thorough medical and psychological evaluation to allow us to form an appropriate plan of care based upon the results of your evaluation. Your medical examination at Highland Ridge Hospital will help determine which stage of Alzheimer’s disease you’re in, the presence of any other medical problems, and help jumpstart medical treatment. Your psychological evaluation will also help determine the advancement of your Alzheimer’s, any co-occurring disorders, and assess your basic cognitive and memory functioning. We’ll take the results of these examinations and sit down with you and your loved ones to create a plan of care for your stay with us at our treatment center.
Medication may be used to help manage the symptoms of your Alzheimer’s disease if you’re in the early stages of the disease as it can help prolong independence. You may also be on medication to treat other medical and psychiatric problems you’re facing. The usage of medication will be based, in part, upon the recommendations of your treatment team at Highland Ridge Hospital.
Individual therapy can be an excellent way for older adults who have Alzheimer’s disease to sit with a therapist to discuss some of the fears they may have about this disease. You may also discuss your wants and desires for the future with your therapist during your private sessions at our treatment center.
Group therapy is one of the most effective ways for people who have Alzheimer’s disease to gain understanding and insight into their disease. You’ll participate in a variety of groups at our treatment center including exercise group, arts and crafts, and recreational therapies.
Family support during this time in your life is critical as your loved ones may become your caregivers as the Alzheimer’s disease progresses. Family sessions at Highland Ridge Hospital will be held to discuss your loved ones’ role in your recovery, ways they can help you, and help you all begin to plan for the future.
In addition to traditional therapeutic approaches, we offer a number of experiential therapies at our treatment center to help heal the whole person. Some of these approaches include:
- Art therapy
- Pet therapy
- Recreation therapy
- Leisure time
- Craft time
- Movie nights
- Wii games
- Gym & exercise time
- Puzzles, cards, and board games
Continuing Care and Levels of Care
When you first come to our treatment center, your comprehensive evaluation process will allow us to determine the level of care that you require. Some people step up from traditional outpatient therapy into one of our outpatient programs, such as our partial hospitalization program (PHP) or intensive outpatient program (IOP). Others may step up from IOP or PHP into our inpatient program at Highland Ridge Hospital. We’re committed to providing a continuum of care across the lifespan in a variety of settings.
As your time for discharge from our treatment center approaches, you’ll work with our discharge planner to determine what the most appropriate next steps in your recovery will be. You may step down from inpatient care to our IOP or PHP programs. Others may decide that they’ve made enough progress at Highland Ridge Hospital to transition back home with referrals to traditional outpatient therapy. Still others may require a more long-term placement. If this is the case, we will work with other centers to find an appropriate solution for your long term care needs.