Dementia is a devastating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined . It is estimated that one in three seniors dies with a form of dementia, and the number of cases in the United States is predicted to double by 2050 to over 13 million .
When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it can be overwhelming for families and caregivers. Providing specialized care at home can be challenging, and in some cases, emergency placement may be necessary. In this article, we will explore one family’s journey with emergency placement for their loved one with dementia and the lessons they learned along the way.
The Importance of Having a Plan in Place
As the family in this story discovered, having a plan in place for emergency situations is critical. According to the Connecticut Hospital Association, over a 20-day period in February 2022, there were 38 children below the age of 17 waiting in emergency departments for placement at inpatient psychiatric facilities, but there were only three beds available on a daily basis . This shortage of resources is not unique to Connecticut, and it highlights the importance of having a plan in place for emergency placement.
The Unique Considerations of Emergency Placement for Dementia Patients
Emergency placement for dementia patients can be especially challenging. The care of dementia is actually the care of two people: the person with the illness and the person taking care of them . The family in this story struggled with the decision to seek emergency placement for their loved one with dementia, as they knew it would be a difficult transition for both their loved one and themselves.
Seeking Professional Guidance
The family in this story found that seeking professional guidance from doctors and social workers was critical in navigating the challenges of emergency placement. They were able to work with medical professionals to find an appropriate placement for their loved one that met their unique needs.
The Impact of Having a Support System
The family in this story also highlights the impact of having a support system. They had family and friends who were able to provide emotional support throughout the journey, and they found comfort in knowing that they were not alone. For those who do not have a support system, there are resources available, such as support groups and online forums, where individuals can connect with others in similar situations.
In conclusion, the journey of this family with emergency placement for their loved one with dementia offers valuable insights and support for families and caregivers facing similar situations. It underscores the importance of having a plan in place for emergency situations, the unique considerations involved in emergency placement for dementia patients, the need for seeking professional guidance, and the impact of having a support system. It is a must-read for anyone seeking guidance on emergency placement for dementia patients and how to navigate the challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia.