Lists of reports on this page:
Find care details, insights, and insider perspectives gained from 20+ years of helping seniors and families.
What to know about this topic:
- An overview of services to help you with Alzheimer's care
- Long term care for Alzheimer's
- Regulation and accreditation in BC
In the Comfort Life Spotlight
Alzheimer’s Disease is a degenerative condition with no certain cure (as of 2017). The most common form of dementia, the disease robs sufferers of normal brain function and memory. Alzheimer's care in Vancouver uses innovative care strategies that also benefit from the latest research into this disease.
IN-DEPTH REPORTSMemory care in Greater Vancouver
We believe that the desire for fulfillment and living a life with purpose does not diminish with a diagnosis of dementia. We focus on the possibilities of each person, supporting each to live with laughter, love and joy.
Lifestyle Options: Memory Care, Long-term care
An oasis in the heart of Langley City, Magnolia Gardens features bright, spacious suites and a warm, friendly atmosphere. Two choices in senior living: 115 independent living suites, and a 40-suite licensed Care Centre.
Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Memory Care, Long-term care
An overview of services to help you with Alzheimer's care
There is an increasing suite of services available to help those with dementia. As understanding of the disease grows all the time, more varieties of care are available. Here's a stage-by-stage look at Alzheimer's Disease, and advice on how families in Vancouver can provide the best care available at each stage in the disease's development. We urge families to take a close look at each program and provider available in Vancouver and to learn the specifics of the care offered, to learn how each service's abilities apply to your needs.
Home care. If family members are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, you can extend their time at home with a mix of (constant) personal attention from family and home care. Many different in-home nursing and care services make the lives of Alzheimer's sufferers better. Home care services for Alzheimer's are available throughout Greater Vancouver, including adult day programs.
Respite care. Respite or reprieve from caregiving is available through a variety of means including home care services (above). Retirement homes in the Greater Vancouver area also offer respite care services. This provision encourages caregivers to take a break or vacation, in order to be better caregivers in the long run.
Memory care homes like those listed above offer a variety of services and benefits that are simply unavailable through any other means. When a loved one reaches the advanced stages of the disease, you will need to start looking for long term care in Greater Vancouver and area.
Alzheimer's care homes in Vancouver offer services that make life better for all concerned. Here is a brief look at some of the stronger advantages offered by memory care facilities in a Vancouver seniors' home:
- Patient-centred care — Increasingly, retirement homes offer specialized care that may be targeted to individual needs. Specialized Alzheimer’s homes pay close attention to all patients in their facilities, and appeal to caregiving families to learn noteworthy aspects of the client's character and personal preferences.
- Mental stimulus — Many care facilities offer specialized programs and dedicated therapies that can alleviate symptoms of the disease including memory loss. Some specialized care can include light therapy or the Java Music Program. See more specialized memory care therapies available in Vancouver care homes. Features such as this make life in a retirement residence a far cry better than staying in one's own home.
- Safety — Facilities are designed for optimal safety. This can include specially designed hallways that reduce disorientation and other features of sundowning, explicit signage and other features that make like easier and more secure for dementia sufferers.
- Trained staff that uses gentle persuasion and similar approaches, and benefits from lengthy experience in dealing with other Alzheimer's sufferers.
- Companionship — A number of studies show that social activity stimulates the mind of the Alzheimer's sufferer, keeping patients aware of and in tune with others around them.
Long term care for Alzheimer's
It may seem fatalistic to some, but there are families who plan care holistically when it comes to Alzheimer's, and look toward the end; there is wisdom in choosing seniors' care that allows for palliation. This negates the need to move later. Several Vancouver area retirement homes offer palliative or hospice care.
When you are assigned a long term care bed by BC Health Services, you will want to tour facilities to understand what care is offered and other important qualities. We recommend that you tour several local facilities, take our retirement home checklist with you and make sure you are getting the best care available. When doing this, you will form preferences; you may realize that you are disappointed in the bed or facility assigned to you. In this case, you may choose to look at paying for the best facilities (like those listed above) out of your own pocket. This option is increasingly appealing to families in Vancouver who understand the advantages offered by paying more in order to get the best.
Regulation and accreditation in BC
One further assurance of getting the best care is found in the multiple tiers of accreditation and regulation available in Vancouver and the rest of BC. Most of the highest quality retirement homes in British Columbia have membership in the volunteer-based BC Seniors Living Association (BCSLA). The BCSLA has a number of self-regulated standards that will apply, including its Seal of Approval (since 2009) and its Assisted Living Registry (instituted in 2012).
When the time comes to get long term care, note that the BC government regulates Long Term Care retirement residences and communities (along with Assisted Living homes in BC) under the provincial Community Care and Assisted Living Act. This Act focuses more so on concerns related to health and safety than on quality, such as the quality of meals or facilities, etc. Concerns of that nature, as well as concerns you may have about advertising or other business practices, are accountable under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act of BC. These practices also fall under the auspices of the BCSLA.
Last but not least, your rights are also protected and accounted for by other government services. The provincial Ombudsperson provides annual updates to that office's 2012 report on The Best of Care for Seniors in British Columbia. BC's Bill of Rights for Residents provides a summary of standards of care. You can download a copy of this Bill in PDF.
Many children of the aging find assurance and validation in providing the best available care for their parents. It's typical to view this as a repayment, and as they say, they are "glad to help." Still, there are times of difficulty, and it is very important that you seek as much help as you can from others, from government sources and even from the private sector. Providing the best care for your parents can often mean getting help from others, especially those professionally trained and ideally equipped to be the best at providing Alzheimer's care.