If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's, then there may come a time when you will have to decide between providing in-home care at your home or their home or helping your loved one move into a residential facility that can provide full-time, specialized care. If your loved one was recently diagnosed or is just starting to show more severe symptoms, you may wonder at what point you will have to face that decision. Knowing what to expect during the stages of Alzheimer's can help you plan for when you might have to make this decision. If you are currently facing that decision, you may wonder what is the right choice. Here are four factors that will help you decide what type of care is best for your loved one and the others immediately impacted by their care. 

The Amount of Specialized Care Your Loved One Needs

As Alzheimer's progresses, you may find that your loved one needs more specialized care, such as frequent monitoring of their health and administering various medications. If your loved one only needs minimal specialized care, you may be able to hire an in-home nurse to complete this care on a regular basis and provide generalized care for your loved one yourself. However, if your loved one needs higher levels of specialized care, such as constant monitoring for pain and weakness and help with basic activities, you may need to consider residential care.  

How People In the Home Are Affected By Changes In Their Environment 

You may have to make several changes in your home to support your loved one with Alzheimer's, including reducing the amount of furniture you have, replacing drapes with busy patterns, installing safety measures, and labeling your home. If you have young children in the home, they may react poorly to these changes, and it is possible that your loved one with Alzheimer's will also react poorly to changes, even if they are necessary. Seeing their home changed in small ways may frustrate a person who is having a difficult time remembering things. 

If changing your home is creating too big of a disturbance for everyone involved, you may want to look into residential options. 

Your Ability to Provide Continued Support 

You should assess your ability to provide continued support to your loved one financially, emotionally, and physically. It is important that you are able to keep up with other responsibilities, such as attending your job and interacting with other family members, while providing care to your loved one with Alzheimer's. If you find that you are becoming bitter, stressed, or an unsympathetic caregiver, you may find that placing your loved one in residential care removes enough stress from you to allow you to continue to provide important emotional care for them. 

The Amount of Social Interaction and Activity Your Loved One Engages In 

If your loved one has positive social interactions at their current home, you may want to keep them in the familiar environment for as long as possible. For example, if friends regularly stop by to see them, you have children in the house who enjoy spending time with them, and you are able to spend plenty of time interacting with them socially, you may want to work to keep them at home by hiring in-home caregivers as necessary. 

However, if they have limited social interaction, the social environment of a residential facility may help slow the progress of the Alzheimer's and increase their feelings of satisfaction. 

Making care decisions for your loved ones can be difficult. It is important to think about these situations in advance and make a plan for your loved one's long term care.