A single copy of this article may be reprinted for personal, noncommercial use only.
Elder care for Alzheimer's: Choosing a providerBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/elder-care/AN02111
- With Mayo Clinic geriatrician
Paul Y. Takahashi, M.D.read biographyclose window
Paul Y. Takahashi, M.D.Paul Y. Takahashi, M.D.
"The Internet will impact the lives of all patients young and old. Older and mature patients are no exception to this information explosion." — Dr. Takahashi
Dr. Paul Yoshio Takahashi works with elderly patients as a member of the geriatric consultative group at Mayo Clinic. He works in all medical settings, including the outpatient clinic, the nursing home and occasionally the patient's home. He is especially interested in strategies for successful aging, preventing elder abuse and mistreatment, home telemonitoring, frailty, and cognitive screening in elderly patients.
Dr. Takahashi is a consultant in the Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic. He is an associate professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. He had a fellowship in geriatric medicine at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine from 1997 to 1998.
Dr. Takahashi cares for all of a patient's acute needs and chronic problems and focuses on specialty issues such as memory problems, safety in the home, healthy aging, proper medications and end-of-life concerns.
He sees the Internet playing a growing role in the health information field.
"Patients and their families want and expect the most up-to-date information about life, health, disease and death. Healthy aging as a concept has grown quickly over the last 20 years as we have all lived longer and hopefully better," he says. "I expect that Mayo Clinic will be a significant part of this growing movement of a healthy maturity."
Dr. Takahashi, a native of Pittsfield, Ill., joined Mayo Clinic in 1998 and is board certified in internal medicine with added qualification in geriatric medicine. He is a fellow of the American Geriatrics Society.
Risk factors (2)
- Alzheimer's: Can a head injury increase my risk?
- Oophorectomy (ovary removal): A risk factor for dementia?
- Sundowning: Late-day confusion
Tests and diagnosis (2)
- Rapidly progressing Alzheimer's: Something else?
- Alzheimer's test: Detection at the earliest stages
- Phantosmia: What causes olfactory hallucinations?
Treatments and drugs (3)
- Alzheimer's nose spray: New Alzheimer's treatment?
- Folic acid supplements: Can they slow cognitive decline?
- Vitamin B-12: Can it improve memory in Alzheimer's?
Lifestyle and home remedies (2)
- Music and Alzheimer's: Can it help?
- Alzheimer's: Can a Mediterranean diet lower my risk?
Alternative medicine (5)
- Huperzine A: Can it treat Alzheimer's?
- Axona: Medical food to treat Alzheimer's
- Phosphatidylserine supplements: Can they improve memory?
- see all in Alternative medicine
Coping and support (1)
- Elder care for Alzheimer's: Choosing a provider
- Alzheimer's prevention: Does it exist?
- Alzheimer's disease: Can exercise prevent memory loss?
- Benefits of being bilingual: Delay Alzheimer's?
Elder care for Alzheimer's: Choosing a provider
I am considering finding an elder care center for a loved one with Alzheimer's. What should I look for when considering a provider?
from Paul Y. Takahashi, M.D.
Elder care, or adult care, can provide an opportunity for your loved one with Alzheimer's to receive assistance and therapeutic activities in a group setting while giving you a temporary break from caregiving. In the U.S. you can locate elder care services available in your area by using the Department of Health and Human Services' Eldercare Locator website. This website provides you contact information for your state or local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). The AAA will connect you with someone who will help guide you to specific elder care service providers.
Determine your needs
When considering elder care providers, evaluate what services your loved one needs:
- Physical therapy
- Medical care
- Medication management
If you're choosing among more than one provider, some additional considerations are:
- Location. How convenient is it?
- Hours. What are drop-off and pick-up times?
- Costs. Often, costs are out-of-pocket, but some long term care insurance plans may cover this type of care.
Ensuring quality care
Entrusting your loved one to someone else's care can be difficult. Some things you'll want to consider to help ensure he or she is getting the best care possible are:
- Ask for references. Ask the center for references, and talk to two or three current residents and their families.
- Do some research. Ask the AAA representative whether they have any specific information on the facility you're considering.
- Ask lots of questions. On a first visit to a potential facility, walk through and ask a lot of questions, such as about services and staff training. What are the center's staffing ratios? On average, adult care providers have a ratio of one staff member for six care recipients. The National Adult Day Services Association has a site-visit question checklist you can print and take with you.
- Try it out. When you think you have decided on a center, try it out. Be aware that it may take some time for your loved one to feel comfortable in the new surroundings.
Alzheimer's prevention: Does it exist?
- Takahashi PY (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 26, 2010.
- What is adult day care? Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Resources/Fact_Sheets/adult_day.aspx. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Community care options. Family Caregiver Alliance. http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=1992. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Choosing an adult day center. National Adult Day Services Association. http://www.nadsa.org/knowledgebase/details.php?id=557. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.