First of all, it's important to define exactly what we mean by "group homes." Some states call them "boarding care homes," instead. Some states require licenses. So, to start your search, call your state's licensing department and ask if licensure is required; and, if so, get a list of the homes in your area.
I'd consider only those homes experienced with dementia patients. These facilities will have very specific safety measures, and staffs with special training in working with this population.
Also, when making this decision, consider whether your loved one can stay in the home for the rest of her life. For example, if she runs out of money, will the home accept Medicaid? (And will she be eligible for it?) What if she eventually needs a wheelchair, or becomes bedridden, or incontinent. Will she be able to remain there?
In my opinion, smaller homes (with just four or five residents) are best for dementia patients. They're more "homey." There's more contact between the staff and residents. And staff are generally more versatile, as they often have to do a wider variety of jobs.
I believe that residents of smaller homes are often happier. The smaller homes often make it a point to involve residents in daily activities such as cooking and cleaning, folding laundry, helping with the trash, watering plants, and setting the table. Activities such as these allow your loved one to feel a sense of responsibility, and self-worth. And they allow her, as well, to develop a sense of community with the other residents.
When you're dealing with Alzheimer's, it's inevitable that more and more questions will come up in your mind. That's why we developed the Complete Alzheimer's Resource Kit, which contains care tips as well as other useful information on Alzheimer’s disease.
At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones. We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.
We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.