10 Reasons to Consider a Skilled Nursing Center for Dementia Care

woman reading book with caregiverBy Cherry Odom, BSN, RN-BC

“Our staff receive additional training in person-centered care,” said Ava Ammons, RN-BC, LHNA, administrator at Eckerd Living Center. “So we know how to deal with behaviors and de-escalate situations that could cause agitation or aggression resulting from an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.”

A forgotten appointment. Lost car keys. Food burned on the stove. Days and nights mixed up. These could be signs of some kind of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease, and you should consider getting assistance.

Dementia is an umbrella term for brain disease affecting mental ability, and Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, communication and language, ability to focus and pay attention, reasoning and judgment, and visual perception. The Alzheimer’s Association considers having at least two of these mental functions significantly impaired to be considered dementia.

If you or a loved one has one or more of these impairments, see your physician for an evaluation. Medications and support can allow longer independence for those with dementia.

Assisted living facilities provide oversight, medication monitoring, transportation, housekeeping, meals and frequent checks. “This situation is ideal for the family that works and cannot leave their loved one at home,” said Ammons. “They are also great for caregiver relief; those spouses that need to run errands or just have a break.”

The Eckerd Living Center offers:
1. Dedicated team members who specialize in the care of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias
2. A secure facility with an enclosed outside area
3. Activities, meals and snacks for the cognitively impaired
4. Low-stimulation uninterrupted sleep at night
5. Therapy to maintain physical and mental function
6. A full-time social worker to assist in navigating community resources
7. Monthly meetings of a family council group
8. Open visitation times
9. Consistent caregiver assignments so the residents see a familiar face
10. Steps away from state-of-the-art emergency care at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital


Ava Ammons, RN-BC, LHNA, is an administrator at the Eckerd Living Center.

Learn more about skilled nursing facilities and the Eckerd Living Center at eckerdlivingcenter.com [1].