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How to Pay for It

Nursing homes are expensive. Medicare may cover some of the costs, like short-term care or rehab that's needed after a hospital stay. But you can't rely on it for the long term.

"Many people do not realize that Medicare doesn't pay for nursing home care indefinitely," says Chris Herman, MSW, LICSW, an eldercare expert at the National Association of Social Workers.

If Medicare funding and your loved one's own savings start to run out, Medicaid may help. That's a government program that helps provide health coverage if you have a low income.

Most nursing homes accept both Medicare and Medicaid. Before your loved one moves in, check to see that it takes payments from both.

How to Make It Work

You can do things to make sure your loved one is getting the care he needs:

Visit often. You should also ask friends and relatives to do the same.

Get to know the staff. Share with them what you know about your loved one, such as what he likes and doesn't like. If he prefers a certain daily routine, ask the staff to help provide it.

Pay attention. Check your loved one's care plan, and make sure everyone is following it. If you see something you don't like, speak up. Ask for a meeting to discuss your concerns.

Get involved. Go to family meetings if they're offered.

Keep up with regulations. Check in with your local ombudsman to make sure the nursing home is following all the latest rules.

Document everything. Note any problems that come up. Include dates, times, and the names of people who were involved. This will be helpful if you decide to file a complaint.

Lose the guilt. Remember that you're giving your loved one the best possible care.

"Moving elderly parents -- out of love and safety -- is not a denial of duty," says Barbara McVicker, an eldercare expert and host of the PBS television special Stuck in the Middle: Caring for Mom and Dad.

There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR® prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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Who should NOT take NAMENDA XR?

NAMENDA XR should not be taken by anyone who is allergic (hypersensitive) to memantine, the active substance in NAMENDA XR, or who has had a bad reaction to NAMENDA XR or any of its ingredients.

What should be discussed with the healthcare provider before taking NAMENDA XR?

Before starting NAMENDA XR, talk to the healthcare provider about all of the patient's past and present medical conditions, including:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Liver, kidney, or bladder problems

If the patient is taking other medications (including those without a prescription), ask the healthcare provider if NAMENDA XR is right for the patient.

  • Certain medications, changes in diet, or medical conditions may affect the amount of NAMENDA XR in the body and possibly increase side effects.

What are the possible side effects of NAMENDA XR?

The most common side effects associated with NAMENDA XR treatment are headache, diarrhea, and dizziness. This is not a complete list of side effects.

NAMENDA XR® (memantine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules are approved for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. NAMENDA XR is available by prescription only.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.