Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another age-related disease should never be faced alone. As memories fade and the simplest tasks become challenges, it can be a confusing and frustrating time for everyone involved. Whether you, yourself, have been newly diagnosed or you have a loved one in the mid-to-late stages of dementia, consider looking into a memory care facility before the disease progresses further.
Residents with cognitive impairments deserve treatments that are uniquely tailored to their special needs—emotional, social, and spiritual. Finding the right memory care near you that meets these needs involves understanding the many different aspects of both memory care and the programs involved.
At Caring Advisor, we are dedicated to helping the people in our community through the difficult process of transitioning to a home that meets evolving care needs. Let our representatives walk you through the various ways memory care facilities are able to meet the distinct needs of dementia patients from beginning to the end. Contact us if you have any questions.
Memory care is another form of specialized long-term care for those who have been diagnosed with memory impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia. The residential care services at each facility come with the highest level of compassion and dignity for those who are most vulnerable.
In this safe and secure environment, the senior is placed into the hands of professionally-trained caregivers who provide person-centered care that supports self-esteem, dignity, and the resumption of many personal care tasks.
This level of care nurtures older adults in any stage of dementia, and while many memory care centers are for those with Alzheimer’s disease, they may also assist residents with the following conditions:
These communities also are great for family members, as most offer support groups, educational lectures, and resources to learn about the disease.
Programs that are dedicated to memory care are able to do more for a loved one than family caregivers may be able to provide at home. While professional memory care can’t stop dementia—as there is currently no cure for the disease— it can help slow its progression with the help of different care methods that encourage cognitive growth and function.
By providing assistance and structure, memory care services work to create an environment in which the stressors that come with dementia are reduced and patients are encouraged to cultivate their memory skills.
There are a number of strategies and tools employed by memory care programs that work alongside medications from healthcare professionals. Not all dementia presents itself in the same way, therefore, each memory care program is unique to each and every individual and the challenges of each subset of dementia.
Memory care services are available to provide care and assistance beyond the scope of medications and treatments prescribed by doctors. The other types of services provided are part of a holistic approach to dementia that focuses on the person, not the disease. Because dementia is multifaceted, these options must be diverse enough to meet the individual needs of each patient as well as help improve their emotional state.
Generally, you can expect these services in most memory care units:
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between age-related changes in a loved one and the first signs of dementia, Alzheimer’s, or a memory disorder. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, look out for these 10 warning signs of dementia:
However, just because someone is exhibiting these signs does not automatically mean they should go straight into a memory care facility. Some family members may choose to care for their loved ones for as long as possible before turning to other options including nursing home care or assisted living facilities that have units devoted to memory care.
In general, memory care communities are typically for people with mid-to-late stage dementia that are exhibiting confused or disoriented behavior that might make them a danger to others or their own physical health.
The main difference between these two senior living options is that assisted living is a lower level of care for seniors that don’t necessarily have a memory condition, but need help with activities of daily living, personal care services, and medical care.
One thing to note is that many assisted living communities do offer units devoted to memory care; therefore, as needs evolve, the senior may be able to age in place from the early stages of dementia all the way through end of life.
Assisted living is a good option for a senior already living in a senior community and who might be in the early stages of the disease, but not yet exhibiting wandering behaviors. Assisted living can be thought of as more of a bridge to more extended care in a few years.
On the other hand, memory care is the best option for a senior in any stage of the dementia process who may exhibit wandering or other worrying behaviors.
Another option is adult day care, which is ideal for older adults in the early to middle stages of the disease. These individuals may live at home with a full time caregiver, but may require extended supervision during the day.
Many think of memory care and assisted living as cost-prohibitive, but it’s important to understand the full scope of service that you get for the cost of taking care of someone who is precious to you.
While every facility is different, the memory care costs you incur may include:
When looking at memory care near you, be sure to get pricing for each of these services in order to compare and contrast to others. If you are looking for ways to cover the cost of these services, consider looking into eligibility for one of these options:
If you are considering a memory care community as a viable senior care option, it is imperative that you look at not only the community itself, but at the philosophy of the dementia care program. Remember that the memory-impaired individual needs specialized care that is positive, person-centered, and supportive.
Thankfully, the senior care industry has rallied around those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias over the past few decades, giving you access to a variety of retirement communities that are carefully designed with the senior in mind. In order to make the best decision about which dementia care provider is best, it is good to talk to family and friends, research online, and visit at least three communities more than once. Using memory-impaired senior’s prognosis as a lens, you can make the best decision that suits their current situation.