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We all want the best quality of life for our loved ones. A diagnosis of memory problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, can be scary and mean lots of change, such as moving elderly relatives into a specialized senior care community. There, they can receive full-service, around-the-clock care from highly trained staff members.
Of course, not just any place will do for your loved one; they deserve top-notch care from a highly trained staff that treats their residents with the dignity they deserve. Assisted living and memory care communities may be the best place for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia and memory loss problems.
Memory care can refer to an entire community or a specialized dementia care/Alzheimer’s care unit nestled inside a larger senior care facility, such as a skilled nursing or assisted living facility. As the name implies, these communities are for residents with severe memory issues who require 24/7 monitoring in order to keep them safe. Naturally, the level of care memory care residents need is greater than those of other residential care communities, such as independent living or larger assisted living communities.
Moving your loved one is never easy, even if it is the right decision. Family members should remember that there is nothing wrong with moving an elderly relative to a location where they will be safer.
Knowing what to look for in a quality memory care program can give you peace of mind that your loved one’s well-being is prioritized.
Comprehensive memory care services to look for include:
People with memory issues require extra help completing day-to-day tasks like brushing teeth, toileting, and getting dressed. These activities (activities of daily living, or ADLs) must be completed for someone to go about their daily life with comfort.
If your loved one wants to spend their golden years in a single location, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is worth exploring. A CCRC is a singular community that offers a variety of senior living options, from skilled nursing services to independent living programs. This all means that if residents’ required level of care changes, they can have their needs met at their current location.
Pricing is absolutely a consideration to keep in mind when selecting memory care services. Unfortunately, the cost of memory care is rising in the United States. Fortunately, however, there are plenty of financial assistance programs available for these services.
Long-term care insurance is one of the most common (and reliable) ways to pay for senior living expenses. It’s a good idea for your loved one to invest in a policy now if they haven’t already.
According to Genworth’s 2020 “Cost of Care Survey,” the monthly cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home facility in the St. Louis area is $5,355. That’s $3,466 less than the national average of $8,821/month.
Medicare only covers short-term costs associated with nursing care received in skilled nursing facilities (aka nursing homes) and assisted living facilities (which may include memory care units).
Medicaid is a healthcare option for low-income, disabled Americans. Depending on the needs of the insured and the state they live in, Medicaid can cover a significant portion of the costs associated with skilled nursing care services.
St. Louis participates in PACE program, which is a Medicare program/Medicaid service that helps seniors access services they may need in most locations, including within their own homes.
According to the official Medicaid website, people are eligible for PACE if they meet the following requirements:
A continuing care retirement community, also known as CCRCs or life plan communities, may be the right choice for your aging loved one. These senior living communities allow senior citizens to stay in a single location for (presumably) the rest of their lives.
Specifically, it is a singular community that may consist of multiple facilities. This community offers a variety of senior living options, from skilled nursing services to independent living programs. CCRCs adjust the levels of care residents need as they age, all without requiring residents to move locations when their needs change.
Seniors have unique nutritional needs, which is why every senior care facility should craft menus with nutrition in mind.
Nutrition isn’t everything, though; how meals taste and are served are also important. For older adults with memory issues, having comfort foods available can work wonders for their mental health. Additionally, meals served in a restaurant-style dining room facilitates socialization between residents, which can further boost their morale.
Memory care facilities are limited in what recreational and social activities they can offer their residents. For example, residents of an independent senior living community might plan an outing to the Galleria, while such activities would not be possible for memory care patients with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. In these cases, caregivers might offer more suitable recreational activities like bingo nights.
If you’re concerned about COVID-19 for yourself or your loved one, it’s easy enough to receive more information about communities online or through the community’s official phone number. You can even take virtual tours online at many facilities.
As our parents and loved ones grow older, we have to consider what’s in their best interest. While some people will opt for residential care options, others will become the primary caregiver for their loved one. The following resources can help you make a more educated decision in such cases.
You don’t want your loved ones living in nursing homes; you want them welcomed into senior care communities.
Your loved one deserves a facility that does more than simply offer services and amenities; they deserve a location that they can call home. There are plenty of high-quality memory care facilities in St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis and the surrounding area that are dedicated to enriching the lives of their team, residents, and community partners.
Discover memory care communities in and around St. Louis County and the St. Louis area today!