October 3, 2019
If you’re caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you know the importance of keeping them safe and comfortable.
But there comes a point when a person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may need a greater level of care than can be provided at home, even with the support of a family caregiver. When this time comes, an assisted living community that offers memory care and support services is a wonderful option to ensure your loved one is well cared for as their condition progresses.
Memory care refers to long-term care and supportive services catered specifically to older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other memory conditions. In a memory care center, residents receive expert care and support 24-hours a day in a secure, soothing environment. Specialized services, treatment, and programming are offered based on each resident’s specific health and behavioral care needs.
If you’re starting to research residential care options for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, here are some of the top reasons to choose assisted living memory care:
Safety and security
Wandering is a common behavior exhibited by people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Understandably, wandering is a major concern for caregivers. In a typical home environment, it can be difficult to prevent a loved one from wandering and getting lost. But in a memory support center, indoor and outdoor spaces are safe, secure, and monitored 24 hours a day. Additional features, such as emergency response systems and wearable tracking devices are used to keep residents safe. This way, residents are able to move freely throughout the community and enjoy their independence without the risk of dangerous wandering.
Comfortable, relaxing environment
Assisted living memory care centers are not only optimized for safety, but they are also designed to be easy-to-navigate, comfortable, and homelike. For example, many memory care centers use warm, neutral wall colors and simple décor to evoke a sense of calmness. Residents are also able to decorate their personal rooms with familiar belongings and photos to make their space feel just like home.
Personalized attention and care
Because no two people with Alzheimer’s or dementia have exactly the same experience, the best memory care centers offer a low resident-to-staff ratio and personalized care that meets each person’s unique needs. Caregivers are carefully vetted and receive special training on proper dementia care techniques. Supportive caregivers, registered nurses, and security staff are on-site and available 24/7 to provide assistance to residents.
Fun and enriching activities
Residents in assisted living memory care communities can participate in group or individual activities and programs designed to stimulate memories and boost cognitive skills. Planned activities such as music therapy, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and ice cream socials enrich residents’ lives and promote friendship and community. Look for a memory care center that offers a range of activities catered to residents’ needs, interests, and passions.
Benefits for family caregivers
Residents aren’t the only ones who benefit from memory care centers. Family caregivers can enjoy greater peace of mind and less stress knowing their loved one is receiving the best possible care in a safe, secure environment.
Although they may no longer be responsible for full-time caregiving, family members can still be actively involved in their loved one’s care planning even after the transition to a memory care center. Staff members will keep an open line of communication to ensure family members are informed of any changes in their loved one’s condition and care plan.
As you can see, assisted living memory care helps to improve quality of life for older adults and their families. When it’s time to select a memory care center, tour several facilities and meet with staff members. If possible, involve your loved one in the selection process and allow them to see the different options available. Finally, be sure to check each memory care community’s CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) ratings and read online reviews to obtain objective information and guide your decision-making.