What Is Memory Care?

Family members and close friends can often manage caring for their loved ones during the early stages of memory loss, but this can become challenging and more dangerous as the condition progresses. Some families are able to keep their loved one at home with the help of a care aide, while others choose to transition their loved one to a residential community.

While it’s up to each family to decide what’s right, a memory care community can provide specialized care and an enhanced quality of life for seniors who are experiencing acute symptoms of memory loss. It’s a similar level of personal care that one would find in assisted living, but with additional measures for a person’s safety and happiness.

Evaluating a memory care community.

It’s common nowadays to find memory care offered in a stand-alone setting, within an assisted living community, or in a senior living community that  offers a variety of living options. If you’re seeing signs that a loved one is going to need memory care, it’s advisable to evaluate long-term living options well before you think they might be needed.
To be sure the memory care community you’re considering is the right fit for your loved one, try to visit it a few times, and ideally participate in at least one group activity, as well as a mealtime. When you do, bear the following points in mind:
·   Is the memory care community a comfortable and appealing place to be? Is it clean and free of odors? The setting should be well lit and designed for memory loss residents. Some communities use color coding, visual cues, and circular hallways to help residents find their way around more confidently.  
·   Are staff respectful to memory care residents? Casually observe their interactions with residents to see if they’re genuinely caring and gentle with each person.
·   Do residents appear neatly groomed and dressed? Are their living areas clean and well maintained? Residents should be allowed to display photos and other personal items to personalize their living space and make it feel more like home.
·   Are staff licensed and trained to work with individuals affected by memory loss? Do they undergo regular training and development to stay abreast of changes in therapies and techniques? Staff should be trained and equipped to deal with the unique issues of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. They should also be able to anticipate and manage common behaviors such as wandering or aggression. Also take note of the staff-to-resident ratio: Are needs addressed quickly?  
·   Is the memory care facility secure? Check that doors have an alarm system, and any elevators require a code for operation. Outdoor spaces should provide access to fresh air while being enclosed and secure. 
·   What kinds of memory care activities will your loved one be able to participate in? How will the staff keep your loved one engaged? Are there activities appropriate for different stages of memory loss? Your loved one should have things to do that they find stimulating and fulfilling, regardless of their level of cognitive ability. 
·   Do staff seem to know residents personally and assist them at mealtimes? What strategies do they use to encourage residents to eat? If your loved one has special dietary needs, find out if they can be accommodated. And make sure to try a meal to see what the food tastes like.
·   What happens if your loved one’s health declines? Is the facility able to provide your loved one with high-quality advanced care if needed? Some communities aren’t  set up for complex physical or cognitive medical issues. Ask if there are any health conditions or behaviors that might require a resident to be transferred to a different level of senior care.
·   How does the memory care center partner with family members? Find out how they might ease your loved one’s transition into their community, and how you’ll be involved in personalizing your loved one’s care plan. Most memory care centers also host support groups, provide resources and referrals, and offer comfort and counsel to family members.   

Benefits of memory care communities.

A memory care community isn’t the same as a nursing home. You can read more about the differences here. In a memory care community, a person living with dementia benefits from specialized services and activities. Round-the-clock staffing also ensures they’re supervised and safe, something that’s not always possible to guarantee at home.

These communities are also better equipped to manage a person’s increasing dependency for physical help with activities of daily living, such as toileting, dressing, transferring in and out of bed, and so on.
Care is also tailored to the needs of each individual. No two people  with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia will advance through their condition in the same way. Memory care staff are trained to identify and treat symptoms an untrained eye might miss. You can read more here about the lifelong benefits your loved one gains from memory care.

Memory care that feels like family care.

When choosing memory care for someone you love, you want to know they’ll always be safe and sound, surrounded by people they can trust, and who’ll treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve. At Eagle Senior Living, we’ve been enriching the lives of older adults at locations across the nation for over 18 years. Our person-centric philosophy means we take the time to get to know each resident as an individual.

We learn their personal history and life experiences, design a plan of care that takes account their personal likes and dislikes, and help them continue to do the things they love to do. In our memory care center, your loved one will be part of a caring, close-knit community. They’ll find fulfilment and purpose in each new day, and you can have peace of mind, assured they’re getting the same loving care you’d give them yourself.

Look no further for authentic, supportive memory care. Contact Eagle Senior Living to discover more.