The Benefits of Choosing Professional Memory Care
Consider these facts from the Alzheimer’s Association®: More than 6 million people live with Alzheimer’s disease today. This number is projected to rise to 13 million by 2050. In 2020, more than 11 million people — typically family caregivers — spent 15 billion hours providing unpaid memory care for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory loss.
Too often, these family members sacrifice their careers, their finances and, sometimes, their good health. Still, most people with dementia eventually require memory care beyond the abilities of family caregivers. They need professional, round-the-clock care in a memory care facility. Had these families chosen memory care in a senior living community rather than caring for their loved one themselves, things might have gone better for everyone concerned.
Memory care is more than assisted living
There’s a difference between needing help with the activities of daily living (ADL) — bathing, dressing, managing medicines — and needing memory care. Assisted living is intended to help otherwise capable seniors with these ADLs. Memory care is a form of assisted living that provides specialized, personalized care for seniors with memory and cognitive issues, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss.
Memory care at a senior living community provides constant care and supervision and is staffed with specially trained professionals. The environment is secure and designed to reduce the risk of residents getting into dangerous situations or wandering into the wrong areas. There may be interior gardens for residents and families to enjoy, and certain areas may be color-coded to help with easy navigation and decrease anxiety. In addition to extra security, this type of environment creates the right setting for residents to regain a sense of independence and helps maintain it longer.
Memory care facilities help with behavioral issues
Family caregivers usually have their hands full with the mechanics of caring for their loved one — providing meals, doing shopping and housework, making sure they’re safe and relatively content, and so on. They’re simply not trained or equipped to engage in any kind of therapeutic program or to offer a level of social contact that might benefit someone living with dementia. Memory care at a senior living community is designed to offer not only leisure and recreational programs, but proven approaches to therapy and socialization that give the individual a stronger foundation to maintain a measure of independence and find contentment and meaning each day.
Memory care communities don’t isolate residents; they provide comfortable living spaces with supervised participation in group therapies and activities. Residents in memory care typically have access to the same amenities the community offers everyone, although they may need help and supervision to take advantage of them. The goal is for residents to remain engaged, happy, and as independent as possible. The memory care neighborhood is part of the overall community living atmosphere, and great care is taken to prevent residents from feeling lonely or isolated. Read more about the benefits of memory care living here. Most often they include:
24/7 support. A major challenge of helping someone with progressive dementia is the unpredictability of negative episodes and the need to be available at all times. This is what causes family caregivers to quit their jobs and sacrifice their personal lives. Memory care at a senior living community offers assistance and security throughout the day and night by trained caregivers and nurses. Professional support is available whenever it’s needed.
A plan for care. Family caregivers usually face the challenges of memory care day by day. They’re not prepared or equipped to apply a more expansive approach to helping their loved one. Memory care communities, on the other hand, are staffed with professionals who understand dementia’s challenges and the unique ways the condition presents itself. Living in a specialized community offers care plans, resources and daily routines designed to fit an individual’s needs precisely. It’s not surprising these advantages are reflected in the results seen in residential memory care.
Diverse programming. In the same way that a care plan can be customized to meet individual needs, daily activities are tailored to sync with interests and preferences. Programs designed to promote cognitive stimulation draw participation and engagement of memory care residents in ways that are hardly possible at home. Residents are busier and more mentally stimulated.
Better nutrition. Any family caregiver will attest to the difficulty of keeping a loved one with dementia well fed and satisfied. Memory care communities ensure that senior residents eat well and receive the assistance they may need during mealtimes.
The socialization factor. Few if any home settings can offer the social opportunities found in memory care communities. Community life makes it easy for residents to interact with one another and their caregivers. An active social life is a major component of cognitive health.
A return to one’s role as an adult child. Assuming the responsibilities of a family caregiver makes it very difficult simply to be someone’s son or daughter. Memory care communities go a long way toward improving that situation.
Access to a wider network of professionals. People with cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s disease often need ancillary care such as podiatry, dentistry, physical therapy, or some other clinical discipline.
At times, advanced medical care may be called for. Memory care communities assist not only with transportation to local service providers, but they can also be helpful in finding additional healthcare services and specialists.
A checklist of questions to screen memory care communities
- What level of care does the community provide?
- What personal assistance can residents expect?
- What’s the staff-to-resident ratio?
- What type of training has the staff received? Is it ongoing?
- What specialized programming is offered? Pet therapy? Music therapy?
- Are there fitness or wellness programs?
- How is the community secured? Are there safe outdoor spaces?
- What medical services are available? How are emergencies handled?
- What meals are provided? Are special dietary requests accommodated?
- How is food served? Are escorts to meals available?
- What’s the monthly rate for housing and care? Which services does that rate include?
- Are rooms private or semiprivate? How do prices vary for each?
At Eagle Senior Living, memory care feels like family
The thoughtfully designed memory care living options at Eagle Senior Living communities provide a safe place for seniors living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, enabling them to continue doing what they love and making the most of each moment. Our dedicated teams take time to know and understand each resident’s strengths, experiences and personal history to help them find a renewed sense of purpose. This person-centered philosophy makes our communities a close-knit family that provides high-level professional care with the same loving kindness you’d bring to caring for your loved one.
Contact Eagle Senior Living to discover memory care solutions for your family.