Life changes for families when an older loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. One of the biggest challenges is caring for the older person at home. Since dementia conditions are both degenerative and progressive, caregiving becomes increasingly demanding as time goes on.
Once Alzheimer's disease or dementia conditions go beyond the early stages, it might be time to consider alternative care options. A popular solution among families is moving their loved ones into a full-time Memory Care Community.
What is a Memory Care Community?
Memory Care is a specialized type of senior care offered as units within Senior Living Communities or as freestanding facilities. Memory Care operates much like Assisted Living. However, Memory Care generally only accepts people diagnosed with degenerative cognitive impairment conditions. Some communities will also accept applicants who, on a practical level, need the enhanced support that only a true Memory Care Community can provide.
All services, treatments, amenities, residences, and policies in Memory Care are specially designed to provide the best support for older people in cognitive decline. Staff within these communities are specially qualified to work with people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia and, in many cases, hold specialized credentials. This level of care will give the older adult in your life the best quality of life possible and maximize their chances of thriving in an environment created exclusively for their needs.
The benefits of living in a Memory Care Community
Because Memory Care Communities are purpose-built for people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other degenerative cognitive condition, they offer numerous benefits to their residents, including:
1. Specialized, focused care
Staff in Memory Care communities must undergo specialized training and education to work with people in cognitive decline. Upon completing their training, caregivers will be able to meet your loved one's unique needs and provide the necessary support to keep them engaged, content, and happy.
2. Flexible care planning
Alzheimer's disease and dementia affect patients in different ways. Also, the loss of cognitive and physical function happens sooner in some patients than in others. In response, Memory Care staff keeps care plans flexible to ensure they always address the person's current situation. Families are encouraged to collaborate with their loved one's Memory Care team on determining their care plan, both now and as care needs become elevated.
3. Tailored living quarters
Most houses aren't designed for people with cognitive impairments, causing people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia to become confused in their own home. Memory Care units are designed to provide clear sightlines for older people, preventing them from becoming disoriented. The apartments in Memory Care tend to be smaller and simpler to navigate as well.
4. Enhanced safety measures
Memory Care communities, including the individual living spaces, feature enhanced safety measures designed to prevent wandering, a common and potentially dangerous occurrence with people who have dementia. Caregivers ensure that the proper safety tools and policies are in place to protect older adults and keep them accounted for at all times.
5. Cognitive stimulation
Part of what sets Memory Care communities apart from other care facilities is the large number of opportunities for adults with Alzheimer's disease or dementia to stay engaged with brain-stimulating tools and activities, such as puzzles, games, and especially music. These activities help to slow down the effects of dementia while also bringing joy and fun into the lives of older adults.
6. Support with activities of daily living (ADLs)
ADLs are tasks we've always been able to do ourselves but have become challenging for an older adult with a cognitive condition. ADLs can include bathing, toileting, dressing, brushing teeth and hair, housekeeping, laundry, and more. Caregivers within a Memory Care Community are fully trained to support your loved ones with these tasks, ensuring to maintain the older adult’s dignity while assisting with grooming and hygiene.
7. Medication management
Sometimes, a person with cognitive impairment will either forget to take their medication or misuse them. An essential service in Memory Care is medication management for both over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Medication management helps ensure that your loved one will always get the proper dosage at the correct times.
8. Nutritious meal plans
Most Memory Care communities offer healthy, brain-boosting meal options prepared three times per day by professional chefs. There are often healthy snack options available on demand. Meals are served in a community dining hall to promote engagement through socialization. Assistance with eating is also available in many Memory Care communities. Menus are usually customizable for specific dietary needs, practices, and, in particular communities, religious requirements.
9. Behavioral support
Alzheimer's Disease and dementia can often cause someone to act unpredictably, often with confusion, frustration, and even aggression. Memory Care staff are trained to use empathetic and progressive tools to de-escalate a potentially dangerous situation when someone is experiencing a mood change.
10. Transportation services
When your loved one has an appointment outside of the Memory Care Community, transportation and accompaniment are often available when needed. People accompanying older adults are part of the Memory Care team and will help keep the person safe while in their care.
11. Family support groups
Many Memory Care communities help their residents' families cope with the changes in their loved ones by providing family support groups. These groups strive to help reduce the emotional weight of the transition for families through sharing stories and offering advice.
Find a Memory Care Community in the Greater Cincinnati Area
Deciding to search for a Memory Care Community is a big step. It is even more challenging to find the perfect new home for your elderly loved one, especially if you're doing it for the first time.
The good news is that you don't have to go through this often confusing process on your own. When you're looking for Memory Care, Assisted Living, or other services within a Senior Living Community in the Greater Cincinnati Area, talk to David Flautt.
David specializes in finding the most appropriate Senior Living Community for your loved one's unique requirements. We take the time to get to know your loved one's situation, answer all of your questions, and present a list of the best-matched Independent Living, Assisted Living, Alzheimer's/Memory Care, and Continuing Care Retirement communities in your area. We'll even accompany you on your community tours and help ensure all your questions are answered and your concerns addressed.
Contact David Flautt of Assisted Living Locators of Greater Cincinnati at 513-914-1980 or email@example.com to start finding the best senior living services for your elderly loved one today.