Advantages of Memory Care for Your Loved One
If you care for someone with memory impairment, you're not alone. More than 55 million people in the world live with dementia, and that number is rising.
The memory challenges of dementia can make it difficult for a person to take care of themselves. At some point, they will need help to complete daily tasks like dressing or eating. Family members and friends worry that they'll leave the stove on or get lost on a neighborhood walk.
Most people with dementia reach a point where living at home might not work anymore. This is often a difficult time for everyone involved. It's important to know that a quality memory care community is a positive option. In many cases, it offers the best advantages and provides the best quality of life.
Why Choose Memory Care?
A memory care community is a residential setting designed for people with dementia and other kinds of cognitive impairment. It often resembles assisted living but with a higher level of care.
The setting, staff, and activities in a memory care community are chosen specifically to meet the needs of people living with Alzheimer's and related kinds of dementia. A quality memory care community can:
- Engage people with dementia and help them stay connected
- Offer compassionate, dignity-focused assistance with daily tasks
- Provide individualized support for all residents, including those with severe cognitive impairment
- Keep residents safe without the use of force
This kind of community is often the best setting for people living with dementia, even if they've been living at home in the past.
Trained and Dedicated Caregivers
In the U.S. alone, more than 16 million people provide unpaid care to loved ones with dementia. This kind of care can be rewarding, but it's also extremely taxing. More than 60% of caregivers also work outside the home, and 26% have trouble coordinating care.
Dementia care can provide peace of mind to those hard working family members. Quality communities have trained and experienced staff available 24 hours a day, with nurses also working regular hours. Staff checks in regularly with residents, helping with daily care tasks and guiding them to participate in activities.
In memory care communities, staff training covers how to safely and compassionately interact with people who have dementia. They choose the memory care setting because they care about keeping your loved one happy, well, and secure, and they're available 24/7.
Safety and Security for Community Members
People with dementia and other memory challenges tend to wander and become lost, even in familiar environments. Quality memory care communities protect their safety with memory-friendly architectural design features, such as:
- Circular hallways without dead ends
- Rounded edges and minimal sharp corners
- Open shared spaces, so residents can't get lost around corners
- Enclosed outdoor spaces
These designs let people with memory challenges feel comfortable and secure, preventing feelings of entrapment.
Keeping community members physically safe is only part of the picture. Memory care staff members also spend hours designing and implementing meaningful activities that stimulate residents' thinking and may help to slow decline.
Activities may be one-on-one or group-based. Evidence shows that when small groups of people with dementia participate in mentally engaging activities, their quality of life improves.
Popular activities for memory care communities include:
- Painting and drawing
- Craft projects
- Word and number puzzles
- Listening to music
- Gentle exercise
Staff members may also help residents with what dementia professionals call "reminiscence work" — encouraging people to talk about their past with the aid of things like photos, books, and music. These moments can help to stimulate the mind and help the person feel connected.
Social Connection and Engagement
Many people with dementia report feelings of loneliness. Social isolation and living alone are associated with these lonely feelings, which are associated with symptoms of depression and a lower quality of life.
Memory care communities fight isolation by actively creating community. Residents eat, do leisure activities, and attend programs together. This daily contact lets them interact to the best of their ability and keeps them feeling connected.
For married and partnered people, a life plan community like LivGenerations can allow both people to stay together, even if only one has memory challenges. A life plan community, also known as a continuing care retirement community, provides tiered services that change with a person's changing needs.
Couples can stay together and each person gets the support they need, even as those needs change.
Good nutrition is key to optimal brain health, but many people with memory challenges don't get the balanced diet they need. According to a study published in 2018, people with dementia who live at home have a particularly high risk of malnutrition. Reasons range from reduced appetites to simply forgetting to eat.
Memory care communities employ dietitians to ensure residents eat regular, balanced meals and snacks. Dining rooms are easily accessible, and staff is on hand to help residents get there. Staff members can also encourage residents to eat and assist them in finding what they like, if necessary.
The Alzheimer's Association urges all caregivers, including residential communities, to put the person with dementia at the center of care. In a quality memory care setting, the residents are the reason everything happens. Meals, activities, and staff training are all geared toward compassionately serving the individual.
For example, at LivGenerations, all community members have personalized care plans tailored to their needs. Care plans cover nutrition, medication, daily assistance, and other supports your loved one might need.
Peace of Mind for Families and Friends
One of the hardest parts of caring for someone with memory challenges is worrying about their safety. It's hard to be sure they're okay in those moments when you can't be by their side.
Quality memory care communities stay in close communication with families, so you can be confident your loved one is safe. At LivGenerations, you'll always know what the care plan is and what staff members are doing for the person you care about.
Reach out today and find out what memory care can do for your family. It's always the right time to get more information.