What is Memory Care?
A memory care facility is a residential living community that serves older adults with dementia or Alzheimer's disease who need care and assistance with performing ADLs.
A memory care facility is a residential living community that serves older adults with dementia or Alzheimer's disease who need personalized care and assistance with performing everyday activities. These facilities place an emphasis on improving the quality of life for people with memory conditions, and offer services and amenities that help slow the progression of dementia or that may help improve certain symptoms. Memory care facilities are highly similar to assisted living communities, but also offer 24-hour supervision, have simple layouts designed to minimize wandering, and are staffed with experienced healthcare professionals devoted to providing quality care to your loved one with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
In this write up, we will go over some memory care basics to help you learn more and make the best choice.
What does a Memory Care Facility do?
Alzheimer's disease and dementia can affect one's thinking, behavior, and social skills in ways that disrupt the ability to function independently and perform essential daily tasks. Many relatives of those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia are often unable to offer their loved ones the level of support and care they need as their memory conditions progress. Memory care facilities can help families relax and give them peace of mind by caring for their loved ones in safe, supervised environments designed to meet the needs of those with memory conditions.
Here are other benefits of memory care for people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
At home, people with dementia can easily wander outside at any time and get lost or walk directly into traffic while being unaware of their actions and surroundings. They may also leave on stoves and ovens after cooking, or forget to properly turn off and store hot irons after ironing their clothing.
Confusion, wandering, and getting lost are common characteristics and signs of Alzheimer's disease, but memory care facilities feature simple layouts that help minimize and prevent residents from wandering and putting themselves at risk. These facilities also offer 24-hour supervision and monitoring to manage other behaviors that may compromise the safety of your loved one and other residents.
Alzheimer's disease and dementia are commonly accompanied by isolation, especially when communication becomes increasingly difficult and frustrating as the memory disease progresses. Long-time friends may lose patience or spend more time with others without dementia, while relatives may be preoccupied with managing their own jobs and households and lack extra time to spend with loved ones with dementia.
Memory care facilities offer a wide range of activities that promote social interaction between residents, and that can minimize isolation. When left unaddressed, isolation can worsen dementia and trigger or worsen comorbid conditions such as depression.
Help with Daily Tasks
Nearly all memory care assisted living communities help residents perform essential daily tasks related to bathing, using the restroom, grooming, taking medications, and more. Cooking and housekeeping services are also provided by many of these facilities to make daily living easier and more enjoyable for those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Stimulating and Therapeutic Activities
Dementia can grow progressively worse in those who stay inactive or who do not challenge their brains and memories with engaging and stimulating activities. Memory care facilities offer a variety of individual and group activities designed to enhance and stimulate cognitive activity in those with dementia. Live entertainment, arts and crafts, music therapy, dancing, and exercise are some of the many fun, stimulating, and therapeutic activities available at memory care facilities for residents with Alzheimer's and dementia.
Focus on Nutrition
Many people with dementia struggle with maintaining good nutrition and a healthy diet on behalf of the symptoms associated with their condition. They may forget to eat, lack the energy and patience to cook, or feel confused about which foods are healthy and which are not.
Certain foods and nutrients have been found to help prevent Alzheimer's and improve symptoms of dementia, such as fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and legumes. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) reports that blueberries, leafy greens, and curcumin contain antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties that may protect the brain and boost cognition. Memory care facilities can help residents manage their diets and can serve nutritious meals that provide residents with the nutrients needed to benefit from improved cognition and overall health.
Highly Trained Caregivers
Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer's often requires a great amount of experience, patience, and personal interaction, as well as the physical strength needed to help them bathe and perform other activities. Memory care facilities are staffed with highly trained caregivers and healthcare professionals who understand how dementia affects one's daily living. These professionals are trained to recognize subtle changes in dementia and health, and they can collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure your loved one is receiving the level of care needed to effectively manage their memory condition.