For the family of loved ones suffering from memory loss, the unfortunate reality is that the condition will get worse over time. Although there are Alzheimer’s treatment protocols to help slow the decline, science has not yet found a definitive cure for ailments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, which makes finding the right memory care community essential.
Families and friends certainly feel the weight of the decision to find the right memory care that suits their loved ones on their shoulders. Knowing that the decision to seek memory care for a person suffering from one of these degenerative diseases can be difficult. However, the good news is there are still happy times to be had with your loved one! Even though their memory may be failing them, they are still capable of having fun and enjoying life in the moment!
Finding memory care can mean the difference between a rapidly increasing loss of memory and a much slower paced process over time. Slowing down the memory loss process depends on the memory care the person suffering from the ailment receives. There are different options that a person can choose from to get the memory care they need. Picking the right memory care is extremely important for all involved.
As you search for the best memory care for your loved one, remember that every option has its right fit. There is something for your family member, but you must be willing to go out and look for it! And if you’re here, it means you’re ready to explore the options to find the right fit right now.
Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are conditions that affect the mind’s ability to remember certain things. For instance, dementia is called the “umbrella term” in which Alzheimer’s and other cognitive conditions live under. Dementia is the process in which the brain has a breakdown of its ability to remember things and to reason.
Alzheimer’s, the most common form of cognitive deterioration, is the process in which the brain loses the ability to recall anything from the past or present and to perform functional tasks needed to live on one’s own.
Memory Care Features and Benefits
Researchers have found that 6 out of every 10 Alzheimer’s patients suffer from constant wandering. This causes patients to find themselves in unfamiliar locations, which can lead them to become frightened and lose even more control. Due to this statistic, doctors agree that finding memory care facilities that take on the responsibility of monitoring patients 24/7 is the best place for them to be to protect them.
Security features in a memory care facility include round-the-clock supervision by trained medical professionals, security alarms on all exterior doors (and sometimes interior doors), and safety checks performed frequently throughout the day and night. All of these security precautions ensure that any person staying in the memory care facility is much less likely to find themselves in dangerous places like a busy street or driving a car on the interstate.
A 2018 study conducted by Alzheimer’s Association found that patients who entered a memory care facility saw a reduced cost of care by $3,474 in 2012 and $3,974 in 2017. These costs were significantly reduced compared to patients who received on-going care from their primary care physician. This cost reduction is a great reason to look into a memory care facility, especially since some believe that memory care facilities cost more than receiving care from their doctor and living at home.
It’s not always a sure thing to assume that patients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s will also exhibit behavioral problems. The reality is that the loss of memory can be scary for anyone, especially the patient. Behavioral issues arise when the patient is unaware of situations due to the inability to recall who people are or where they are at any given moment.
Memory care facilities are trained to take care of your loved one when/if behavioral issues become a concern. Included in the memory care facility’s function is daily therapy for all patients. For those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, therapy can be extremely beneficial in helping patients sort through their prognosis as it happens. Researchers have also found a high success rate in patients who undergo therapy tailored specifically to each stage of their memory loss.
Avoid Isolation With Memory Care
Memory care facilities are great for patients who are suffering from memory loss not only because of the constant care and supervision but also because of the interaction they receive with other residents. Years ago, doctors argued that the best treatment for persons suffering from memory loss or mental impairments would be isolation. However, as more research has been conducted, doctors have found that isolation is the worst treatment for memory loss patients.
From the outside, some might argue that patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s are isolated from the rest of the Seniors in the live-in facility. However, they are not isolated but rather moved to a special location to ensure safety and medical care is tailored to their needs. This means that your loved one will experience top-quality care that is meant for them during every stage of their life. Staff, patients, and visitors are engaged with each other as much as possible to keep the regular routine moving with patients, as well.
Signs a Memory Care Facility is Right for Your Family
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. However, there is comfort in knowing that patients with memory loss can live a happy and healthy life with the right care.
If you find
- that the amount of hands-on care is increasing
- security is becoming a major concern
- your loved one can no longer live alone
- your loved one diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s
it might be time to look into a memory care facility. While you may want to try to have your loved one live with you, you will quickly find that medications, behaviors, cooking, etc. may become too much for you to handle on your own.
Choosing the Right Memory Care Facility
No one knows your loved one more than you do, which is why the decision to find a memory care facility is not a light one.
Here are some great tools to use to evaluate the memory care facility before committing:
Before you look into any memory care facility too deeply, take a visit there. Look around, get a feel for the staff, and see how the patients look while you’re there! This interaction with the facility will give you a better idea of what your loved one would experience while they are there.
2) Communication with Family
It is highly important that the memory care facility you choose has a communication plan with family members. You want to ensure that you’re up to speed on all things medication, therapy, treatments, sicknesses, etc. Be sure that they have a plan for communication and that you are comfortable with it.
3) Activities and Therapy
Look for a memory care facility that will ensure your loved one gets in daily activities to keep them moving and integrated with their community. You want to avoid memory care facilities that don’t encourage patients to move around and interact with others. Also, ensure that there are opportunities for therapy sessions (preferably tailored to each stage of their dementia or Alzheimer’s). Ongoing therapy can help slow down the process of memory loss and encourage the brain to work on making new memories and/or keeping up its function overall.