A whopping 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia, even though the task becomes increasingly difficult and as the disease progresses. The following guide will help you better understand what memory care is, how much memory care costs, and how to choose the best option for your loved one.
A Simplified Definition of Memory Care Services
The definition of memory care is quite straightforward. Memory care is all about assisting seniors with dementia conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, through specialized care and services.
Memory care professionals are specially trained to understand and support those experiencing frustration, anxiety, aggression, or communication issues associated with cognitive declines.
5 Signs that your Loved One needs Memory Care
- A change in behavior
Dementia patients might start acting in dramatic ways in a short span of time. For instance, they might suddenly become apprehensive about driving, decline social invitations, and withdraw.
Some people who are meticulous about their appearance may suddenly forgo their daily hygiene or struggle to do basic tasks on their own like bathing and hairstyling. For those individuals, they may be too embarrassed to ask for help. People with dementia may become agitated or anxious because of these new challenges.
- Disorientation and confusion that could jeopardize physical safety
Car accidents may result from confusion and disorientation caused by dementia. As an example, someone with dementia might mistake a red traffic light for a green light and run through it.
Wandering is a common symptom of dementia and some individuals with dementia may wander away from home on foot and may be unable to find their way back. People with dementia may lose track of where they've gone and end up in an unfamiliar place.
You should consider memory care if your loved one is putting their physical safety at risk in similar ways.
- Physical health deterioration
A person with dementia or Alzheimer's often notices physical changes first. Someone who becomes thin or frail could be forgetting to buy groceries or take prescribed medication. Alzheimer's patients may not take their medications as prescribed. Some may forget to take their medications, while others may take more than they should.
- The death or deterioration of a caregiver
People with dementia often receive care from relatives, such as a spouse or significant other. But when the caregiver can no longer provide the care services your loved one needs, then it’s likely time to find a memory care community.
When incontinence becomes a big problem, caregivers often seek out memory care. That new symptom may feel like too much for them or more than what they signed up for. Families and hired medical providers can both be affected by this, as well as nonprofessional caregivers.
The Advantages of Memory Care
Memory care communities offer specialized environments and care tailored specifically to the needs of seniors with dementia. Below are just a few of these benefits.
- Caregivers with specialized knowledge:
As opposed to traditional assisted living facilities, memory care communities require their caregivers to undergo additional specialized training. With that training, those caregivers are better equipped to meet the unique needs of people with memory loss.
- Planning collaboratively:
Residents' care plans are developed by their families and memory care community staff members, (usually a nurse or physician). Having professional assistance with care planning can be of great help to families of seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's, as their needs can change rapidly.
- Programming for specialized activities:
Memory care facilities offer activities and entertainment to stimulate the brains of residents with memory impairments. Music groups, puzzles, and reminiscence therapy may be provided.
- Improved safety:
In memory care communities, enhanced safety features such as community-wide emergency alert systems and 24-hour security ensure the safety of seniors who may wander or have mobility issues.
- Support for behavioral health:
Mood disorders, aggression, and mood swings are common symptoms of dementia patients. Residents may receive counseling from memory care communities, and staff members are experienced in working with people who suffer from mood disorders that are common among those living with dementia.
What to Look for in a Memory Care Community
When researching your options for local memory care communities, you'll want to consider a variety of options and factors.
There are many ways to learn about a business and community online, but it's also important to arrange a tour, whether in person or via video.
You should always ask the following questions when visiting any facility or program:
- In what ways is security ensured?
- When the health of a loved one declines, either physically or cognitively, what happens?
- If the private funds of a person are exhausted, what will happen?
- How will room and board be paid for?
- What types of activities are available for my loved one?
- What healing program(s) are available to help with the decline in daily activities?
- What are their visiting hours?
Is Memory Care the Best Route for My Loved One?
In the early stages of a memory loss condition, family members and close friends may be able to care for their loved ones. But as the condition progresses, it can be safer for them to move into a residential care community.
For enhanced safety and to receive specialized care from experienced caregivers, many families choose to move their loved ones into a memory care community.
Additionally, those communities strive to provide a comfortable and appealing environment so that residents can maintain a high standard of living.
Tour A Top-Rated Memory Care Community in Troy, IL
Hopefully, we gave you a well-rounded definition of memory care services. We understand that suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia is not easy. However, this chapter of your loved one’s life deserves to be full of support, love, and laughter. Our close-knit community at The Creeks is committed to making the exceptional quality of life for your loved one a reality. Give them the personalized care they deserve at our top-tier memory care community in Troy, IL, Sullivan, IL, and Cheyenne, WY.
Schedule a consultation to discuss memory care for your family member today.