As our loved ones age, it's natural to want to do everything we can to make sure they're comfortable and well cared for. For most caregivers, that means keeping them in their own homes for as long as possible. However, there may come a time when we need to consider other options, such as memory care. In this article, we’re going to explain what memory care is and help you determine if or when it may be necessary to consider it for your loved one.
What is Memory Care?
Memory care is a type of long-term care that is designed to meet the needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other forms of cognitive impairment. Just like a traditional assisted living facility, it offers a safe and supportive environment where residents can receive the daily food, care, and assistance they need to maintain their quality of life. So what makes a memory care facility different?
A memory care facility is specifically designed for those with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It creates a low-stress routine and schedule to help your loved one through their progressive ailment. Unlike a standard assisted living facility, a memory care facility helps its residents more frequently throughout the day. It doesn’t rely on the seniors to navigate their own schedules. Instead, nurses are more involved to ensure meals, medication, and care activities are completed properly.
Memory care facilities offer a safe and supportive environment for residents, with 24-hour supervision and a variety of specialized services.
4 Things to Know About Memory Care
If you're considering memory care for your elderly loved one, here are some things you should know.
Memory care facilities provide around-the-clock supervision and support, so you can rest assured that your loved one will always be safe and well cared for.
These memory care communities offer a variety of activities and programs designed to stimulate the mind and provide a sense of purpose and connection.
Because those with dementia are more likely to wander or get lost, memory care facilities are outfitted with alarmed doors, access codes, and/or wearable technology designed to keep your loved one safe.
Memory Care facilities typically have a higher staff-to-resident ratio than traditional assisted living/nursing homes, providing residents with more individualized attention.
If you are considering memory care for yourself or a loved one, it is important to research different facilities and find one that meets your needs and budget. We have an article available for you by clicking here that will help you evaluate any assisted living facility to choose the best one for your situation.
When is Memory Care Necessary?
When a loved one begins to exhibit signs of Alzheimer's or dementia, it can be difficult to know how to best provide care. In the early stages of the disease, many patients are able to live at home with the support of family and friends. However, as the disease progresses, they may need more specialized care. Here are four signs that it's time to consider a memory care facility for your elderly loved one:
They are exhibiting wandering behavior. If your loved one is wandering off and getting lost, or if they become agitated when they can't find their way back home, it's a sign that they may need more structure and supervision.
They are having difficulty with everyday tasks. If your loved one is struggling to dress themselves, bathe, or eat, it's a sign that they may need more assistance with basic activities of daily living. If you or another loved one don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to their daily care, it may be time to consider memory care.
They are experiencing changes in mood and behavior. If your loved one is easily confused, angry, or paranoid, it may be due to the progression of their disease. These behaviors can be hard for their family to deal with (both physically and emotionally). As they progress toward erratic behavior, you may want to seek professional care for them.
They are withdrawing from social activities. If your loved one is no longer interested in hobbies, clubs, or other social activities that they used to enjoy, it may be time to consider a professional care facility. These facilities can help them integrate socialization in a way that feels natural – a likely benefit for slowing the progression of the disease.
Memory care is a great option for families navigating the daily stress and devastation that often comes with progressive cognitive decline. These facilities are designed for patients experiencing a form of dementia, which is often the safest choice for care. There is a lot of peace of mind to be gained from entrusting care to someone who has experience with this disease and its many quirks.
If you are a caregiver in Orange County who is struggling to balance the needs of your loved one, please reach out to us. We would be happy to provide you with information on our Center and the many services we offer.
Additional Reading: How to Get Paid to Be a Caregiver
If you are a caregiver, we recommend you check out our article about getting paid to be a family caregiver. Becoming a caregiver is expensive–out-of-pocket costs average in the thousands each year for a family caregiver. The state of California offers several paths to receiving at least subsidized assistance, so click here to learn more about how to get paid to be a caregiver.
For further reading and resources, we invite you to check out our library of information for family caregivers by clicking here. You are also welcome to call us at 800-543-8312 to find out more about how we can support you in your caregiving journey.