This guide is here to help you know exactly what memory care is and how it differs from traditional assisted living. This guide will not only help you grasp a better understanding of it all, but know what questions to ask during your search.
You know your loved one better than anyone. You know their daily routine, needs, and even right down to how they like their coffee. It’s not easy turning over their care to someone new, but as dementia or Alzheimer’s advances, memory care may become necessary.
What is Memory Care?
Memory care is like assisted living, but unique in providing specialized care for those with all stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Staff are specifically trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of these diseases and understand how it affects seniors.
This type of care is aimed at providing the best level of comfort for residents in their condition, as well as help them live an engaging and eventful routine. Activities are typically coordinated with other residents and present the opportunity for socialization. A variety of specialty services are offered in memory care communities that could greatly benefit the wellbeing of your loved one.
Memory Care Community Services
The main goal of memory care is to improve the life of a senior within any stage of Alzheimer’s or dementia. This, in turn, hopes to give their families ease and peace of mind knowing their loved one is in good hands. The following services are offered at most communities – including The Kensington:
- Special menus. Dining provided at communities is centered on providing optimal nutrition for a senior, while also making sure it entices the taste buds. At The Kensington, our dining menu accommodates special dietary needs, but also focuses on foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and B complex vitamins, which all support brain health.
- Constant monitoring. Memory care communities are fully secured. 24/7 monitoring, technology resources to monitor whereabouts, and a high staff to resident ratios make the safest environment for your loved one achievable. If your loved one is especially prone to wandering, you can be reassured that they will be kept safe.
- Exercise and therapies. Music and art therapy provide a creative outlet and calming way to manage stress and behavioral troubles associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Group exercise and special equipment offer seniors a safe environment for staying active and engaged. At The Kensington, our board-certified music therapy program is one of the many services offered in house.
- Medications and routine. Memory care communities provide a sense of structure by maintaining familiar routines, and leaving the stress out of managing prescriptions and assisting with daily living. Hygiene and overall well being are taken care of, so that a resident can solely focus on finding joy in each day.
How to Know When Memory Care is Needed
As progressive diseases, dementia and Alzheimer’s can be hard to predict. At the beginning, your loved one’s need for assistance may be minor. As memory loss progresses, cognitive decline can eventually become a situation where they are unsafe in their own home.
Here are signs it may be a good idea to consider moving to a memory care community:
- You worry about safety. Disorientation and wandering can become common with memory loss conditions. When you start to worry about the possibility of them getting lost or being at risk for physical harm, they need to be constantly checked on.
- Hoarding and unnecessary purchases. Stockpiling items and buying things they really don’t need may be an indication of cognitive decline. Their finances can be in just as much danger as their health if they are unable to properly manage it, and seem to be unaware of reality.
- Drastic change in living conditions. A clean house is not always possible in a busy lifestyle, but when you noticed your loved one’s home has weeks of bills piled up, rotten leftovers in the fridge, and trash that has long needed to be taken out, you might want to take a deeper look at what may be underlying.
- Hygiene falters. In a community, they will keep up on your loved one’s bathing and personal care in a compassionate way. You can tell when a senior is having difficulty with personal hygiene if they suddenly become less concerned about their appearance and don’t seem to keep the same level of cleanliness.
- Loss of motivation in activities or socialization. It becomes harder to make new friends as we age. In senior memory care communities, residents have the option to meet new people the second they step out their front door. Dementia and Alzheimer’s can make behavior unpredictable, but expert staff provides activities that best suit individual needs and still give them the opportunity to socialize.
Making the Move to Memory Care
You will want to find a community that makes both you and your loved one feel comfortable. The benefits of this move need to not only contribute to their safety and wellbeing, but to their comfort as well. You want the best for them, but also want to make sure they still feel at home.
Find out how much family involvement is welcomed. Having lots of opportunities for visits will make you feel more at ease and connected with staff. Bring photos and family mementos that your loved one can fill their place with.
It will be a transition for everyone involved, but The Kensington can be your partners in memory care. We hold a promise to love and care for your family as we do our own, and provide exceptional care backed by knowledgeable and expert staff, and an abundance of compassion. Give us a call today if you have any questions about our two memory care neighborhoods.
Additional Recommended Reading:
- Transitioning to Assisted Living From Short-Term Rehabilitation
- GPS Tracking Soles for Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Random Acts of Kindness to Brighten a Senior’s Day
- In Sickness and Health, Senior Living Options for Couples
- Senior Memory Loss: What’s Normal and What’s Not
- Key Questions to Ask a Memory Care Community
- Preserving Your Loved One’s Memories