Unlike a lot of medical conditions that lead to your senior loved one being admitted into a nursing home or even a rehabilitation center, dementia and Alzheimer’s and the decision for memory care comes on much slower.
It’s all left up to your interpretation on the severity of their symptoms and whether they pose a danger to themselves, or even others. So what is memory care and when should you consider it?
What are Memory Care Communities?
Memory care communities are not nursing homes. They are most like assisted living communities and offer long-term solutions to seniors not able to live on their own, but do not need as much skilled care as a nursing home provides.
Memory Care communities are great resources that provide stimulating, engaging and compassionate care for those who have memory-loss conditions that impair their abilities to function on their own. These communities are secure and give residents the ability to live in private or semi-private apartments and receive care from specialized staff.
Staff help ease the burden of activities of daily life that can be very difficult for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. They assist with bathing, dressing, meals, exercising and medication reminders. The memory care residents’ days are structured and filled with activities that range from familiar to innovative, keeping the residents busy and engaged.
When is the Right Time for Memory Care?
The decision to place your loved one in a memory care community is not generally spurred on by a catastrophic event that leads to having to immediately find a solution.
It’s an accumulation of little events that make you question whether your loved one is safe living on their own, like forgetting to turn off the stove, getting lost when going to the grocery store or even something as small as their daily hygiene routines disappearance.
People living with Alzheimer’s or dementia often become confused, violent or have the tendency to wander frequently, especially as the disease progresses. If you find yourself worried for your loved one’s safety on a daily basis then it’s time to explore memory care options. Similarly, these actions can also lead to caregiver burnout, which you may already be experiencing. Taking care of someone who needs constant assistance on a daily basis is particularly tough on family caregivers who have their own daily tasks like employment, maintaining a household and family responsibilities. Experiencing being drained from providing care to your loved one is also a telltale sign of needing to look for an alternate solution.
Your loved one moving into a memory care community is a positive thing for both you and your loved one. Your loved one will have more care, activities and stimulation than they have living at home. While the decision for memory care is not always an easy or simple one, a structured, safe environment is the most ideal situation for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.