When a senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, creating a care plan that meets their current and future needs, is an important step. Primary care doctors typically recommend families explore local home care agencies and memory care programs before a crisis occurs so they are not forced to do so under stress.
Unless a friend or family member has utilized a memory care community in the past, many people are unfamiliar with this type of care. We’ll take a look at what a memory care program is, how it benefits people with dementia, and how it is different from an assisted living community.
Understanding Memory Care
Memory care is a type of assisted living or long-term care designed specifically for adults with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Also referred to as dementia care communities, these programs are usually housed within an assisted living community or nursing home, but may also be a stand-alone care center.
In a traditional assisted living community, team members provide support with personal care and activities of daily living. This often includes assisting with showers, grooming, dressing, medication reminders, housekeeping, toileting, and more.
While a memory care program provides these same types of services, it does so in a manner designed to support people with memory loss. The focus is on safety and quality of life. This includes dedicated dining services, a secure environment, and life enrichment programs that allow the senior to feel empowered and successful.
3 Top Benefits of Memory Care
Here are some of the many benefits a memory care program offers for adults with dementia:
1. Specially trained caregivers: Team members who work in memory care programs undergo additional training to learn how to best communicate with and support adults who have dementia. For example, they are taught how to detect potential problems and intervene early. They also learn how to manage common behavioral challenges, such as attempting to wander from home and acting aggressively when a need isn’t being met.
2. Unique life enrichment activities: Another reason to consider memory care for a family member is the daily life enrichment activities. These are designed to help residents with dementia feel productive and empowered. A memory care activities calendar often includes art classes, music therapy, exercise, baking, and pet therapy. Memory care programs commonly provide secure outdoor areas for residents to connect with nature. Bird watching, walking, and raised bed gardening are favorites.
3. Dedicated dining services: Adults with dementia often struggle to maintain healthy diets. A loss of hand-eye coordination makes it tough to manipulate kitchen utensils. Vision changes, common in people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, present additional challenges. One of the most common difficulties can be keeping an adult with dementia focused on eating. A noisy or cluttered dining room may cause them to leave the table after only a few minutes. Dining services programs in memory care units are designed work around these challenges and create a mealtime that supports good nutrition.
Memory Care at Sunrise
If a senior in your family has been diagnosed with dementia, and you are searching for memory care, we encourage you to put Sunrise Senior Living at the top of your list. Our training programs for team members are the highest quality in the industry. In fact, they incorporate Dementia Care Practice protocols that are recognized and recommended by the Alzheimer’s Association. These evidence-based guidelines are applied in a variety of key areas including person-centered care, activities of daily living, and behaviors and communication. Call (888) 434-4648 to learn more today!