What Is Memory Care?
According to AARP, memory care is a special form of residential, long-term care that’s designed for people with memory issues. It’s a more intensive form of care than assisted living or many other types of senior living situations because it provides greater oversight and structure in order to create a safe, structured environment for seniors who need additional support because of their cognitive issues. People with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are among those likely to be found in a memory care unit.
What Can You Expect from Memory Care?
What is memory care like? A memory care community is staffed by professionals who are trained to assist people with memory issues. These caregivers are familiar with the behaviors their patients will exhibit and know how to preserve their dignity while keeping them calm, comfortable, and engaged. Staff members are ready to assist with personal care and see that residents get meals, medicines, and social engagement. They also provide planned activities to help keep residents active. In addition, they can help residents’ families stay connected and facilitate visits. As an added bonus, the apartments are designed to give residents freedom within the designated space while limiting any unexpected wandering so that the residents stay safe.
How Do You Know When It’s Time for Memory Care?
Is your loved one ready for memory care? People who are battling memory issues that impact their ability to manage their daily life may benefit from memory care. However, everyone’s circumstances are different, so every family will need to weigh various factors to make the difficult decision about when the time is right. U.S. News and World Report suggests a few things to consider as you try to plan ahead and think about when your loved one might be ready:
- Behavioral changes. If a patient with dementia suddenly exhibits major changes in physical or mental behaviors, it’s cause for concern. For example, you may notice a lapse in grooming or a rise in anxiety or irritation.
- Safety issues. Increasing confusion can lead to issues in judgment that increase risks for the senior and those around them. Whether it’s creating a hazard on the roads or in the kitchen, a rise in safety issues may signal a need for greater care.
- Physical decline. A decline in a senior’s physical health may mean that more assistance is needed.
- The caregiver’s health. If a caregiver’s health falters or fails, the need to find a new support system for the senior with memory issues may be the driving force in a move to a memory care community.