Aging is a natural part of life. Everyone who reaches their senior years will start to experience physical challenges. Some people may experience a diminished mental capacity, while others may begin to contend with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and related dementia syndromes. This can cause stress for family members and caregivers who worry about the person’s well-being. Fortunately, family members don’t have to face these issues alone. Memory care is available to provide a healthy quality of life for patients and keep them safe.
Facilities for Patients
When the demands of caring for an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient exceed a caregiver’s capacity, memory care facilities can step in and provide relief. Examples of facilities include assisted living centers, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement centers.
A memory care facility is different from other types of care centers. Professionals provide a level of care and support that patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia need. Staff are trained to respond to the challenges that these individuals have. As memory care consultant and registered nurse, Megan Carnarius says: “In regular assisted living, residents are expected to manage their own time … but staff is not checking in on them. In memory care, the staff ensures residents are getting to meals, coming to activities, and moving on to the next thing.”
A significant element of memory care is helping patients make the most of each day. Despite the effects of Alzheimer’s or dementia on a patient, that person can still engage in enjoying, fulfilling activities in memory care. Professionals provide social interactions, art classes, dancing, music, and games to strengthen patients’ mental capacities. Good memory care also invites the patients to spend time outside, where they can walk or garden in a safe environment.
Good Nutrition and Hygiene
Memory care also promotes a healthy diet for each patient. Staff members not only encourage center residents to eat, but they also provide nutritious meals. The care will also focus on each person’s individual needs, including special dietary considerations. In addition, staff will work hard to ensure each patient is sleeping adequately and taking care of personal hygiene. When needed, trained staff will assist with basic personal care.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients tend to wander. In fact, Forbes reports that about 60% of such patients do this, leading to safety concerns. Good memory care facilities have security measures in place to help minimize these risks. This includes doors with alarms and outdoor spaces with enclosures to prevent residents from leaving the facility.
Helping People Live With Memory Issues
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, memory care helps people manage the effects as effectively as possible. The goal is to help patients feel as comfortable and happy as possible, despite the difficulties they face. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Medical Director of the Deanna and Sidney Wolk Center for Memory Health, put it this way:
“Some people think it’s like rehab—you go there to get better. But it’s about learning and adapting to living with a disease you’re never going to get rid of. You can still live with joy, enjoyment, and dignity. Memory care helps you relate to those you love in the best possible way.”
If you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, memory care can be the right approach. Help your family member continue to live happily during this time of life. Contact your local Grand Brook Memory Care community if we can help support or guide your family along your dementia journey. Call 469-964-5727 or visit www.grandbrook.com to learn more.