At this very moment, approximately 34.2 million Americans act as caregivers to an adult over the age of 50. And nearly 15.7 million of those caregivers provide support for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Being thrust into the role of caregiver is not uncommon, but that does not make it any easier. If you are a first-time caregiver to a parent or elderly relative, you are forced to learn how to handle issues as they arise. It’s a difficult position to be in and often leaves you with a lot of questions.
Luckily, there are resources available to help support caregivers. By understanding what options are available to your loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, you can make informed decisions that will positively impact their quality of life.
What is Memory Care?
When it becomes too burdensome to provide full-time care to a parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s time to consider memory care. Memory care is a distinct form of senior living that offers specialized care for people living with severe memory issues.
Memory care is unique from assisted living or other forms of senior care in that it offers a safe, structured environment for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Each memory care facility is specifically designed to offer care that lowers stress and improves quality of life.
Some of the key services and features that make a memory care facility different from other types of senior care include:
- 24/7 care and support from specially trained staff members
- Medication monitoring
- Three meals a day
- Coordinated activities
- Health and wellness activities
- Secured building for resident safety
- Outdoor garden areas
- Snoezelen Room
- Toddy’s Touch
Memory care is distinctly designed to help individuals dealing with memory loss find purpose and fulfillment in each day despite what may be lost. The goal of a memory care community is to shift focus from limitations to instead focus on strengths.
Choosing a Memory Care Community
Once you decide to transition a loved one to a memory care community comes the challenge of choosing the right location. It is recommended that you take a physical or virtual tour of each memory care location so you can see what life is really like. Tour apartments, stay for a meal, meet with staff members and spend some time with residents.
Ultimately, you want to make the very best decision for your loved one, and sometimes that can make the choice very difficult. To streamline the process, we’ve compiled some of the more important aspects you should consider in a memory care community:
- Layout and environment – Is the community clean? Does it feel inviting? Are there indoor and outdoor gathering areas? All of these things will impact your loved one’s happiness and stress level. Pay special attention to the things you know will be most important to your loved one.
- Services and amenities – What dining options are available to your loved one? What activities does the community offer geared towards Alzheimer’s and dementia? Do they have a monthly activities calendar? The goal is to find a community that will support your loved one and help them find a purpose, so be sure to note the types of specialized programming they offer.
- Staff members –Are they friendly? Are they willing to talk to you and your loved one? How do they interact with other residents? What are their qualifications? The relationship you develop with staff members can make all the difference in your decision. Be sure to take the time to introduce yourself and cultivate open lines of communication.
Understanding memory care and all that it offers your loved one is important. As their advocate, it is your responsibility to offer them the best chance to find happiness in their retirement years and to find fulfillment in life despite an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.
Find Supportive Memory Care Services at Heritage Senior Living
Heritage Senior Living’s memory care communities provide specialized attention and care for those experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Our unique multi-disciplinary memory care approach is something you won’t find anywhere else in Wisconsin. We invite you to take a tour of our memory care community and find out for yourself what sets Heritage Senior Living apart from the rest. Contact us today.