If you have a family member diagnosed with memory issues, it can be common for there to be feelings of anxiety. This is true for the person diagnosed as well as their loved ones. This new diagnosis can come with many questions, including what the best long-term living situation is.
People with memory diagnoses can still live long, fulfilled lives. Choosing an assisted living community with a memory care level of service can actually help make this a reality.
Here are just some of the reasons families dealing with dementia or other memory-related diagnoses may want to choose assisted living.
The benefits of having a routine are well documented, and that’s for people without any memory issues. For those in need of memory care assistance, a routine can be lifesaving. Having a consistent daily structure provides a unique freedom for residents of assisted living communities. It allows the individual to relax more because the daily schedule and activities remain the same or are known ahead of time. There is room for variance, but the main parts of the day are often set up to create habit and free the individual from worry.
This shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of value for the person and for the family. The worry experienced by a person with a memory diagnosis over whether or not they might forget something is a major stressor. The same is true for the family; family members often stress over trying to ensure they do everything they can in helping their loved one throughout the day. When the routine is preplanned and discussed, as it can be at Autumn View Gardens, these stressors can be minimized.
Choosing to enter into a memory care assisted living community can actually increase quality of life for the individual and the family by creating more freedom. As was the case with establishing a routine, the memory care staff can now provide things that the individual or family were previously having to take care of. No more worrying if mom took her medications; no more having to interrupt work to check on whether dad made his scheduled appointment. Those things can be facilitated by staff that work to ensure each resident has the level of care and support they need.
There is tremendous freedom and relief to be gained by going this route. Now, instead of time with a loved one centering on trying to take care of their daily needs, family can simply enjoy each other’s company when they are able to be together.
Keeping up with doctor appointments, medications and dietary changes can be a difficult task even without a memory diagnosis. Sometimes, the overwhelming changes that come with such a diagnosis can be confusing and stressful. The added stress of this combined with potential side effects of certain medications can greatly diminish a person’s general health.
In an assisted living community, there are people dedicated to monitoring all of these changes. The same people can help ensure medications are being taken when they’re supposed to as well as monitor the effects. Plus, they can track dietary changes and any other variances that need monitoring in order to make sure everything is where it needs to be. In many cases, this can actually improve overall health on its own or it can at least help to stave off any declines.
One of the first things that often goes through the minds of someone diagnosed with any kind of memory related illness is a concern that they will be a burden to their family. People with this diagnosis feel guilty and that they are adding stress to and placing an unfair burden on those they love. These feelings of guilt can have a huge negative impact on a person’s overall mental health.
What’s interesting is that the family members of the person diagnosed also often feel guilt. They worry that they won’t be able to do enough to help their loved one, that they might not be able to provide the kind of care they need or that they will mess something up and make things worse. Not to mention the survivor’s guilt of feeling bad about their loved one having this diagnosis while they’re doing just fine.
There’s no shortage of guilt for everyone involved. But in moving into a community with memory care assistance as an option, you can pass the burden on to the staff. If you’re getting help from staff, there’s no reason to feel guilty towards your family because you’re getting the help elsewhere and not from them. If you’re the family member, you don’t have to feel guilty about not being properly equipped to care for your loved one, because the assisted living community handles that.
Any kind of diagnosis of an ongoing nature is a concern, but memory-related ones carry with them the weight of stigma and stereotypes. Modern medicine has come a long way in its ability to handle these kinds of diagnoses and, as a result, assisted living communities like Autumn View Gardens in St. Louis are well equipped to help you and your family during this journey.