Memory care provides dignified and professional care for those with memory problems.
If you have a loved one who needs a bit more support in their daily routine because they're affected by memory problems, a memory care community might be a good option. Memory care is an additional service provided in assisted living or nursing care communities. It provides special support for those with Alzheimer's, dementia and other memory loss conditions in a safe, homelike setting aimed at stimulating cognitive functioning.
Memory care communities such as Autumn View Gardens have specialized staff who can work with residents through the various stages of memory loss. The focus is to provide a stimulating environment aimed at autonomy for as long as possible. This allows your loved one to go about their day as normal but with the support of professionals when they need it.
Memory care requires a specialized approach to care to provide a supportive environment for residents. For this reason, memory care communities need to work a little differently than regular assisted living facilities.
Memory care includes many of the services offered in assisted living and nursing care, such as personal care and medication management. It's also designed to support a memory care resident's physical and emotional well-being through supportive programs such as cognitive therapy, music therapy or memory lane activities.
These staff require further training to ensure they're providing a holistic service to the resident and not just treating the disease or impairment. This means understanding the common behavioral responses such as confusion, aggression, depression and anxiety, as well as knowing how to deal with these safely.
Memory care neighborhoods are set up to encourage autonomy in a safe environment. These communities tend to be a little smaller than assisted living or regular nursing homes because constant supervision is required. There's also a higher staff-to-resident ratio to ensure everyone has access to the care and support they need.
The suites are private or shared, and there's no kitchenette in these apartments to ensure safety. To stimulate cognitive function, activities such as mealtimes, games and exercise are structured to promote routine. These typically take place in common areas with maximum supervision to ensure the safety and comfort of residents.
One of the major features of memory care is to provide a safe environment for residents, such as around-the-clock security and monitoring. To limit wandering, these facilities tend to have specialized doors and locks. Many of these communities are also designed to include everything the resident may need within that neighborhood, which reduces the need to go off premises or to another section of the community. This includes well-being centers or activity rooms, enclosed courtyards and dining halls.
Memory care involves a higher level of care and will require more staff and staff with the right credentials. The environment is also slightly different from that of assisted living, such as having higher security. For these reasons, memory care is in a higher price bracket than communities that don't need to provide this additional support.
These costs aren't covered by Medicare, and many privately fund these costs through the sale of personal assets, savings or the help of a loved one.
Another option is long-term insurance care, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, this is best discussed with a financial adviser to ensure the right coverage is in place.
Memory care is specialized, and it's important to join a community that feels like an extension of home. When choosing a community that works for you or your loved one, you should:
Know when it's right for a loved one to move on to a memory care facility. If this move is to maintain or improve their quality of life through meaningful engagement, activities and a strong community life that encourages social interaction, it might be time to schedule a visit to your nearby memory care community.
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