What is Memory Care?
You’ll see it referred to by several names: memory care, memory support, dementia care, or Alzheimer’s care. They all refer to a specialized type of residential long-term care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia or memory loss.
Memory care residents typically live in semi-private or private apartments in a secured wing of a senior living community, or in a community dedicated to memory care only. They receive help with the activities of daily living and participate in programs and activities designed to help them stay active and engaged.
When Is it Time for Memory Care?
When a loved one receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s time to consider care options.
Many families choose to care for their loved one at home. In fact, more than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. While many caregivers find it rewarding, caring for elderly parents with dementia comes at a cost, including caregiver burnout. So if you’re considering becoming a dementia caregiver, or find yourself wondering how to help a parent with dementia, here are some things to consider.
A caregiver’s time and money:
- Dementia caregivers average 55 hours per week caring for their loved ones.
- According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the lifetime out-of-pocket cost of dementia care for families averages more than $95,000.
- 60% of caregivers have to make changes in their work life —from cutting hours to taking a leave of absence or even quitting.
The well-being of your loved one:
- Will your loved one have opportunities to socialize?
- Will they have access to activities designed for those with memory loss?
- Can their home be adapted to accommodate their growing needs for physical safety and comfort?
- How well equipped are you to manage their physical and emotional needs as well as the dementia-related behaviors caused by the deterioration of brain tissue?
When you start to evaluate these factors, you may decide that getting help for a parent with dementia means turning to those with the experience and expertise that comes with residential memory care.
What Is Memory Care Like?
Today’s memory care for seniors is designed to provide personalized care that supports a healthy lifestyle and offers opportunities to stay active and engaged. Here’s what that means:
- Personalized care — Residents get an individualized care plan based on their specific needs and preferences. Typically, they also need help with some activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and grooming.
- Healthy lifestyle — You’ll find dining plans with nutritious meals; daily structured programs that foster social connections and allow them to enjoy meaningful activities they love; and wellness programs that help them stay as active, healthy and independent as possible.
- Social connections — Programs, classes, activities, outings and nearby neighbors make it possible to develop and maintain the kinds of positive relationships that are so important for overall well-being.
The Benefits of Memory Care
When a loved one is a memory care resident, there are benefits for them — and the whole family.
- A customized environment lets residents feel normal and more secure because they’re living with others who have similar ways of communication and task completion. When they feel secure, they tend to exhibit fewer behaviors and require less medication.
- Memory care team members have the skills and training to meet the needs and desires of residents. Their approach is caring and respectful, and they treat residents with dignity.
- Specialized dining programs promote independence while providing assistance as needed.
- The structure of memory care programs improves residents’ sleep cycles, nutrition and hydration — which leads to improved interactions with family members.
- When they’re involved with activities and programs, residents may be less demanding of family members. This kind of help for caregivers gives them more time for their own lives and well-being.
- Support groups give families the opportunity to communicate with people who understand the unique demands of having a loved one with dementia.
Memory Care at Santa Marta
We believe everyone needs love, understanding and respect, regardless of any limitations they might have. Those with memory loss still have abilities and potential that can be enhanced, so we make every effort to create an atmosphere of meaningful and enjoyable activity. We create a homelike environment where your loved one can maintain their independence for as long as possible. And because we believe everyone has physical, emotional, social, mental and spiritual needs, we strive to meet those needs and enhance your loved one’s quality of life every day.
If you have questions about how to help a parent with dementia, about memory care at Santa Marta, or would like to schedule a tour, please call us at 913-732-0889.