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How to choose the right memory care community

With 1 in 8 people over 60 reporting some kind of memory loss issue, the need for specific care targeting memory care is important. People with degenerative memory loss issues need to have a specific type of care that not all facilities or staff can provide. When you’re searching for the right memory care community, you need to know what your options are.

For people suffering from Alzheimer’s, there are Special Care Units or SCUs with the specific goals of helping people with the syndrome. Memory Care Facilities are slightly different but also target people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Depending on which issue you or your loved one is dealing with, you’ll need to choose a facility that suits your needs.

While picking through the options, you also need to know what to expect from a memory care community. Look for these five characteristics before deciding on a facility.

1. They Should Provide Comprehensive Care

A standard assisting living facility aims to provide residents with personal care and support. They providing residents with open hours to do what they like. Facilities also deal with cooking needs, cleaning, bathing, and bathroom routines when necessary.

One of the most important things they provide is medication management. In order to recover during a temporary stay or to maintain a healthy balance during a permanent residency, their medical needs need to be attended to. Staff on hand are ready to handle basic medical needs and ensure they don’t miss a dosage of medicine.

While the average assisted living facility costs somewhere in the $3,000 range every month, residence at a memory care community costs more. It averages around $5,000 a month per resident. However, the type of care will be much more attentive and comprehensive than for another type of facility.

These facilities have 24-hour supervised care that can provide support to people who are suffering from any stage of the disease.

2. They Should Specifically Serve Those with Dementia

One of the most frightening risks for people with dementia is the possibility of them wandering off of the facility. An average assisted living facility isn’t prepared for people to sneak out of it.

However, a memory care community targeted toward people with dementia can have multiple checkpoints to eliminate these risks.

In a memory care community, hallways and buildings will be color-coded and have other unique markings to help people with dementia. Navigation between buildings and through passageways will be designed to reduce anxiety while residents are getting around.

If the environment is safe and secure, it will also encourage residents to be as independent as they possibly can for as long as the disease permits.

3. They Should Help with Behavioral Issues

As people begin to lose their memory, they can lash out, perform uncharacteristic acts, or even act in defiance of their illness. It’s very natural for memory loss to cause anxiety, depression, and even some aggression toward the people who are trying to help them.

Untrained staff won’t be able to understand the confused logic of people with memory issues. They could become easily frustrated with patients and dismissive of their needs. A memory care community won’t have these kinds of issues.

A good community will offer leisure activities and therapeutic programs to address memory loss. They will help residents deal with the increased risks of wandering and confusion. Creating simple systems or new patterns can stimulate memory creation and keep residents safe.

As understanding of memory loss diseases has grown, the complexity of treatment available has as well. Staff can help to keep residents calm and give them useful cognitive tools. Residents will be able to keep themselves calm and centered when confusion strikes.

4. They Care About Quality of Life for People with Dementia

Many residents of memory care communities will report that they’ve received a higher quality of life than residents at a typical assisted living facility. They require less medication, have fewer injuries, and are more likely to have better nutrition.

That’s because memory care facilities take comprehensive care seriously. If seniors are still in good enough health to be active, they will encourage physical activity as a way to stimulate memory and create new patterns. The more new healthy habits that can be introduced during memory loss, the better that loss can be mitigated.

Many residents experience memory improvement in these facilities. Others experience maintenance of the same functioning they had when they arrived. A holistic approach to health is important in maintaining dignity and even mitigating the issues that are related to memory loss.

5. Memory Loss Patients Shouldn’t Be Isolated

In many residential situations, people with severe Alzheimer’s or dementia get segregated into a different area. That’s often because there’s one small region of the facility that’s secure. People don’t get better care here and suffer from greater degrees of isolation.

While having a dedicated memory care unit is important, if it’s too small or too isolating, it can exacerbate memory issues.

Keeping residents with memory issues happy and engaged is important. You also need to have staff to manage the problems that differ from other residents.

Other residents without memory issues won’t understand the logic or the struggle of people with memory issues. They may be unfriendly or unsympathetic.

A dedicated memory care facility will ensure that your loved one is around people who understand their issues and can sympathize.

A Memory Care Community Is Special

The way things are done in a memory care facility is unlike what you’ll find at other assisted living facilities. There are a special set of tools and skills that all staff needs to keep their patients happy and healthy. Sending your loved one to the right facility will ensure they’re happy for many years to come.

If you want to know specifically what a memory care facility can offer your loved one, contact us to make sure they find a perfect fit.