Memory care is a special type of senior living community where older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease receive the daily care they need as well as special attention to keep them safe, engaged, and healthy. When choosing between at-home care and memory care it’s essential to understand the benefits memory care residents receive each day.
One of the most helpful things memory care residents can expect is a structured environment that supports a routine to help them feel more confident and independent and less anxious and stressed. Everything from dressing to meals to activities and rest time is scheduled each day so memory care residents know what’s next, feel comfortable, enjoy the familiarity of friends and team members, and retain control of their lives to the greatest possible extent. In addition, according to the Alzheimersproject.org article, “The Importance of Routine and Familiarity to Persons with Dementia,” having a consistent structured routine also helps memory care residents incorporate that routine into their long-term memory.
Seniors with dementia suffer from a variety of symptoms but one of the most dangerous is the tendency to wander away from home or feel lost, even in their own home. It can become very difficult for families to provide the 24-hour-a-day care needed to ensure their loved one is in fact where they should be and safe, not out wandering around alone.
Needless to say, when wandering occurs it can have heartbreaking results if a senior gets lost, isn’t dressed appropriately, becomes injured or worse. Memory care residents, however, are in a safe and secure environment to prevent wandering away but have the freedom to move about the community under the oversight of trained team members. Learn more about safety and security in the alz.org article, “Wandering.”
As time goes by, seniors with dementia often are less and less able to socialize and may suffer from loneliness and isolation. Not only are they less engaged in living, but may also feel agitated, anxious and depressed. According to the healthline.com article “Just 1 Hour of Social Interaction Per Week Can Help Dementia Patients,” one study showed just a single hour of socialization can go a long way to relieving these symptoms and considerably improve quality of life.
This is where memory care residents really reap benefits because socialization is a part of everyday life through a variety of events and activities. Whether playing a game with friends or enjoying local entertainment, memory care residents enjoy all the advantages of socialization and the company of caring team members.
Another essential problem many seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may experience is a lack of exercise. No longer able to take a daily walk or manage exercise equipment alone, seniors can quickly lose muscle mass and experience associated problems like balance issues, bone loss, joint pain, and lack of endurance that can make life with dementia even more difficult.
Conversely, memory care residents have supervised exercise built into their daily care plan. Whether it’s a chair aerobics class, a walk around the community, or a game that combines physical exertion and fun, memory care residents get the exercise they need to remain as healthy as possible. Find out more about the importance of exercise in the National Institute on Aging article, “Staying Physically Active with Alzheimer’s.”
Dementia causes all kinds of loss including the ability to remember, communicate well and solve problems. Another concern is behavior changes that often occur such as aggression, anger, confusion and disorientation, and restlessness which can change a senior’s personality and cause family caregivers to feel helpless.
Memory care residents can expect specific therapeutic interventions that are known to help seniors with dementia improve functionality as well as mood and behavior. According to the dementia.org article, “Treatments For Dementia,” some therapies include medication, but others, which can be more even more effective, include:
Memory care team members work with physicians to optimize therapies for the needs of each individual.
Not to be dismissed is the excellent nutrition memory care residents receive, which is something that can suffer when seniors live alone. Chef-prepared meals that are appetizing and made with the freshest ingredients are the norm, and team members are always on hand to help memory care residents get to each meal and choose well-balanced diets. Learn more in our blog, “Why Good Nutrition in Older Adults Is So Important and What It Might Mean When Overlooked.”
At Thrive Senior Living our memory care is second to none. Contact us to learn more and schedule a tour today! For more information on memory care and other senior living care options, download our free guide: Senior Living Options: A Step by Step Guide for Making an Informed Decision.