5 Facts About
Memory Care Communities
The best way to face the challenges of Alzheimer’s is to educate yourself on the wide range of resources available at memory care communities. Here are 5 important facts you need to know.
When a loved one’s occasional forgetfulness progresses into a more serious stage of memory loss, family members are often faced with making a decision on where and how their senior can continue to enjoy life in a safe, secure, and caring environment.
Most people are familiar with the concept of independent and assisted living communities that enable seniors to enjoy a rich and fulfilling life without many of the cares and responsibilities of living alone at home. Memory care communities take the personal attention and service to another level for those affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The chances that you or your loved one will experience significant cognitive decline at some point are fairly high. In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's. In the coming years that number is expected to more than double, and current projections put the total at almost 13 million by 2050.
Whether you’re making decisions today or simply want to educate yourself on the subject, here are 5 facts about memory care communities you need to know.
- Safety is Paramount – Forgetting where you put your glasses is one thing. But forgetting where you live or who your loved ones are is a completely different level of concern. That is why one of the key features of any memory care environment is security system that ensures there is little chance a memory-impaired person will be able to wander off alone.
Most communities that care for people experiencing middle and late stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia keep their exterior doors secured 24 hours a day. Entries and exits are typically opened by keypads with secure passcodes. As an added precaution, these doors feature chimes that alert the staff to anyone coming or going.
Inside, the atmosphere is secure without being overly restrictive. Subtle design elements like simplified floor plans reduce distractions and eliminate fall hazards, allowing residents to safely navigate private and communal living spaces. Soothing colors provide a sense of calm. Many memory care communities feature enclosed courtyards where residents can enjoy the outdoors at liberty.
- Specialized Services – As with any kind of assisted living community, memory care provides lifestyle services like housekeeping and laundry. Caregivers help residents with bathing, taking medication and other day-to-day activities. However, because of the special challenges those with memory loss face, there is an added layer of support, especially at mealtime. Residents can make their meal selections from visual menus that make choosing favorite foods easy. They sit in familiar surroundings with fellow residents to provide a sense of ease that is especially comforting.
- Stimulating Activities – With a little help, those with memory loss can continue to enjoy the pleasures of social activities and creative pursuits. A schedule of specially designed activities contributes much to helping residents maintain current abilities and make the most of their skills. Listening to music, dancing, painting or drawing, or taking part in brain games can help slow the progression of dementia. An invitation to walk or work in a garden in a safe outdoor environment can fill your loved one’s days with the life-affirming joys.
- Consistent Relationship-Based Care – Few things provide as much comfort for memory care residents as familiarity with caregivers. This is why communities typically do everything they can to ensure your loved one works with the same dementia care specialists almost every day. These compassionate, trained professionals will get to know and understand each resident on a personal level, meeting unique needs with a custom approach, and helping them live their best life in their own way.
- Compassionate Support Every Step of the Way – Because dementia in all its forms is a degenerative brain disease, it's important to find a memory care community that looks at memory loss as a journey, one with challenges but also new discoveries, strengthened relationships and deeper understanding of the human condition. Finding trusted friends in a memory care community who will embrace and support you along the way can return a sense of peace and even joy.
And while there seems to be a link between stress and Alzheimer’s, don’t worry too much about it. Stress itself doesn’t cause the disease but doing whatever you can to turn it down a notch or two is one strategy you can use now that may help stave off memory problems in the future.
MorningStar Senior Living — Memory Care Community
If your loved one lives far from family and friends, it could be time to move into a memory care community near their adult children where they’ll have the companionship of fellow seniors and a compassionate service team. At MorningStar Senior Living, a 24/7 team is dedicated to offer senior care and hospitality services that meet each resident’s social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.