If you’re caring for a loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you’re aware of the progressive nature of the illness. As time passes, you may find yourself worrying more about their safety or struggling to keep up with the care needs, which may one day exceed what you can deliver at home.
Families searching for additional options may discover the benefits of a memory care program in a senior living community and how it can contribute to a high quality of life. If you’re not familiar with everything a memory care community has to offer, you may want to consider the following advantages you’ll find and how they can help your loved one remain engaged and continue to live a meaningful life.
You’ll find many advantages in a memory care community but the following five can also help your loved one continue to feel independent and empowered for as long as possible:
This benefit of memory care is designed to keep residents safe while also feeling at home. Their floor plans encourage freedom of movement without calling attention to the safety measures that provide security, such as all doors leaving the area being secured so no one can enter or leave unnoticed.
The fewer restrictions a resident experiences may result in less frustration and anxiety. Enclosed outdoor courtyards are an example that allows residents to move freely when they would like to go outside.
Memory care communities also use signs, lighting or even carpet designs to help make navigating easier. Avoiding long straight hallways with rooms on each side can help eliminate confusion; but when that’s not possible, encouraging residents to personalize the doors to their homes helps to differentiate each one.
Each person can respond differently to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Although there might be similarities and common symptoms as each person moves through the different stages of a cognitive illness, care should be tailored to meet the individual’s specific needs.
A memory care community will get to know your loved one, including likes, dislikes, personality, and temperament. This is the first step in understanding the type of care to provide and helps the staff better respond to expressions of anxiety or frustration.
Knowing that the resident is respected as an individual also helps the person feel empowered. It creates a more comfortable home and positive experience when the staff truly knows the resident and their preferences.
For this benefit of memory care, you’ll want to look for communities that ensure their staff is well trained in the best practices of dementia care. They should be experienced in interacting with those living with Alzheimer’s disease and have opportunities to access the latest knowledge and information.
Caring for someone with a cognitive illness requires a more specialized type of training. Understanding any triggers and how best to respond to them can contribute to the quality of life for the resident.
Training in de-escalation techniques helps staff react to situations in a non-threatening way. Knowing how to redirect the individual toward another activity can help reduce irritation or agitation. There are also many therapies and programs offered that allow the staff and residents to interact positively.
One of the unfortunate results of living with dementia is often the feeling of being cut off or separated from the rest of the world. People may feel as if they are no longer an active part of their family or community.
Socializing can become more of a challenge if the person begins withdrawing from others because they don’t feel comfortable. They may also experience the loss of friendships as people visit less, fearing they may say or do the wrong thing or make the person feel worse. Having the opportunity to join others in activities or attend events can go a long way toward helping the individual feel empowered.
Communities offer planned activities that are specifically created to encourage the resident to interact with others, tap into their sense of self and feel part of the larger community.
Once a person is diagnosed with a cognitive illness, they may often sense a shift in interactions. Instead of being seen as a person, they may feel as if they have been reduced to their illness and are treated now as someone who has Alzheimer’s disease.
Family and friends should remember that the person is still a whole individual. Although it may be appropriate to adjust activities to accommodate their abilities, it’s important not to shrink their world down to one that only contains dementia.
A memory care community provides an environment that sees beyond the diagnosis. The staff understands the importance of knowing the person behind the illness. They promote the benefits of healthy interaction, personal preferences and choices, and will work together to find ways so that the resident can remain engaged in life.
We’ve designed our memory care communities to support and encourage our residents to remain empowered and engaged in life. Our compassionate staff, therapies, programs and residences are all designed to provide our residents with the highest level of care, independence and dignity. We are also a supportive resource to our families.
If you’re considering independent or assisted living, we believe you’ll find it’s even easier to live an enriched life when you take advantage of all the benefits we offer, including:
For information on Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge senior living community, please call (703) 420-7105 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at King Farm senior living community, please call (240) 414-8557 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at Rock Creek senior living community, please call (202) 846-2651 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.