Your parents have built an entire lifetime together. Their daily routines, dreams, challenges and adventures have all been shared. They have always been there for each other, providing love and support.
But what do you do if one of them is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia? Your family knows that help is needed. But the thought of them being separated seems even more heartbreaking.
Are there any other possibilities that could provide the help and care that is needed but allow them to stay together?
Thankfully, there are senior living options available.
When people are diagnosed with dementia, it’s not uncommon for them to initially remain at home. A spouse may be the primary caregiver, with family, friends and neighbors pitching in. However, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are progressive, which means the accompanying behavior and care needs will also continue to rise.
Those caring for a loved one will most likely need additional help from others. There may also come a time when an individual’s health and safety can no longer be accommodated at home.
The behaviors and symptoms of dementia that may eventually require around-the-clock access to care can include:
Memory care is often the next step when your parent or loved one’s needs can no longer be provided for at home by a spouse or family member.
These specialized communities provide the following benefits:
If one of your parents is living with dementia, senior living can provide the type of help needed while supporting your parents to remain a couple.
Families may not realize that many communities, including independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing, offer the opportunity for couples to remain living together in the same residence.
Depending on what is available in your area, if your parents move to senior living they’ll have choices that include the size and layout of their apartment, a full-sized kitchen or kitchenette and the opportunity to personalize the residence to make it their home.
If only one parent will use the services of memory care while the other continues to live independently, typically that spouse would only pay for meals, any specialized extra services they need and the rate of an additional occupant.
The specific type of senior living chosen would be based on the spouse who requires the highest level of care. But one of the advantages of residential care is that it can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual.
If your parents move into a continuing care retirement community or life plan community, they’ll have convenient access to different levels of care so if health needs change they can remain in a familiar location.
Another option are communities who offer the services of both assisted living and memory care. In the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s, assisted living may be all that is required. But as the disease progresses, memory care services and staff would be available.
If memory care is offered separately, both parents may have the option of moving or the spouse living with dementia might only need to relocate a short distance away to a nearby wing or floor.
If one parent remains in assisted living, the community would continue to support both spouses to help them spend time together, share their meals and join in activities. This type of arrangement also allows for loved ones to have well-needed respite while knowing their spouses with dementia are being cared for.
If one of your parents has dementia and you’re considering whether senior living and memory care could support them so they could remain together, we hope you found this information useful.
We also invite you to visit one of our Ingleside communities if you’re searching for the right place to live your best life. We believe you’ll enjoy all the benefits that we offer, including:
We’re here to answer any questions that you may have and also invite you to download our complimentary information – Just the Facts: Your Guide to Memory Care.
For information on Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge senior living community located in Lake Ridge, Virginia, please call (703) 420-7105 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at King Farm senior living community located in Rockville, Maryland, please call (240) 414-8557 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at Rock Creek senior living community located in Washington, DC, please call (202) 846-2651 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.