Best Care for Dementia Patients: Memory Care vs. In-Home Care
Is your loved one beginning to demonstrate symptoms of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia? Whether you’ve been a caregiver a long time or are just starting to look for the kind of support they need, providing care for a loved one can be a major undertaking.
If you’ve done some research into your options, you likely know that memory care communities are the primary out-of-home care solution for memory-impaired seniors. But do you know exactly how they can help you and your loved one? Many have learned the facts and found that in-home care isn’t just harder – it often produces worse care outcomes, too.
Read on for a breakdown of the benefits a memory care unit, senior living community or other care facility can offer your family.
Common Difficulties Caregivers Face
If you’re currently looking after your loved one, you’re likely acutely aware of the many issues that come with caring for a memory-impaired senior at home. Dealing with difficult or confusing behavior often takes both education and experience – something that can be hard to come by for the average person. Why? Well, there are only so many hours in a day. Working, going to school, raising children and dealing with the responsibilities of daily life all take up a lot of time. Adding care for a loved one on top of that is never easy.
In most cases, that leaves caregivers like you with a few different choices – to focus on caregiving in lieu of your other essential life activities, try to cope with caregiver burnout or hire a home health professional. The first two come with obvious drawbacks, but what about paying an in-home caregiver?
Disadvantages of Professional In-Home Care
That can come with its own pitfalls. Firstly, consider the fact that in-home health aides aren’t usually available 24 hours a day. While they may respond to calls and come out to visit on short notice, there can easily be gaps in the frequency and duration of care. Why is that a problem? Well, Alzheimer’s and dementia care is an all-day proposition. While visiting home care might work for seniors with mobility issues, it’s much harder to make it work for memory support.
Also consider the fact that an in-home caregiver may not have a wealth of experience and education in caring for memory-impaired seniors. Compassion and patience go a long way, of course, but there’s no replacement for proven institutional knowledge.
How Does Community Living Help?
Moving to a memory care community carries a lot of benefits for you and your loved one. Here are just a few of the major ways it can help:
- Consistent, quality care – all day, every day. At a memory care community, the entire staff is deeply focused on caring for seniors with memory impairment. They know more techniques to mitigate dangerous, negative behavior and make your loved one feel at ease. They’re also intimately familiar with the symptoms and progression of cognitive impairment, preparing them to treat your loved one with compassion and do their best to keep them safe and happy.
- Socialization and activity. No matter how far the symptoms of dementia have progressed, there are real benefits to living among peers. According to a study published by Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, physical activity, intellectual stimulation and socialization all have a positive impact on maintaining cognition and protecting their long-term health.
- Real peace of mind. This is a simple benefit, but a big one. When your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is living in your home, it can be risky to step out and leave them alone. When they live at a memory care community, that weight is off your shoulders. You can rest easy knowing that their comfort and security is a real priority.
The Support Your Loved One Needs
If your loved one is showing signs of Alzheimer’s, dementia or another form of cognitive decline, don’t wait to find the care they truly need. Stratford Commons Memory Care Community stands ready to support you and your family throughout your senior living journey – and ready to provide compassionate, consistent support that will maximize your loved one’s comfort and happiness.
Our approach to care is designed to affirm the dignity of your loved one, offering individualized care plans, 24-hour on-site licensed and certified nursing, medication management and assistance with the activities of daily living. That’s what makes us one of the best care options for seniors in and around Overland Park.
To learn more about what our care can do for your loved one, reach out on our contact page. We’ll get in touch to discuss what comes next.