What Is Memory Care – and How Can It Help?
The world of senior living offers many different care options – something many don’t consider until a need arises. If your loved one is showing concerning changes in memory, cognition, judgment or behavior – all common signs of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia – you’ll want to keep reading to learn about the variety of senior care options available and find out what’s right for your loved one.
Comparing Common Senior Care Options
You probably know at least a little bit about senior living, but are you familiar with all the options? There are a few common levels of care you can find at senior communities across the country.
Independent living is for seniors with minimal roadblocks to living on their own. It’s comparable to living in a resort or high-end apartment building – but it doesn’t come with any extra support for memory impairment. Assisted living and skilled nursing offer more care, but neither are good options for seniors with dementia.
In contrast to other levels of care, memory care is specifically designed to meet the needs of people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Through good days and bad days, caregivers are there to help residents feel comforted and connected. They’ll take care of everything your loved one needs, giving you more peace of mind.
What’s in It for Your Family?
Memory care could be the right choice for your loved one – and your family. How? It boils down to a few major benefits:
- It helps protect your loved one’s quality of life. Being in an environment that was purpose-built to provide structure and comfort to a senior with memory impairment can make a major difference. Many studies show that living in a memory care setting can actually help delay the onset of symptoms and maintain a higher quality of life – as we’ll discuss in the next section.
- Memory care means more peace of mind. Even if you’ve devoted yourself to a full-time caregiver role – as is often necessary when a senior reaches the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s or another disease that impacts cognition – there are still times when 24/7 supervision isn’t possible. Memory care alleviates the concern over what risks your loved one might be exposed to unsupervised.
- They’ll have plenty of company – and activity. At a memory care community, you’ll find activities targeted to seniors of all cognitive abilities – and plenty of people to meet and engage with. Having a diverse set of people to talk with can do a lot for a senior’s happiness.
- You’ll have access to the power of professional help. Nobody cares for your family as much as you, but unless you’ve been trained in behavior mitigation and dementia-specific senior safety, it’s hard to match the level of attention your loved one will receive at a memory care community. From licensed nurses to housekeeping staff, a caregiving team has the specialization and drive to take care of the residents with love.
The Science Behind Quality Memory Care
Memory care is always evolving with technology and our ever-growing understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. These days, the treatment techniques employed by caregivers are highly specialized and consistently improved to make residents’ lives better.
For memory care, that means a focus on the things that are proven to improve seniors’ quality of life – namely, engagement in pleasant activities, maintenance of cognitive abilities and targeted assistance with performing the activities of daily living. Every technique and method employed in a memory care community works to achieve those three goals, and the quality of a care provider is determined by how successful they are.
Carefully planned, meaningful activities are probably the most important of these – but also the hardest to achieve. Care providers have long recognized the value of activity, but actually designing a schedule of activities that memory-impaired seniors can participate in can be a big challenge. In the end, it’s worth the effort, as such activities can improve a senior’s sense of self-efficacy, reduce depression and improve relationships with family members.
The Stratford Commons Difference
So what makes Stratford Commons the right choice for your loved one? It starts with our person-first approach to care. We take their life experience, preferences and desires to heart, crafting a living experience that will make them feel valued. And, as a part of the Tutera family, we have the experience and commitment that make us a reliable senior care partner you can trust.
To learn more about what Stratford Commons has to offer for your family, please contact us.