Enhanced healthcare has led to longer lives, but with age comes health challenges, including degenerative conditions that affect memory. As a result, memory care services have grown rapidly in the past few years. Facilities designed specifically to house and care for patients suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s and other related conditions are being established everywhere. Below, we answer the question what is memory care and how to choose a facility thats meet your needs.
Is Memory Care Different?
A memory care facility offers a secure and structured environment tailored for individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The structured routines in these facilities help to reduce stress to the patients. The facility employees provide residents with meals. They also help them with personal care tasks. These facilities are therefore like assisted living facilities. However, the employees that work in these homes are specially trained to deal with the unique challenges that are presented by patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. For example, employees are required to check on residents more frequently. They are also required to provide residents with extra support and structure and thus help them navigate through each day. Residents in regular assisted living facilities would be expected to manage their own routines and many of their day to day tasks.
Memory care homes are also specially equipped to meet the challenges that come with caring for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. This entails secure features such as coded elevators, alarmed doors, and enclosed outdoor spaces to prevent wandering. Residents may wear tracking bracelets for staff to monitor their location, while activities are thoughtfully chosen to enhance cognitive function at various stages of their illness.
Is Memory Care Right for My Loved One?
Not everyone diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s needs to live in a care facility. In fact, many can continue to live on their own while in the early stages of the disease. They may need support and in-home care as their illness progresses. However, when their needs for care exceed what can be provided while living in their homes, they may benefit from living in a specialized facility.
Considerations for Choosing a Memory Care Facility
Not every facility is the same. Some factors to consider when selecting a facility that is right for your loved one include:
- Physical environment and layout of the facility
Select a facility with a straightforward layout to prevent frustration or confusion for your loved one. Ensure cleanliness and an enclosed outdoor area for added comfort Check to see whether other residents in the facility are happy.
- Qualified and Experienced Staff
The staff should have received training to help them care for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s. They should interact with residents in a friendly way and should not be overly reliant on antipsychotic medications.
- Healthy food and engaging activities
It is important to choose a facility that offers healthy meals. Check their strategies for encouraging residents to eat. Residents should also be given the opportunity to participate in engaging activities.
- The level of care available
Not every facility can provide complex medical care for your loved one. It is important to inquire about the type of health conditions that the facility can handle and what conditions would require your loved one to seek care from another medical facility.
How Much Does Memory Care Cost?
The cost of care will depend on the particular facility you choose. The average cost of care in the US in 2021 was $6935 per month. Costs vary widely from one state to the other as well.
Companion care offers services for memory care assisted living. Our skilled caregivers offer in-home care services, enabling your loved ones to remain in a familiar environment for an extended period. Reach out to us for further information.