At first, it may appear to be another of those “senior moments.” Perhaps your dad is having problems with common activities at his assisted living facility- like forgetting where the toilet is or missing meals. A team member calls you to inform you they are concerned about his safety and wellness. One of the most difficult answers to accept is that your dad may have dementia, necessitating a tough decision on the horizon for you and your family: at what point does he move from assisted living to memory care?
Many Assisted living residents live with some degree memory loss which can dementia or just normal, age-related cognitive impairment. However, as symptoms advance, assisted living alone may not provide the supervision necessary for residents who wander or get lost. At assisted living facilities, there are various levels of care available to residents depending on their condition. However, as dementia advances, people require more care and a specially trained team of caregivers. A memory care community has specially trained staff who provide round-the-clock assistance and monitoring in a secure setting which may become necessary if your family member’s cognitive impairment becomes too challenging to manage in assisted living.
According to ALZ.org, “dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia.” It’s heartbreaking to see a family member struggle to recognize their grandchildren or recall their trip home, for example. Although it does not always imply that their existence is devoid of pleasure and significance, a dementia diagnosis might suggest that they require assisted living with specialized services and personnel who understand how on-demand assistance plays a major role in enhancing their lifestyle.
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia vary from person to person. The disease may progress from minor problems with language, such as speaking or writing, to problems that endanger your loved one’s safety and quality of life. That is why the team in a memory care community includes specialists who are skilled in assisting each memory care resident to live a full and dignified life filled with meaning, and engagement.
It is not only for the safety of your loved one; it is also for offering them joy by developing their personal narrative to help them feel successful and connected. Helping your loved one feel at ease—as well as providing plenty of time for fun and belonging—are at the heart of a committed memory care community. Briarcliffe Gardens, a therapeutically designed memory care assisted living residence, adapts the surroundings and activities of your loved one to match their interests and abilities. The goal of meeting all of the resident’s requirements is to ensure that they have everything they need, from simple chores to assisting them in finding a sense of purpose and meaning in life.
Assisted living and memory care communities provide similar services, assistance with daily activities, dining, programs, and more. Memory care communities are built to give specialized treatment to people with dementia. Memory care team members have additional training and expertise in helping people with dementia.
Every effort is made so that memory care residents feel connected with the world around them. People receive encouragement via specialized programming that emphasizes what they enjoy. Attention is paid to cognitive, sensory, group, motor, and sense of purpose – all of which contribute to a greater sense of well being.
There are times when a loved one’s dementia symptoms become so severe, they may no longer be able to care for themselves. During this challenging time, you and your family need reliable information about what resources are available in the community where your loved one will live, as well as how much it costs. Your family member deserves to live an engaging, purposeful life in a setting that is tailored to their strengths but also supports their limitations. And you deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved one lives where they are safe and have a sense of purpose and belonging. A dementia diagnosis is difficult to face; but you and your family don’t have to go through it alone. Moving to a memory care facility can help both you and your family member have peace of mind.
If you think your loved one is showing signs of dementia and it might be time to consider moving from home or from traditional assisted living into memory care, get in touch with Briarcliffe today and speak with a dementia practitioner to see what makes sense for your family.