Understanding Memory Care
What is Memory care?
Memory Care is a senior housing option that is geared specifically to meet the needs of people with Alzheimer’s or other Dementias. Some of the key features of Memory care include;
- Secure environment- to prevent the wandering of residents but allow for exploration and exercise
- Specially trained staff- with experience in dementia care, behaviors, etc
- Supportive activities- to enhance the resident’s daily life
- Low staff ratio- allowing for more attention and personalized care
- Person-centered care- tailored to the unique needs of each resident taking into account their history, preferences, and health care needs
- Coordination of care- since the residents do not frequently leave the community, many services are offered on-site.
Memory care is designed to provide a safe and structured environment for the residents and to allow for routines that will assist their daily life. Much like Assisted Living, staff are available to assist with Activities of Daily Living, Meals and Activities, but are specially trained to respond to the unique needs of residents with memory loss. These include;
Prompting- Providing cues to engage in daily activities is very helpful. An example might be brushing teeth, coming to meals, etc.
Redirection- Identifying when a memory care resident is becoming tired or frustrated and knowing how to respond in their best interest is a key component of taking care of residents with memory loss. For example, if a resident is getting frustrated you ight suggest an activity you know they will enjoy or simply change the subject to a more enjoyable topic for the resident.
Engagement- Staff within memory care understand the importance of meaningful activities. Things like photos, music and certain foods can create nostalgia and positive experiences for residents with memory loss.
Is my loved one appropriate for Memory Care?
A Dementia diagnosis in and of itself does not automatically indicate that Memory Care is the best option for your loved one. Many individuals with memory issues are able to live on their own in the earlier stages of the disease process, especially with family or caregiver support present. To determine if the timing might be right for a move, consider these questions;
- Is your loved one being alone causing safety concerns?
- Does your loved one wander?
- Is your loved one’s care beyond the limits of what can be provided by family or caregiving services?
- Would your loved one benefit from a structured environment with opportunities for social interaction?
- Does my loved one require prompting for most activities of daily living i.e. showering, eating, changing clothes, etc?
- Is your loved one’s sleep-wake cycle causing a disruption to your personal needs with work, family etc.?
- Does your loved one’s physician agree that they would benefit from a Memory Care community?
How much does Memory Care Cost?
Memory Care fees can vary greatly by city and state, however, the national median is $5,430/month. Private Insurance typically does not cover these costs, with the exception of applicable Long-Term Care Insurance coverage.
In conclusion, Memory Care can be an incredibly beneficial next step in your loved one’s Dementia journey when the time is right. Explore Memory Care in your area here.