Nearly 50 million people worldwide have dementia. Around 10 million new cases are diagnosed each year, according to the World Health Organization.
Assisted living and memory care options offer support with daily living activities (ADLs) but assisted living. Memory care settings provide unique benefits that need to be understood before making a move.
What is Memory Care?
Memory care is a special type of assisted living designed to offer a higher level of care for those with some form of dementia.
Specialized memory care is ideal for people suffering from memory-related anxiety, distress, or people who become disoriented and tend to wander away from home or have other challenging behaviours. Memory care is not ideal for people who do not have daily functioning needs.
The significant difference between assisted living and memory care is how facility staff treat progressive memory loss, Alzheimer's Disease, and other forms of dementia.
What type of care is provided with Memory Care?
Memory care units have enhanced security measures. They may offer secure outside areas to keep residents from wandering, tracking bracelets to alert staff if a resident is too close to an exit and safety checks that happen frequently. Memory care communities feature safety precautions such as door alarms and environmental considerations like motion-censored lights or one-touch sinks. They feature emergency call systems and do not usually offer apartments with kitchenettes. Memory care facilities provide an increased emphasis on security and intuitive layout, preventing confused residents from endangering themselves or getting lost.
Nurses and nursing assistants are trained dementia practitioners with experience and knowledge about the issues people living with dementia often face — such as swallowing difficulties, wandering, and anxiety. Memory care communities must understand how to assist residents in maintaining cognitive skills and ideal quality of life.
Communities usually provide 24-hour supervised care with lower staff-to-resident ratios and extra touches for residents to have a safe living experience allowing for maximum independence.
Care in a memory community is provided by staff specifically trained to care for people with dementia. The staff-to-patient ratios are regulated closely. Staff take continuing education classes to help them understand the brains of people living with cognitive impairment and master strategies for mitigating distress.
Staff provide dementia-friendly activities like music therapy. Assisted living communities usually focus on entertaining residents. Memory care communities offer activities tailored to the unique cognitive needs of people with dementia.
Cognitive treatments and therapies like support groups and activities, including families, are ideal for psychological and physical processing effects. Residents are encouraged and stimulated to use different parts of their mind helping residents exercise the brain like it’s a muscle.
Memory care communities offer an environment specially suited to the needs and safety
concerns of those with memory and judgment issues. Sometimes you may even see initial improvement from your loved one.
Memory care communities offer specialized diets and menus, including finger food, to ensure residents are eating the calories they need in a way that best suits their current needs and preferences.