When loved ones have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, they commonly need services above and beyond those provided at a traditional assisted living community. However, many senior living communities today offer specialized memory care neighborhoods designed specifically for those living with dementia.
Moving a loved one to a memory care community is never an easy decision, nor is it one that should be taken lightly. Family caregivers often choose this route when they can no longer provide the right level of care that their loved ones need to thrive. Plus, the transition itself can be challenging for all those involved. However, taking some steps to properly prepare for the move, and knowing what to expect after, can help provide for a smooth adjustment period.
Life in a Memory Care Community
Make sure your loved one’s new living space is set up in a familiar way, decorated with personal belongings to feel like home. When moving your loved one in, bring him or her around to meet the staff and tour the community so they can get a good feel for the environment. Keep in mind that throughout the first few weeks the individual will be adjusting to his or her new way of life, and by making regular visits you can help ease the transition. However, there may be a delicate balance to how often you should visit throughout this period; talk to the staff to discern the best days or times.
While it’s common for caregivers to feel guilty after moving loved ones to a memory care community, it’s important to remember a few key ways this environment can improve your loved one’s quality of life. First, you’ll know individuals are safe and secure, as memory care neighborhoods provide security features to prohibit behavioral expressions like exit- seeking.
Secondly, a team of specially-trained professionals in Alzheimer’s care attend to your loved one’s needs around the clock. This team recognizes the challenges that caring for an individual with dementia can bring, and they provide personalized, compassionate care so your loved one can flourish.
Of course, memory care communities also acknowledge the importance of residents staying as actively involved in life as possible. They offer social programming and activities tailored to the unique needs of those with dementia. For example, music, art or pet therapy to help ease aggression and agitation, or special exercise classes that can help slow the progression of some symptoms.
Additionally, memory care communities ensure your loved one enjoys a daily routine, as knowing what to expect each day can also help reduce agitation and other behavioral issues.
The bottom line is that the services and amenities provided by memory care communities can help boost your loved one’s independence, ensure their safety and happiness and may even slow the progression of the disease.
American Senior Communities offers person-centered, wellness-based dementia care within our Auguste’s Cottage and our assisted living memory care apartments. Our quality respite care services allow caregivers time to attend to their own needs. Contact us today to request more information.