If you’re caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, you likely know that keeping them safe, physically and emotionally healthy, engaged and connected are all top priorities in supporting their well-being.
As these are progressive conditions, the care and support needed for your loved one will often require a higher level of knowledge and skill as time goes on – skill which eventually may exceed what can be provided at home.
If additional help does become necessary, families often begin by researching their options to determine what assistance is available to their family. For many, choosing a memory care community provides a great solution for their loved one and the entire family.
Why a Memory Care Community?
Memory care communities are specifically designed to house and care for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Highly-trained staff, carefully curated life enrichment programs, even the architectural and residence designs and layouts - every component of a memory care community is intended to support residents and assist them in living their highest quality of life.
Five Benefits of a Memory Care Community
There are several advantages to living in a memory care community. The following are five of the biggest positives:
Memory care benefit #1: Compassionate and specially-trained staff
Those who care for individuals living with dementia are trained specifically to provide these kinds of services. Your loved one will have access to around-the-clock care provided by compassionate team members who understand how to support individuals living with cognitive change such as memory loss.
Memory care communities also offer a lower staff-to-resident ratio, so their attention and time can be directed specifically to the residents. Getting to know the individuals, their preferences and their past histories helps the care partners form genuine relationships with the residents, and care plans are typically tailored specifically to the individual. These care plans detail how the staff will support them with activities of daily life (ADLs) and help them to participate in activities or programs to enrich their lives.
Memory care benefit #2: An environment designed for those living with dementia
Memory care communities are designed to promote a sense of calm, lessen frustration and minimize any disorientation for their residents. Spaces are clearly identified to help eliminate confusion and encourage the residents to be relaxed and confident when navigating their community.
The room and hallway layouts, lighting, colors and other identifiers are intentional design elements to help the resident feel more comfortable and at home. Using color-coded walls or doors and personalizing individual doorways are just a few ways these communities help orient the residents to their homes, activity rooms and/or common areas.
A memory care community allows the residents to explore their surroundings in an environment that keeps them secure while refraining from restricting their movement. Many feature enclosed courtyards that allow residents to freely enjoy the outdoors when they choose to do so.
Memory care benefit #3: Specialized programs
Your loved one will have access to activities and programs that have been developed specifically for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Depending on the preferences of your family member, they’ll have several therapeutic opportunities to choose from.
Not only can these activities help them remain engaged and connected to others, they can also soothe or calm agitation or anxiety, encourage them to relax and possibly trigger pleasant memories or feelings.
A few of the therapies you might find available include:
- Music therapy
- Pet therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Art therapy
- Reminiscence therapy
Memory care benefit #4: Making a home for the residents
Memory care communities recognize that they are not just providing care, but a home for their residents. To help them achieve their highest quality of life, it’s important that the residents have full access to the features and amenities that help create this feeling of comfort and familiarity.
Residences can be personalized to make residents feel more at home, and they are encouraged to choose their favorite foods and take part in enjoyable activities, particularly those that have always interested them. The emphasis is on helping the residents engage with the community and maintain their identity and voice.
Your loved one will have assistance with any daily tasks that require it, such as bathing, dressing or eating. They’ll have opportunities to interact with the other residents and staff to help remain socially connected. Many families report that they have more opportunities to spend quality time with their loved one now that they are no longer required to also act as their caregiver.
Memory care benefit #5: Safe and secure living
Those living with cognitive change like Alzheimer’s disease often experience a unique set of challenges that can create a safety risk if they are living at home. If the person leaves their residence unaccompanied or without notice, it is possible they may become confused, lost or injured and unable to ask for help or find their way back home.
It’s not easy to completely secure a house or apartment or provide 24-hour supervision. Family caregivers likely have other responsibilities, and trying to provide continual attention isn’t practical or even possible, leading to exhaustion and often creating health problems for the caregiver.
Memory care communities are able to offer a higher level of security with 24/7 staffing, secured entries and exits, and notification systems designed to ensure residents do not leave the area unnoticed.
Life at Eskaton Communities
The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.
The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living. We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:
- Private residences
- Delicious and nutritious meals
- Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
- Creative activities and therapies
- Fitness centers and exercise classes
- Housekeeping services
- Transportation services
- 24-hour staffing
- Free Wi-Fi
- And much, much more!
If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Family Decision Toolkit: How to choose the right senior living community.
To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (or 1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.