Deciding when it is time to move a loved one to a memory care community like Friendship Village of Bloomington can be one of the most difficult decisions you ever make. The emotions that the idea of this transition can generate often lead us to put off making this decision. However, for many older adults, a memory care community can be the best option to support their needs.
Let’s explore what memory care is, the benefits of this type of care, and the signs to look for in your loved one that indicate a higher level of care may be necessary.
What is Memory Care?
Memory care is a form of long-term care that provides specialized attention and programs for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Many senior living communities offer memory care floors, neighborhoods or other designated areas on site for dementia patients. These areas often provide more secure access to help prevent wandering and ensure patient safety. For instance, many memory care communities have emergency door alarms, enclosed outdoor spaces and elevators and doors between floors that require codes. They also offer programming designed to provide cognitive stimulation and boost the quality of life for residents.
This safe, structured environment offers residents set routines, helping to lower stress and agitation. Meals are provided to residents and professional caregivers to assist with their daily grooming and hygiene. Memory care residents are provided with extra support and structure to help them thrive.
What are the Benefits of Memory Care?
There are many benefits to Memory Care, not only for those who enter into it, but also for their caregivers. Remember, your health and wellness is just as important as your loved one’s. Caregiver burnout can cause extreme physical, mental and emotional distress. Memory care communities can offer families and caregivers peace of mind knowing that their loved one is being cared for continuously by skilled professionals.
Additional benefits of Memory Care include:
- Specialized care and unique services designed specifically for your loved one’s needs
- Opportunities for engagement and socialization that encourage your loved one to live a rich and connected life
- Enhanced safety and security for your loved one to prevent them from getting into a dangerous situation
- 24-hour assistance and supervision to assist with mobility, medications, meals and more
Signs That it’s Time for Memory Care
As your loved one’s condition progresses, there will come a time when their care becomes a full time endeavor. If you do not have the ability to provide the intensive, round-the-clock care that they need, it may be a sign that you should explore memory care options. Here are additional signs and behaviors that may signal it’s time for specialized assistance.
Six in every 10 people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s will wander at least once during the course of their illness. This behavior can occur at any stage of the disease as they lose their ability to recognize familiar locations and landmarks. This behavior can be especially dangerous if it occurs during inclement weather.
As those with dementia or Alzheimer’s lose the ability to communicate effectively, this frustration can cause verbal or physical aggression. It can be triggered by many things, from discomfort and confusion to simply being tired or thirsty. Aggressive behavior can be both physically and mentally draining for caregivers, and could result in injury to family members or even the loved one acting out.
Unsafe Behaviors in the Home
Has your loved one accidentally left the stove on? Are they experiencing mobility or balance issues? Have they stumbled or even fallen down the stairs? We all want to provide the safest environment for our loved ones, but most residential homes are not designed for the needs of older adults experiencing cognitive decline. If your loved one’s safety is a risk in your home or theirs, it may be time to transition to memory care.
Alzheimer’s and dementia can result in an individual having a “progressively lowered stress threshold.” Over time, your loved one may become stressed more easily, and may not respond as well to coping strategies. Signs of extreme distress could include verbal or physical outbursts, repetitive behaviors, increased agitation and sleep disturbances.
It can be difficult to watch our loved ones lose touch with their friends over time. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia can exacerbate this issue as they start to forget names and faces. This lack of stimulation and socializing can increase feelings of isolation, leading to negative health outcomes.
Explore Memory Care at Friendship Village of Bloomington
At Friendship of Bloomington, our memory care community offers serene private suites and individualized programs for all of our residents to help them live their best life. Residents and their families enjoy the benefits of small-town living but with access to big-city amenities, services and healthcare options.
If you’d like to learn more about the memory care community at Friendship Village of Bloomington, contact us.