THE MORE CONDITIONS like Alzheimer’s or dementia progress, the more difficult it becomes to care for a beloved parent or grandparent at home. In such cases, memory care is a wonderful option to consider. Memory care is a form of senior living that ensures specialized, intensive care for those with memory issues.
What’s Unique About Memory Care?
In a memory care community such as ours in Sun City West, AZ, the atmosphere is designed with the residents’ peace of mind as a high priority. The staff provide meals and assist with personal care like in an assisted living facility, but they also have special training to deal with the unique issues associated with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Residents in memory care receive specialized care, including more frequent check-ins, and are given extra structure and support throughout the day. The staff ensures that residents are getting to their meals and attending activities. The facilities are equipped with alarmed doors, enclosed outdoor spaces, and elevator codes to keep residents from wandering and getting lost.
What to Look For in a Memory Care Facility
It’s always important to research any facility in which you plan to house a loved one, especially when they are living with dementia. Here are a few key features to look for in a memory care facility where you plan to house a loved one:
- Clean and pleasant layout with clear labeling, an enclosed outdoor area, and happy residents.
- Specially trained staff who meet their residents’ needs quickly.
- Engaging activities and good meal routines.
- Availability of additional medical care for other conditions.
Make sure to tour the facility and participate in some of the activities to get a good feel for the place. Bring a list of questions to ask, including the ones we’ve provided.
7 Signs It’s Time for Memory Care
There are several indicators that it might be time for memory care:
1. Behavioral Changes
A person living with a memory disorder might become anxious or irritated, and they may forget about daily chores and hygiene. They sometimes become more withdrawn and less sociable.
2. An Unhealthy Living Environment
Neglecting chores can be an especially worrying sign, because it can affect their health. Watch for spoiled food or trash piling up. Are they remembering to pay the bills?
3. Disorientation and Confusion
Dementia patients often experience confusion or disorientation. A fragile mental state leads to accidents and other unsafe situations. If your loved one is constantly putting their safety at risk (such as by forgetting how to drive or leaving the stove on), they should be in a memory care facility. This is often the first clue that something is wrong.
4. The Caregiver Is Overwhelmed
Taking care of a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s is challenging. Stress is inevitable, whether the caregiver is a family member or an in-home nurse. When the burden of overseeing the loved one gets overwhelming, that’s a sign, and the loved one can feel it too.
Incontinence becomes a big issue as memory starts to slip away. This is a huge task for the caregiver. It can be helpful to put the loved one in a memory care facility that’s trained to handle the issue.
6. Unsafe at Home
If an older parent or grandparent starts exhibiting weight loss, bruises, or difficulty standing, they should have more help. Alzheimer’s patients are prone to falls due to imbalance, which can cause broken bones and worse injuries. They may also leave their home, forget why and where they are, and become lost.
7. You Feel That It’s Time
Whether you see some of these signs or not, you’ll know something is wrong as you’re spending time around your older loved one. As difficult as the subject is, it’s better to raise it earlier than later so that they can get the help and care they need.
Learn About Senior Living’s Memory Care Services
At Avista in Sun City West, Arizona, we pride ourselves on being able to provide seniors who struggle with dementia or Alzheimer’s a comfortable and engaging community with our memory care services. To learn more about what we have to offer your loved one at our facility, please get in touch with us. Make sure to check the map for directions before heading our way.