Memory care is a type of skilled nursing for people diagnosed with memory-related ailments. Today, memory care facilities are available to provide skilled nursing services for people who suffer from conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and cognitive impairment due to TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Memory care can also be necessary for people who have been diagnosed with memory loss and need assistance with ADLs (Areas of Daily Living).
Alzheimer’s disease, according to the National Institute of Aging, is an irreversible progressive brain disease that deteriorates patients’ memory and thinking skills. This disease results in 50% to 60% of dementia cases. Some signs that are not a part of normal memory loss are:
- Trouble learning new things
- Forgetting how to do things that have done many times before
- Repeating stories and phrases in the same conversation
- Inability to make decisions
- Inability to keep track of what happens each day
For their own safety, people suffering from such conditions will need supervision. They may also need help with personal care, medication management, and ADLs. Initially, the individual might be able to live at their residence with help from their loved ones. Family members can provide support through in-home memory care providers and adult day care.
When a loved one with severe conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia can no longer live at home, family members may want to consider a memory care facility. These facilities have specialized nursing services and are regulated by the states with licenses. They provide meals, personal, and health care. A standard memory care facility provides services like:
- A private or semi-private room
- Three filling meals in a day
- Medication management
- Social activities
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Cognitive and physical therapies
- Personal assistance
Factors to consider while choosing a memory care facility
Determining if a memory care facility is suitable for your loved one can be difficult as your focus will be on making their life as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. So here are some factors that you should consider before choosing the best memory care facility for your loved one:
Ensuring safety and quality of life
Memory care facilities should be well equipped to provide a better quality of life to patients. Residents at these facilities usually take fewer medications due to improved wellness and better nutrition. In addition, they usually enjoy more independence than before. Some medical surveys have revealed that around 75 percent of patients in memory care facilities showed slowed and even stalled progression of mental ailments.
Programs for handling behavioral issues
You should choose memory care facilities that provide therapeutic programs to improve the patient’s memory impairment issues and other behavioral issues. Advanced programs should be available to provide personalized therapy for all patients. Some facilities add different levels of programs based on the type and stage of the memory-related ailment a person has.
Peace of mind is the ultimate consideration as it reassures you that your loved one is receiving highly skilled, 24/7 care. Look for memory care facilities that provide frequent outreach opportunities for families of residents. The best facilities not only care for the individual dealing with cognitive impairment but also look after the needs of the individual’s family.
Make sure that memory care facility you choose for your loved one does not isolate individuals with memory-related conditions. The best facilities have specialized staff that ensures that their residents are engaged in group activities as much as possible.
This is one of the important factors to remember while choosing a memory care facility. The facility should maintain regular communication with family members so that the person getting treated can stay in touch with them. It is important to be aware of the facility’s policy regarding the frequency of updates and meetings with the facility’s staff and residents.
Features and maintenance
Make sure that the features of the memory care facility are the same as those mentioned on their websites or advertisements. The facility should also be well maintained and must have markers in certain areas and rooms to prevent disorientation in its residents.
Activities and therapies
It is important to review available therapies and activities to make sure they are a match for your loved one. While this process can be exhausting, your loved one deserves the best features that they will enjoy and will keep them engaged.
Deciding which memory care facility is the best option can be difficult, but your aim should be to make the life of your loved one as comfortable as possible. The best memory care facilities educate and provide outreach for both caregivers and families. Consider personal observations, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ratings, and online reviews, before making a decision. At the same time, it is necessary to understand community auditing and incident reports can vary according to the state of residence. So, you must do some research before picking a facility that best suits the requirements of your loved one.