As we age, our cognitive abilities may take a dip, making it increasingly difficult to go about everyday tasks. This in itself can be especially challenging. Memory loss and confusion can be simply overwhelming for anyone experiencing it. For some seniors, this natural process can turn into a debilitating condition such as Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s sad for families to watch their loved ones struggle with cognitive impairments such as memory loss that unfortunately come with Alzheimer’s. That’s why finding the right specialized care is key. Memory Care provides specialized support and assistance for individuals who live with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. In this blog post, we’ll uncover the reasons why Memory Care is an ideal option for seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s. Making informed decisions make for a better quality of life for your loved one. Let’s get started!
Let’s Start with the Basics…What is Memory Care anyway?
Memory Care is a type of long-term care that is customized to the needs of those with cognitive impairments such as someone living with Alzheimer’s. Memory Care is commonly provided in a secured setting like an assisted living facility(ALFs) or nursing home. They can also be located in continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), now called life plan communities. In addition, there are also stand-alone Memory Care residential communities available to seniors struggling with memory issues. You will find that Memory Care staff is specifically trained to care for cognitively impaired seniors and deal with the unique challenges that come with a condition such as Alzheimer’s.
The list of benefits is long as there are many reasons to select Memory Care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. We would say first and foremost, it can provide them with the 24/7 supervision and specialized support they need to remain healthy and safe. Memory Care facilities usually provide stimulating activities and therapies that cater to the goal of improving overall quality of life. These kinds of regular activities and therapies have been shown to slow the progression of cognitive decline as well.
Memory Care continues to be a fast-growing sector of the senior housing market, as it remains in demand for those looking for that ideal environment for their loved one with significant cognitive decline.
What are the Benefits of Memory Care for Seniors with Alzheimer’s?
As our loved ones age, it becomes important to closely monitor their health and overall well-being. When a senior has Alzheimer’s, memory care services can be the ideal option to ensure they get the care and support that is required.
Memory Care facilities are custom-designed for those with memory impairments and offer a safe environment where residents can not only live, but thrive.
Below are a few significant benefits of Memory Care for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia:
- Individualized Care Plans: Memory care staff are trained to create personalized care plans for each of their residents. These plans are based on the resident’s unique needs and abilities. These types of plans ensure that each resident receives the specific type of care and support they require on a regular basis.
- Safety & 24/7 Supervision: One of the main concerns for families of seniors with Alzheimer’s is their safety. Getting lost or wandering off is not an uncommon story we hear either on the news or from someone we know. Most memory care facilities are equipped with the latest and greatest, state-of-the-art security systems to protect residents from wandering off the premises and getting lost. Staff members are also on-site 24/7 to provide proper supervision and assistance as needed.
- Activities & Socialization: An important component of memory care is providing residents with activities that encourage socialization. These activities help stimulate cognitive function and give these residents a sense of real purpose. When they are around others, it can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Specific therapies can also assist in slowing the decline of cognitive function.
If you’re considering Memory Care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, these are only some of the benefits it can offer to them and of course, to your peace of mind!
What Types of Memory Care Services Available?
There are many types of settings for memory care services. The good news that there is not a shortage of options for those seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. We know that these custom services can help improve quality of life and provide amazing support for seniors.
Residential settings are a common place to find comprehensive Memory Care services. There are Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) that include Memory Care units as well as stand-alone Memory Care residential communities. In addition, Life Plan Communities (formerly called CCRCs – Continuing Care Retirement Communities) can offer these services.
You can also find memory care services in Adult Day Care centers and offered within In-Home Care. Respite care, Nursing homes, and Hospice also can provide some level of memory care services.
Let’s talk financials. How much does Memory Care cost?
There is no doubt that the cost of memory care for seniors with Alzheimer’s can be higher that regular care, but keep in mind regular living expenses are replaced as memory care facilities will offer an all-in-one living expense option. There are many benefits to memory care that make it the best option for quality of life for seniors with Alzheimer’s despite the cost. Memory care facilities provide safety and 24-hour supervision with appropriate support which is priceless for residents and their families. The trained staff are caring for your loved ones and providing activities to help seniors with progressive conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. This helps stimulate the mind and keep residents engaged.
With that being said, the average cost in the US for Memory Care is $6935, according to the 2021 NIC statistics. This average varies from state to state. For example, in Florida that number is closer to $4500. Check out this Healthline article https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-the-average-monthly-cost-for-memory-care#average-monthly-cost for more in-depth information on cost and ways to save. Funds can come from a variety of sources to help pay for a memory care living option. Whether it is private insurance, Medicare, retirement funds, personal savings, government programs such as Medicaid or Social Security, long-term care insurance, the list goes on. The point is that there are many ways to help pay for Memory Care. Typically the cost will be higher for Memory Care than Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) but less than a private room at a nursing home.
Regardless of the cost, it is wise to figure out what your budget is for Memory Care so that you have a solid budget when choosing the right facility. There are many ways to help pay for the care your loved one may need.
How to Choose the Right Memory Care Facility
Anyone who finds out a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, experiences a range of emotions and it is expected to be a difficult time. There are many decisions to be made and it can be hard to know what to do next. Memory Care is often a great solution to many of the issues and challenges facing seniors with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia. Making the decision to place a loved one in a Memory Care program can be hard, but it is often the best option for their life for many reasons.
First, it begins with knowing what the resident needs and desires. Once their needs are established, then the senior’s needs and wants can be prioritized during the decision-making process. Then, establish what the budget is so that you can narrow down your search. If possible, an in-person tour of the community is recommended. In any situation, it is important to ask the right questions to learn more about the amenities, features, facility staff training, medical staff, staffing ratios, policies, extra fees, and so on. If you want a detailed list of questions to ask, the Alzheimer’s Association has a nice list of questions to ask when searching for long-term care: https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/care-options/long-term-care
It is critical to choose a facility that prioritizes safety so be sure to ask questions around what their safety precautions include. Look for one that it is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). This accreditation means that the program meets high standards of quality and safety.
With the right Memory Care program, your loved one will receive the care and support they need to live a happy, healthy life.
We can say with confidence that Memory Care provides the best environment for safety and support for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Not only does it provide a safe and secure home, but it also offers specialized activities and therapies that help to reduce the resident’s symptoms and improve their quality of life. Memory Care is not just about providing physical support but also emotional support, which can be especially key during this time in their lives. With its highly trained staff, memory care facilities ensure that your loved one is receiving the highest level of care possible all while still being part of a community.