• Alzheimer’s & dementia
  • Senior Living

From Confusion to Clarity: Understanding the Benefits of Memory Care

Learn about the many benefits of memory care, how it differs from other senior living communities, how to know when it’s time for memory care, and more.

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The stress of moving a loved one to a memory care facility can be heavy. Caring for them yourself feels like you’re moving through each day with the weight of the world on your shoulders. 

How can you sustain this?

Memory care facilities provide many benefits to residents while simultaneously removing the stress of caregiving from loved ones. With dedicated staff providing round-the-clock individualized care for residents, memory care may be the perfect move.

Learn about the many benefits of memory care, how it differs from other senior living communities, how to know when it’s time for memory care, and more.

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What Distinguishes Memory Care From Other Types of Senior Living?

Sometimes, senior living communities offer an array of living situations to help residents receive the exact care they need in an environment that is safe and tailored to their needs.

For example, Senior Services of America manages different care communities within the Pacific Northwest, including:

  • Independent Living
  • Assisted Living
  • Respite Care
  • Memory Care

Memory care aims to focus on individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other related dementias

Memory care often provides:

  • 24-hour supervised care
  • Incontinence care
  • Bathing assistance
  • Memory-enhancing activities
  • Facility layouts that prevent confusion and wandering
  • Lower staff-to-resident ratios
  • And more

The Purpose of Memory Care Services

Overall, memory care facilities aim to maintain the safety, dignity, and independence of their residents. Staff members are empathetic and specially trained to meet the specific needs of residents with memory impairments and provide individualized care as needed.

The amount and type of care a resident needs depends on their exact type of dementia and which stage of the disease they are in.

For example, a resident with early-onset Alzheimer’s might only require someone to encourage them through daily activities — things like exercise, doing something social, eating healthy, and getting quality sleep. Whereas someone with late-stage Alzheimer’s might require more round-the-clock care. They could lack the ability to move and require someone to help change their position every few hours, need help with feeding, changing, and/or other daily tasks.

To help meet this array of needs, memory care programs are available to promote brain health and social engagement. While there is no cookie-cutter approach, care could look like this:

  • Going for walks with residents
  • Cognitive training
  • Encouraging and helping with sleep hygiene
  • Helping maintain an appropriate diet
  • Encouraging social interactions

6 Benefits of Memory Care

#1: Residential Environment That Is Specifically Suited to Those With Memory Issues

Memory care facilities offer safe environments that are suited to the needs of their residents

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 60% of people living with dementia will wander at least once, but many do so repeatedly. Secure environments prevent wandering while also encouraging safe outdoor activities because many individuals with dementia tend to become easily lost and scared. 

Round-the-clock supervision means that individuals always have expert care with them, even if they don’t need it at the moment, giving family members peace of mind that their loved one is properly taken care of 24/7. 

The floor plans at memory care communities are designed to feel like home. Residents are free to decorate how they please, the rooms are spacious, and they can do what they’d like to make themselves feel comfortable in their space.

Lastly, activities are available that suit the needs of dementia patients to encourage them to socialize and enhance their cognitive thinking.

#2: Specialized Services and Programs

If your loved one is dealing with memory loss, memory care facilities understand that they require special care. 

Staff members are empathetic and specially trained to care for those with memory loss. They take the time to get to know residents  — their stories, experiences, likes and dislikes, and more. 

More importantly, staff members know the health conditions of their residents. When conditions change, they can take the correct measures necessary to care for a resident — a unique and important part of memory care.

Residents of memory facilities can take advantage of different programs and activities that allow them to find purpose, engage in social interactions, enhance their cognitive abilities, and more.

Observational studies show that people who do mentally stimulating activities may have a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia. These activities may include:

  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Crafting
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Physical activity
  • Board and card games
  • Music therapy
  • Puzzles

Expertly trained staff oversee and facilitate the activities to make sure individuals are getting the most out of their time. The activities they partake in each day can be tailored to their interests, making memory care an enjoyable place for your loved one to be.

#3: Individual Care 

Often, individuals with memory loss require individual round-the-clock care. Staff members are trained to learn all there is to know about their residents and offer daily care for whatever is necessary.

Individualized care can range from tasks like helping cook meals, reminders to take medication, or help getting to activities to more hands-on care like getting dressed, bathing, grooming, feeding, and more.

No matter what kind of attention a resident requires, memory care facilities can handle it.

#4: Access to Health Services and Professionals 

Some memory care facilities have trained medical staff on-site to help care for patients. 

Additionally, they have professional connections to third party healthcare services should your resident require a service or specialty the facility cannot offer. 

Assistance Appointments and Medication

If your loved one needs daily reminders to take medications or needs assistance with their medical appointments, staff members in memory care facilities can do that.

Senior Services of America communities offer individualized medication management to ensure residents are taking the right medications at the right time. We also ensure residents are scheduling medical appointments, attending appointments, and accompanying them to said appointments if necessary. 

#5: Improved Diet and Wellness Thanks To Personalized Meal Plans

Memory care facilities work to individualize care in any way they can, including diets and meal plans. 

Personalized meals are created for each resident based on what they need for their bodies. There are many “brain foods” that may help preserve memory loss, so memory care facilities try to work those into diets while taking into consideration what each resident prefers.

The option for personalized meals allows residents to feel at home at their memory care center. They can make requests for meals they love, and staff can provide options with each resident’s health in mind. Dining teams can create menus full of nutritious options that can easily be modified to meet the needs of every resident.

Residents might also require help with feeding at mealtimes or a reminder to eat their meals throughout the day, even if they can feed themselves. 

#6: Increased Opportunity for Socialization

It’s natural that as we age, we tend to lose touch with friends and socialize less and less. Add in the obstacle of memory loss, and it may become extra difficult to remain social. 

The isolated lifestyles some older people adopt can be dangerous, both mentally and physically. One study shows that increased social interaction can benefit Alzheimer’s patients by minimizing loneliness, isolation, stress, and cognitive decline.

Many memory care facilities create opportunities for residents to get the interactions they need by socializing with other people the same age through shared spaces, planned activities, mealtimes, and more.  Even if they choose to only interact with their caregiver and a small group of close friends, this community life makes it easy to do.

How To Know if Memory Care Is Right for Your Loved One

Choosing to move a loved one to a memory care facility can be difficult.  Be aware of the following signs to know when it’s time to make the switch:

  • Safety has become a concern.
  • Cognitive needs aren’t being met in assisted living or the current living situation.
  • Your loved one cannot express physical challenges.
  • Health begins to decline.

Find a Holistic Approach to Memory Care With Senior Services of America

With so many memory care facilities out there, how can you know you’re choosing the right one?

When you choose a Senior Services of America community, you can rest assured your loved one is in the best care possible. We offer many benefits for our residents from individualized care to personalized meal plans, safe environments, and medical management.

But our list doesn’t end there. 

At our communities, memory care residents:

  • Receive personal care and activities of daily living
  • Engage in social interactions
  • Receive emotional support
  • Engage in physical activity
  • Are mentally stimulated
  • Partake in life enrichment activities
  • Can express themselves artistically
  • Receive great nutrition
  • And more

You’ve come to the right place for a holistic resident-centered approach to memory care. Find your nearest community for more information.

The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.