More than six million people in America are currently living with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurological disorder that impacts memory, communication, and cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Alzheimer's and its effects worsen with time.
The diagnosis and progression of the disease can be exceptionally hard for Alzheimer's patients and those caring for them. It also means those with Alzheimer’s need a lot of support performing daily activities. Because of this, around 85% of Alzheimer's patients in America live in assisted living or memory care centers.
So what are the benefits of memory care for Alzheimer's patients, and how do you know when to move an Alzheimer's patient to a memory care center? If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, read on to find out more.
Memory Care Centers Offer Specialized Care
Although memory loss is one of the best-known symptoms, having Alzheimer's means so much more. The majority of people receive a diagnosis in the early stage of Alzheimer's. This is also known as mild dementia and can cause:
- Memory loss
- Forgetting something they just read
- Remembering the right word or name
- Misplacing belongings
- Getting lost in places that they know well
Patients with dementia and Alzheimer's who haven't progressed to the late stage may be suitable for assisted living depending on their needs. As Alzheimer's progresses, these symptoms can worsen. Your loved one may also experience more severe mood swings and bouts of confusion. They will also need more physical assistance with daily tasks, such as the support a memory care center can provide.
This care can be overwhelming if you have to manage it on your own. Fortunately, memory care centers are specially designed to support people living with these symptoms. Memory care center staff have thorough training in caring for people with Alzheimer's so that they can deliver high-quality care for your loved one.
This is a full-time job for any caregiver and isn't something you should try to manage alone. The specialized care in a dedicated memory care facility will ensure that your loved one has the best possible quality of life in a secure environment.
More Resources Are Available
One of the other significant benefits of memory care centers is the resources that they can offer. As we've already seen, people living with Alzheimer's need a lot of hands-on care. However, this doesn't mean just being with them 24 hours a day.
It also involves safety-proofing their home or room. For example, you might have to install alarm systems and go through their home looking for safety hazards. As Alzheimer's progresses, it becomes impossible for a person to live by themselves safely.
All of the accommodations and communal areas in memory care centers are designed for the safety of the residents. On top of this, they have more staff dedicated to supporting and caring for the residents. Residents have trained caregivers on hand to help them on a day-to-day basis.
This means that they can provide comprehensive care more efficiently than an individual could by themselves.
They Can Offer Cognitive Treatments to Help Memory
The resources offered at a memory care center extend beyond basic safety. They regularly organize entertainment, classes, and exercise for residents.
These activities, while fun, can support memory care and problem-solving skills. Practicing them regularly can slow down the effects of Alzheimer's on memory and other cognitive functions.
Memory care centers will develop a structured daily program for these kinds of activities. They may also encourage visitors to practice some activities with their loved ones.
Creating a Sense of Community
Routine and familiarity are essential for people living with Alzheimer's. At a memory care center, there are plenty of activities in place to encourage bonding between residents. They will live nearby within the center so they can visit one another.
This helps residents feel more at home and confident of their surroundings.
Coming to terms with an Alzheimer's diagnosis can be very difficult for an individual. Being able to talk to other people living with the disease can help. This allows them to discuss their experiences, especially if they don't know anyone else going through it.
Living at a memory care center can help someone with Alzheimer’s build a network and community of people who understand what they are going through.
Memory Care Centers Create a Sense of Security
As well as making your loved one feel welcome, memory care can also provide a great sense of security for both you and them. After all, this is a reasonably controlled environment with safety measures in place. While life isn't boring in a memory care center, the sort of variables that can confuse someone with Alzheimer's is controlled.
Living with Alzheimer's can be extremely scary, so having a sense of grounding and familiarity to come back to is very important. This also means that you can rest easy knowing your loved one is living in a secure environment.
Memory Care Centers Will Keep You in the Know
Knowing that someone you love is living with Alzheimer's can be a very stressful time. You may not know much about the condition and may find it challenging to go for periods of time without hearing from them.
Memory care centers provide visiting times for friends and family. However, you can also get in touch outside of these times to check how your loved one is doing. If you have any particular concerns about them, you can discuss these with staff and ask for regular updates.
On top of this, many facilities offer support, counseling, and information for the families of people with Alzheimer's.
Get Support Today
If a loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, then it is worth thinking carefully about living arrangements for the future. Even if they plan to stay at home for the time being, it's a good idea to look into Alzheimer's and memory care. That way, if you do need support in the future, you know where to turn.
A memory care center can provide your loved ones with the best possible care and support while still giving them a sense of independence. For more information on our facilities or deciding when to move an Alzheimer's patient to assisted living or a memory care center, get in touch today. We're here to help!