Alzheimer's, or other forms of dementia, can make life incredibly difficult on seniors—and on their caregivers. Fortunately, there are memory care communities, which specialize in care for seniors dealing with dementia.
Just like with assisted living or skilled nursing communities, finding the right memory care community is a daunting task. It's not always easy to know what services, amenities or care levels are available at different types of communities. That's why we've published a new, comprehensive look at memory care, a one-stop article with all the information you'll need to know, such as this section on what to look for when searching for a community:
Given the high costs associated with memory care, some families may seek the less expensive alternative of an assisted living community to care for their loved one. The good news is that more assisted living communities are offering “memory care light” for those who don’t exhibit wandering or require an enhance environment. For those seniors who exhibit wandering or require constant attention, a memory care community is the best option.
However, if may be difficult to find a community, especially in rural areas, that offers memory care. Of the senior living providers that offer memory care services, the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers, 2012 found that only 26 percent serve residents with dementia or have a portion of the community designated as providing dementia care. Some companies, such as Silverado or Autumn Leaves, only provide memory care at their communities while others offer this care type along with assisted living.
Figure 1. Selected characteristics among residential care communities, by community bed size: United States, 2012
Courtesy of NCHS Data Brief Number 170, November 2014. Operating Characteristics of Residential Care Communities, by Community Bed Size: United States, 2012.
With the larger communities being those that primarily offer memory care, you may be reluctant to have your loved one join, as he/she might not receive one-on-one care or be overwhelmed by being surrounded by many people. However, many memory care communities are designed around a neighborhood-style setting, where common areas are duplicated throughout the community. This allows residents to have a homelike atmosphere within a larger setting.
Once you have identified a community, your loved one will be assessed to determine whether they are a good fit for the community, i.e. whether the community can provide the type of care they require. Depending upon the community’s assessment policy, a nurse may visit your home to assess your loved one. It is important to be honest about your loved one’s behavior, whether he/she wanders or has difficulty walking, so the nurse can develop a care plan that thoroughly addresses all his/her care needs.To learn more about memory care, read the complete article here. And if you have further questions about memory care, or want to find the right memory care community for your loved one, simply call the number at the top of this page.