Elder care facilities can be an excellent way for people to live in their golden years. Gone are many of the concerns of living alone. There’s less chance of a potential fall or injury while alone. Many of the chores that take up a lot of time are also taken care of. Care facilities often offer social experiences that couldn’t be had otherwise.
People who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s suffer from special challenges. Memory care is one of the more convoluted and difficult healthcare challenges out there. The good news is that assisted living facilities will often include memory care wings, or their own facility to assist those suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s and other memory loss conditions.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Information
There are many different diseases, causes and conditions which make up the blanket term “dementia”. The most common of these is Alzheimer’s disease. Around 60% to 80% of dementia cases come from Alzheimer’s disease. Most common types of dementia feature alteration to memory. This is usually memory loss. Dementia is caused by changes to a person’s brain.
Many people confuse dementia with “senility”. It’s almost assumed that as a person ages, they will forget more things or become confused more easily. While a little bit of age related memory loss is normal, dementia is at a much higher level. Dementia tends to be progressive and become worse over time. Testing for dementia is difficult. There is no singular way to diagnose dementia. Therefore, knowing the signs early can help get treatment and help people prepare for the worst dementia has to offer.
What’s Included At a Facility?
It’s important to note that assisted living care and memory care facilities are not necessarily the same thing. Memory care is classified as a special care unit. Also, not all facilities are the same. The services will be varied when visiting the various facilities.
The basic thing to consider is that assisted living facilities assist with everyday tasks. This means that people might get some assistance in the form of cooking or cleaning. They could also have issues with mobility and need some nursing at times as well. Management of medications is a common feature of assisted living care services. One underlooked aspect of assisted living is that transportation is also often assisted. This can help people get around either on a schedule with the facility, or on their own schedule in rarer cases. When it comes to memory care facilities, there are addition specialized features and treatments that can be involved.
Specialized Memory Care
The basics of a memory care facility will often be similar to that of an assisted living facility. However, in some cases, many of the services aren’t offered or needed. It’s purely designed for memory purposes instead.
When it comes to memory loss conditions, there can be a lot of difficult surrounding handling the patients. Many of the most serious situations are caused when someone with memory loss wanders off. To prevent these sorts of situations, a memory care facility is designed differently. Circular walking paths can help to ensure that wandering is restrained to a circle of motion. Hallways and room numbers are designed with memory care in mind.
The other main aspect to memory care is high levels of medical care. Typically, they are staffed all 24 hours of the day with at least a nurse, and often additional technicians trained in memory care specifically. Memory care may be placed in a specific wing of an assisted living home, rather than spread out with other members.
How to Choose a Facility
If you or a loved one believes they may need to move to a memory care facility, then you’ll want to thoroughly vet potential options. There are many different factors to consider when choosing a facility. The first has to be ensuring that all care requirements can be taken care of. There’s no point choosing a care facility if they don’t have the ability to properly care for their tenants' specific needs.
Feel free to actually visit facilities and have sit down meetings with managers. Ask lots of questions. They should have answers that fit your needs. Don’t consider going somewhere if you don’t feel like they are answering honestly. Asking questions is important, because many facilities can offer more customized care than people realize. You’ll never get that without asking though.
Finally, make sure that the potential tenant likes it. If you’re trying to arrange things for a family member, then you need to ensure that it’s a place they feel comfortable in. Finances will matter as well. In some cases, medical insurance will cover part or all of a stay. However, this tends to be rare. In most cases, long term care will come from out of pocket expenses.