How Memory Care Improves Quality of Life for Seniors with Dementia
April 15, 2019
For adults with dementia, a memory care community helps improve quality of life. Here’s what adult children and family caregivers should know.
When a senior loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a similar form of dementia, families go to great lengths to keep them at home. Sometimes that means bringing professional caregivers into the senior’s home, and other times the solution might be moving them into an adult child’s home.
As the disease progresses, families can encounter unique challenges Many of these challenges are difficult to safely manage at home. These can include wandering, agitation, and aggression. Managing Alzheimer’s disease can lead to burnout and other serious health problems for the caregiver.
Moving to a memory care community might be a good solution for loved ones to consider.
Quality of Life and Memory Care Communities
A memory care program, such as The Harbor at Legacy Senior Living, offers the support a senior with dementia needs to feel productive and empowered. It also gives their loved ones the peace of mind that comes from knowing the older adult is safe.
A few ways memory care programs can help to improve the quality of life for people with dementia include:
- Daily life enrichment activities: Life enrichment activities in a memory care program are designed to work with the senior’s remaining abilities and allow them to feel more productive. That’s important to an older adult who may be struggling with communication skills and memory loss.
- Thoughtfully designed physical environments: Wandering is an unfortunate reality many families struggle to manage. Memory care programs offer secure environments designed to prevent wandering. They also use techniques such as visual cues, memory boxes, and open floor plans to make daily life easier for people with memory loss.
- Dedicated dining programs: Poor nutrition is another concern for family caregivers when a loved one has dementia. It is common for people with dementia to develop swallowing problems that increase the risk for choking. Vision changes can make it hard for them to distinguish the food on their plate. Difficulty concentrating at mealtime also plays a role. In a memory care program, the staff works around each of these challenges to keep residents well nourished.
- Specially-trained caregivers: Another benefit of memory care is the caregivers. Most have undergone additional training to help them learn how to support success in adults with dementia. From how to approach an adult with dementia to how to communicate with an adult who has lost their verbal skills, caregivers are trained to help residents live better lives.
Signs It’s Time to Consider a Memory Care Community
If you aren’t sure when it’s time to consider a memory care community, here are a few signs that your loved one might be ready:
- Easily disoriented or lost in familiar places
- Unable to participate in activities and events at home
- Struggling with balance and mobility
- Unintended weight loss
- Vision changes that put them at risk for falls
- Poor judgment with finances
- Problems with continence care
It’s also important to include caregiver stress and fatigue on this list. Alzheimer’s caregivers have exhausting schedules. When the days begin to feel overwhelming, it is another sign it may be time to consider memory care for a senior loved one.
Visit The Harbor Memory Care
The best way to learn more about a memory care program is to visit in person. Staff members can answer all of your questions, take you on a tour, and introduce you to the staff. Contact a Legacy Senior Living community near you to schedule a tour today!