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For the more than 15 million family members who are caregivers to a loved one with dementia, there will come a time when their loved one’s needs will be greater than they can handle. At this point, your loved one will need around-the-clock care in a community that provides memory care. However, making the choice can be confusing and stressful for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is navigating the differences between the types of communities.
“There are many different types of senior communities that offer memory support, but there’s a real difference when you choose a community that has been specifically designed to offer care to those with cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia,” says Jayne Sallerson, Chief Operating Officer of Charter Senior Living. “The specialized lifestyle available in these types of communities is incredibly beneficial to those living with dementia and provides peace of mind for family members, who know that their loved one is happy, healthy and well-cared for.”
You may be wondering why moving your loved one to a senior living community, especially a senior living community that specializes in dementia care and Alzheimer’s disease, is the right decision. There are many benefits to moving your loved one into one of these communities. Discover the difference of a memory care-specific community for an individual living with dementia:
24/7 professional support.
Because dementia is a progressive disease, your loved one’s health and abilities will slowly deteriorate until they need around-the-clock support. Memory care communities offer staff available at any time of the day, every day of the week, to provide aid and assistance to residents as necessary. There is often a high caregiver-to-resident ratio, and care team members are generally assigned to specific memory care residents so that those with dementia are always surrounded by familiar, friendly and caring faces.
Specialized care designed for the resident.
Memory care assisted living communities know that the very best care comes from knowing the person – their stories, their history, their likes and dislikes, and their dreams and goals. Staff members at memory care communities take the time to learn about residents so they can create therapies, experiences and interactions that have been designed specifically for them. This approach helps bring exceptional quality of life for residents, helping them feel loved, valued and cared for.
People with dementia want and need to participate in meaningful activities and events, just like everyone else. Memory care communities have a robust calendar of events filled with specialized programming that helps engage residents through activities that are tailored to their interests and level of care. This helps reduce boredom, increase engagement, boost happiness and help reduce unwanted behaviors that cause stress and discomfort. At the same time, the programs are designed to help promote cognitive function and overall health. Exercising mind and body can help slow and sometimes stall the progression of dementia for a time.
When someone with memory loss lives at home, there aren’t always a plethora of options for socialization. Living in a memory care community makes it easy for individuals to interact with each other, caregivers and staff on a regular basis. Staying socially active is incredibly important for cognitive and emotional health, and having easy access to that provides well-being like nothing else.
Caring assistance from trained caregivers.
People with dementia will need assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing and other tasks. Dementia caregivers have been trained to care for people with cognitive issues in a caring, professional and dignified way. Caregivers also provide much-needed emotional and social support, not just for those with dementia but for family members as well.
A healthy, balanced diet.
Dementia care provides health for the whole person, which includes diet. Individuals with dementia can struggle to get the nutrients they need to stay healthy (and it can be a struggle for family members to get their loved ones to eat those foods). Memory care nursing homes can ensure that residents are eating healthy diets while also receiving any assistance they may require. Dining teams create rotating menus that are filled with nutritional elements and make them delicious and tasty.
Allowing family members to become family again.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of these types of senior living options is the permission they give family members to become spouses, children and friends once again without having to worry about being caregivers. Visiting a loved one in memory care allows people to enjoy quality time together free of stress, planning and the exhaustion of daily tasks. Instead, those relationships can be nurtured and deepened, creating meaningful moments that will last a lifetime.
Charter Senior Living is a caring and compassionate leader within the senior living industry. Charter manages 40 senior living communities throughout the U.S., offering Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care services. A family-owned business with an executive team with more than 100 combined years in the senior housing industry, Charter Senior Living’s mission is to enhance the human spirit of our residents, families and employees while serving with heart, purpose and courage – and to have fun while serving.
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