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Alzheimer’s Care: Is a Memory Care Facility Right For Your Loved One?

When it comes to caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, there are a number of options. If you have the time and resources, you may try to care for them yourself.  There are also in-home care professionals you can hire.  And finally, the most comprehensive, 24/7 care is offered by memory care homes.  


How do you know if a memory care facility is right for your loved one’s Alzheimer’s care?  Many people have heard of memory care homes, but don’t really know what memory care is. Today, we are talking about everything memory care homes can provide, how to know it might be time for your loved one to move, and the benefits of memory care homes. 


Offerings of a memory care facility

Memory care homes provide a full range of care specially curated for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. There are a handful of unique offerings the best memory care homes can provide, that other forms of care often cannot. 


With multiple care partners, nurses, and social workers employed in a memory care home, they are able to provide comprehensive around the clock care to each resident.  These qualified staff members are also able personalize the care provided to each individual’s needs and preferences. 


Not only is basic care provided, but life enriching activities occur in memory care homes as well. Activities that are mentally stimulating and encourage creative thinking are common in great memory care facilities. These can range from crafts to CST (cognitive stimulation therapy) to music therapy and games. 


Memory care homes can also provide peace of mind, because they are safe and secure. Wandering behaviors are a common and often very scary symptom of Alzheimer’s. Memory care facilities prevent these wandering behaviors with their security measures. 


Since memory care homes almost always house multiple residents, they also provide a unique opportunity for residents to socialize.  There is a multitude of research that suggests older adults, and in particular those with memory impairments, benefit greatly from regular socialization. Interacting with others daily can boost residents’ mood and even alleviate their Alzheimer’s symptoms in some cases! 


How you may know it’s time for a memory care home 

Memory care homes can benefit people with all kinds of memory impairment, from mild dementia to severe Alzheimer’s.  If you’re not sure whether a memory care home makes sense for your loved one, here are a few ways you can tell. 

  • Doctor’s recommendation 

Your loved one’s physician can notice changes in them and suggest a memory care home.  You can always consult with a doctor to receive a professional’s opinion on whether a memory care facility is the right fit. 

  • Worsening cognitive functioning 

Another way you can tell that it might be time for your loved one to move to a memory care home is noticeable decreases in their cognitive functioning.  If they are no longer able to complete daily tasks and care for themselves like they used to, memory care may be helpful. 

  • The time and responsibilities of caregiving get to be too much 

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a full-time job.  Many people find themselves in the position where they are no longer able to handle the full responsibility of being a sole caregiver.  Everything from time constraints to financial constraints to caregiver burnout can indicate that it may be time for a memory care home. 

  • Safety concerns 

As was mentioned above, wandering behaviors can be common in those with Alzheimer’s.  Other safety concerns can arise as the disease progresses as well: For instance, forgetting to turn the stove off before leaving the house, getting lost while out and about, or not remembering to lock doors.  If you start to feel concerned for your loved one’s safety and security, a memory care facility can help. 


Some people are hesitant to place their loved ones in a memory care home.  While it may be challenging to see them leave home, know that moving your loved one to a memory care facility is done with their best interests and safety in mind. 


Furthermore, when your loved one is in a memory care home, you can go back to your relationship as a family member instead of a full-time caregiver.  You can make special memories together without all the responsibilities and worry.  Memory care homes can give you back your piece of mind, and your special relationship with your loved one. 

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