Five Key Factors That Define The Best Memory Care
You may be facing the decision of how to properly care for a loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s disease or some related form of dementia. You’re not alone. It’s estimated that nearly five million Americans have Alzheimer’s today, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict that this number will rise to nearly 14 million by the year 2060. Clearly, as the need for care continues to grow, more memory care facilities will be developed. The question is, what actually makes a “memory care community?” How are they unique? What differentiates them from communities that provide other levels of care, and what should I look for if I’m considering one for my loved one? Let’s take a look at five key factors that define the very best in memory care.
Specially Trained Staff
The very best memory care communities have highly trained teams that have been specifically schooled in methods and programs designed to assist and treat those with dementia and memory loss. Ideally, all employees who come in contact with residents would have this training, including housekeepers and kitchen and dining staff. At The Solana Doylestown, our staff is trained in the renowned Heartfelt CONNECTIONS—A Memory Care Program®.
Specially Designed Environment
The architectural design of an exceptional memory care community is purposefully created for the specific needs of its residents. For instance, the facility will have clearly defined shared spaces with soft lighting, color-coded hallways to assist with navigation, enhanced security with interior courtyards and outdoor gardens that can be safely explored, and integrated points of interests such as reminiscence stations that encourage interaction. The apartment homes will feature memory boxes with personal memorabilia outside the doors to spark recognition and make residents feel at home.
Purposeful Daily Activities and Programs
Top memory care communities offer both one-on-one and group programs that are purposefully designed for those with dementia or memory loss. The goal is to stimulate social interaction, promote self-esteem, encourage sensory involvement, and increase motor skills. Common activities include tactile projects like painting or feeling textures, field trips to parks or shopping centers, sing-alongs, games such as bingo or trivia, and guided gentle exercise. The best memory care communities devise a range of activity options to accommodate a variety of stages of dementia to ensure inclusivity.
The finest memory care administrators understand the various behaviors associated with dementia and will often plan community schedules accordingly. For instance, knowing that residents with sundown syndrome may experience agitation and confusion later in the day, they’ll schedule exercise classes in the morning when greater levels of stimulation can be accepted. Meal schedules will also often be planned based on resident’s needs and their comfort levels with others.
Support For Families
Leading memory care communities understand the pressures that families may have experienced as caregivers. They’re also well aware of the emotional stress involved in making the decision to transition loved ones from their homes into a memory care residence. That’s why they often offer support groups or provide events that feature speakers with an expertise in Alzheimer’s and dementia related topics. It helps families understand that they are not alone and that others are going through similar experiences.
To learn more about the memory care offerings at The Solana Doylestown and how we may be able to assist your family, please contact us at (215)-330-6893.