Memory CareSpecialized, thoughtful care for seniors suffering from many of the various forms of Dementia.
What is Memory Care
- A safer simpler less stimulating environment for individuals suffering from any form of Dementia
- It is a secured/locked environment 24 hours daily keeping residents safe from wandering out getting into harm
- Provision of meals is simpler and choices are also kept simpler 1-2 choices and those that are unable, family directs the care team as to what their loved ones’ food likes and dislikes are.
- Activities are simpler, geared to 1-2 step task activities for success
- Care is provided regularly more intensively and more care staff are provided in this environment.
- Care staff are generally dedicated to specific residents or the unit because change is difficult for people with dementia.
- Reminiscing is used to communicate with residents as Long Term Memories are more intact with those suffering from Dementia
- Apartment living switches to companion suites or small studios as the goal is to have residents out in activities, while their rooms are for napping and sleeping
- The goals are to keep residents busy during the day so they sleep at night as their circadian rhythms can be disrupted.
- Assistance with all ADLs is more intensive noted in the following:
- Cueing to eat or feeding is provided
- Generally 1 – 2 person transfers are offered, in some places even hoyer lifts are accepted
- Showering is scheduled but also provided as needed for incontinence care
- Escorting to and from meals and to and from activities is required and provided
- Generally outings can range from scenic rides to simple restaurant outings depending on the cognition of the residents attending
Who Needs Memory Care
For people who are no longer safe alone because their judgement, short term memory, self-awareness and/or *executive functioning is failing or has disappeared.
- For people who lack Short Term Memory
- For people who find the world in Assisted Living or in their home more confusing
- For anyone who wanders about their home or is a flight risk for leaving their home or Assisted Living Community
- For any of the problems or issues below:
- Forgets to turn the stove off
- Allowing strangers into the home
- Gets lost in the neighborhood or outside the Assisted Living
- Spends money needlessly on junk mail offers for donations, items to purchase, etc.
- Personal hygiene is poor to non-existent
- Hoards dirty clothes in drawers or closets
- Tendency to eat simple foods, cookies, ice cream, crackers, etc. Preparing a simple meal such as a sandwich is too difficult because it’s more than 1 step task
- May phone relatives every 5 minutes or more
- Forgets they just saw you an hour ago, yesterday or last week
- Gets angry/irritable or anxious easily
- thinks someone is stealing from them, or becomes paranoid of others outside or passing by
- Bruises or cuts found on them but unable to explain what occurred
- Working memory – being able to retain information and then use it in some way.
i.e – you told your loved one dinner can be heated in the microwave, but instead takes dinner out of fridge then eats it cold.
- Cognitive Flexibility – Being able to think about something in more than 1 way.
i.e. You say laundry is all done, clothes need to be folded but instead the clothes get squeezed into drawers or thrown into the closet without being folded.
- Inhibitory Control – Being able to ignore distractions and resist temptations
i.e. yelling when things aren’t where they “were.” Most likely it was moved by them but without Short Term Memory and Inhibitory Control the yelling begins. Or they are in public saying things that are inappropriate as a toddler would.
The Importance Of Specialized Care
Seeing a loved one suffer from memory loss is heart wrenching for those diagnosed with dementia and for those who love them. Studies have shown that when victims of dementia are isolated and not involved in activities geared to their cognitive level their decline can accelerate and for some, difficult behaviors can occur while for many other victims, drastic changes in behaviors are symptomatic of the disease process.
Out of compassion, most family members insist on keeping their elders at home, which can lead to health and security risks, not only for your elderly loved one but also for you. At some point the stress and work of providing the daily 24 hour care can cause serious health risks for the family caregivers.
Yet having your loved one in a place that provides a structured routine with 24 hour compassionate and supportive care that is geared towards providing avenues for socialization, participation brings those victims of dementia an opportunity for new engagement and success as they participate in activities that are specially designed for their cognitive abilities. It also safeguards them from wandering outside into the community where they can get lost.
24/7 Memory Care
It’s important to note, for those individuals suffering from Dementia, leaving home is not an option for them. In their cognitive decline they are clutching everything that is familiar to them, which generally where they are living. Additionally, any manner of change is much harder and scarier for because their memory is failing them while their coping skills are gone. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t move into a place that caters to their specialized care and activity needs.
Memory Care offers a safe simpler environment that allows for success in participation, whether it is ordering food for a meal, engaging in socialization, participating in activities. The entire structure and routine is geared towards their success while engaging them in the present.
The entire Care Team, which includes the activity staff, is specifically trained to provide services in this structured and supportive environment which gives the residents dignity, involvement while giving opportunities for success and empowerment whatever it may be, taking a shower, successfully participating in a hands on activity, socializing or going on an outing without stress and duress.
At Thrive Senior Advisors, our goal is to help people find specialized care for their loved ones who are in the thrust of memory loss.