According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, most Americans over the age of 65% will need long-term care of some sort. These type of care can range from basic assisted living care to more experienced nursing care to specialized support like memory care living. Should you (or someone you know and love) that is over the age of 65 and shows signs of needing extra help in their daily lives, it might be time to consider moving into a senior living community. If the you (or the loved ones involved with this decision) have decided to move in a community and show signs of needed extra assistance, it would be vital to know what kind specialized assisted living community is right for you. This is especially crucial if you have had memory issues in the past or recently started developing them. In this case, an assisted living community specializing in memory care would be the best option available.
Causes for Needing Memory Care?
At some point in all of our lives, there will be some sort of decline in our thinking and memorization skills, as it is a fairly common part of aging. However, there are differences between that and the issues associated with Alzheimer’s and other related disorders. Though, some memory problems are associated with treatable conditions.
Age as a Factor for Memory Care
Normal memory loss as we age shouldn’t stop an individual from living a full, energetic lifestyle. You would have to make more adjustments in your life like writing down important tasks or placing a common object back in the same place (like glasses or the remote to your TV). In end, you’re still living a normal lifestyle.
Memory Loss Due to Dementia
Dementia is usually associated with issues where one’s own judgement, memory, or reasoning is hindered or not as performing at full capability. Over time, it’ll worse one’s abilities to work or socialize with others.
There are many causes of dementia like Alzheimer’s, Vascular dementia, and many others. It would be best to check with a medical professional if you or your loved one is showing concerning signs.
Reversible Causes of Dementia
Like stated before, existing medical problems can be the cause of memory loss and might call for the need of memory care living. However, some of these problems can be treated over time and with the right people.
Reversible causes for memory problems might be the following:
- Medications – Certain combinations of medications could cause memory problems.
- Minor head injuries – Head injuries can affect the person’s memory.
- Emotional stress and disorders – Stress, depression and other emotional problems can lead to one’s disruption in their thinking and memorization
- Substance Abuse (drugs and alcohol) – Abuse of substance can impair one’s own mental capabilities especially if taken with prescriptions.
- Other Bodily Issues – Factors like high blood pressure from extra weight and physical inactivity can lead to memory problems.
Talking to a Doctor about Memory Problems
If you or your loved one are concerned or showing signs of memory loss, it would be advisable to seek out a doctor to make sure everything is all right. Make sure to bring along any kind of medical history and medications you are taking or haven taken in the past.
In several cases, it might be treatable like changing medications or requiring extra professional help. In other cases, you might need to make bigger decisions like in-home care or moving into a memory care living community for seniors like yourself.
If you are given the option of becoming a part of a senior living community and you, your family, and your loved ones agree to the lifestyle change, it would be best to find out which is best available for your or your loved ones.
What are Memory Care Living Facilities Like?
These kinds of senior living communities are designed specifically for the needs of seniors who have memory issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other types of issues affecting one’s memory. These specialized communities are usually assisted living communities with a specialized wing or floor dedicated to the service. Some places are standalone senior living communities whose prime focus is on taking care of those with memory issues.
Before you and/or your loved one becomes a part of memory care living community, it would be best to understand what they are.
The Memory Care Environment
All memory care facilities are designed with their residents in mind. Communities might feature things easy to navigate rooms, hallways, and floors. They’d also keep their residents’ comfort in mind by having spacious rooms, pleasing color layouts for their walls and floors, and everything else to keep their residents calm and free from stress/worry.
Safety of seniors (especially those with memory issues) are always a top concern for these communities, which is why they have emergency response systems, alarmed doors to prevent seniors from getting lost or wandering out of the community, and handicap access for all. Additionally, experienced medical staff and helpers are always around so that seniors can enjoy their daily activities and know that they are well cared for. These on-site staff are experienced in trained in properly caring for seniors that have memory problems like Alzheimer’s and other memory issues.
Questions to Ask While Considering a Memory Care Living Community
As you continue to search for memory care living communities, you might take a number of tours of the communities. During these tours, it’s important to ask the management, staff, and residents several important questions regarding the community. This way, you’ll be able to see if this senior living community is best for you or your loved ones.
Here some questions you should consider asking the management and staff:
- What kind of training does the on-site staff receive?
- What is the average monthly rate for being a resident of this community? Are there extra fees I should know about?
- What staff are always around? Are they specially trained to help with memory issues?
- How secured is the community?
- Does the community update our families about our well-being and life in the community?
Here some questions you should consider asking the residents:
- What kind of services should I expect? Are there some I can do on my own or is everything taken care of since we are in memory care assisted living?
- What kind of programs does this community offer? What do people do to pass the time?
- Anything I should be concerned about regarding memory care?
- What is the daily life in this assisted living community?
Asking questions is a good way to get a feel of the community, its residents, and how the entirety is managed. That way you can make the right decisions regarding your new senior lifestyle. If you are unsure about memory care living or any form of senior living, use the Smart Choices Tool to learn more about senior living lifestyles and which way of living is best for you.