Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease or another neurocognitive condition like vascular or Lewy body dementia can be tremendously difficult for the whole family. As a leading memory care provider, we deeply understand the emotions you’re likely experiencing if a parent or loved one has recently been diagnosed.
You may have a long list of questions, including things like:
- Are any treatments available for my loved one’s condition?
- How will their dementia progress, and over what time?
- When should we start making plans about memory care?
- Should I tell people about my loved one’s diagnosis?
- How can I help my loved one cope with their symptoms?
- How do I talk to my loved one about their diagnosis?
Moving your loved one into a memory care community can feel overwhelming, but the decision is often highly beneficial for seniors and family caregivers. While the topic can be tough to bring up, considering this step in advance is well worthwhile. By discussing plans early, your loved one can take an active role in deciding where they will feel most comfortable and happy in the future.
4 Benefits of Memory Care for Seniors
1. Specialist Care
Seniors with dementia typically require much more specialized and targeted care. Especially in the later stages, conditions like Alzheimer’s disease can result in challenging symptoms like agitation, confusion, anxiety, and sundowning (distress in the evenings). Professional caregivers trained in memory care know how to communicate best with seniors affected by dementia, de-escalate distressing situations and alleviate any worries swiftly. These experts help ensure seniors retain the best quality of life possible through each stage of their disease. Caregivers can also assist residents with activities of daily living (ADLs), like showering and getting dressed. These tasks may become more difficult due to a senior’s neurocognitive condition, or another issue associated with aging, like reduced physical mobility. Assisted living caregivers can also typically offer support with medication management and organizing medical appointments.
2. Nutritious Meals and Snacks
Getting the proper nutrition becomes a challenge for seniors with dementia (and their family caregivers). As their condition progresses, issues like memory loss and confusion can make buying groceries, following recipes, and eating meals at the right times challenging. Seniors may need to remember to eat, forget they have already eaten, resort to eating spoiled food, or rely on fast junk food. In assisted living senior care, residents typically have access to nutritious meals and snacks conveniently served daily. In a senior living community specializing in memory care, menus include great foods for brain health, such as apples, salmon, tomatoes, and blackberries.
3. Safety and Security
Safety and security can become a concerning problem for seniors with dementia. While safety issues that affect most seniors (like reduced mobility) are still a concern, those with a neurocognitive condition may face further hazards. For example, altered judgment may lead to them using household appliances unsafely, memory loss may result in wandering and getting lost, and changes to depth perception or temperature sensitivity could result in more falls and accidents. Elder care facilities that provide memory care are designed with seniors in mind featuring color-coded sections or signs posted to help residents navigate safely. Excellent security systems, gated entrances, and 24/7 supervision prevent vulnerable seniors from wandering off-site, and facilities are carefully adapted to support mobility.
4. Opportunities for Social Connection
Having fulfilling relationships is essential at every stage of life, and all seniors deserve to feel part of a supportive social group. Unfortunately, barriers like reduced mobility, memory loss, and anxiety can prevent seniors with dementia from getting out of the house to meet with friends. Many seniors have also lost a spouse, close friend, or relative, which can add to feelings of loneliness. In residential memory care, seniors can organically make new friends over morning coffee or lunch and bond over shared interests during organized activities.
4 Benefits of Memory Care for Family Caregivers
1. Social Support
A loved one moving to a memory care community can be an excellent opportunity for family caregivers to build a social circle with others who understand their journey. You will get the chance to connect with other families who have a loved one with dementia, as well as compassionate, professional caregivers who can answer your questions and provide support.
2. Respite From Providing Care
While many family caregivers are happy to sacrifice their time and other commitments to care for their loved ones, this isn’t always realistic or healthy. Despite your best efforts, meeting your relative’s needs while maintaining a career, social, and family life may be complicated, leaving you feeling exhausted and burned out. In residential assisted living with memory care, your loved one will be supported by dedicated caregivers around the clock, leaving you with time to care for yourself and attend to other important commitments.
3. Quality Time and Memory Making
Following from the previous point, when you’re no longer solely responsible for your loved one’s care as a family caregiver, you will naturally have more spare time to enjoy their company. As dementia progresses, making new memories and spending cherished moments together becomes more important than ever, and residential memory care can help facilitate this. Whether you enjoy organized activities with your loved one in their community or drop by to share a morning coffee, you can enjoy quality time together.
4. Peace of Mind
One of the most valuable benefits of assisted living for family caregivers is the peace of mind it can provide. As your loved one’s disease progresses, them living at home may become increasingly hazardous and worrying. When your loved one moves to a specialist memory care community, you can rest easy knowing they’re safe with access to constant, compassionate support.
Memory Care at Alpine View Lodge
A trusted name in memory care in the San Diego area for over 40 years, Alpine View Lodge’s caregivers are committed to providing tailored care that can support each resident’s mental, physical, and spiritual health. Our small, assisted living senior care community is situated in an area of true natural beauty, surrounded by rolling hills, trees, and revitalizing fresh air.
Offering engaging activities including arts and crafts, pet therapy, music, and movie nights, we believe in empowering residents to live a whole and enriching life. As a strong and close-knit community, we host regular family events that allow family caregivers to connect. Schedule a tour today to learn more about the unique benefits of moving to Alpine View Lodge.