Despite experiencing higher pain levels, more falls, and worse general health when compared to those in nursing homes or residential senior care, most seniors with Alzheimer’s in the United States live at home. This is according to a 2019 study published by the National Library of Medicine, which also found that those with moderately severe dementia in senior living communities were less depressed and anxious, had fewer health conditions, and experienced less unintentional weight loss than seniors who lived at home or in a nursing facility.
Is it Time to Think About Memory Care?
Whether you’re a full-time family caregiver or have been visiting your loved one from afar, you might have noticed a decline in your senior relative’s health over the holidays. For seniors with dementia, any changes might be particularly noticeable at this time of year; a season synonymous with altered routines, bustling environments, and unfamiliar faces can be challenging to cope with. If you’re unsure whether your loved one would benefit from senior living with specialized memory care, consider the following five questions.
1.Has their appearance changed in any way?
Things like unexplained and unintentional weight loss, cuts and bruises, unkempt hair and nails, or unusual clothing choices can all be signs that a senior with dementia is struggling to live independently. For example, cuts and bruises might point to falls, poor hygiene may indicate a lack of bathing due to memory loss or reduced mobility, and inappropriate clothing for the occasion or weather conditions could result from cognitive decline.
2.Are their symptoms and behaviors manageable?
Increased agitation or aggression is not unusual in the middle to late stages of Alzheimer’s. If you’re worried about your own safety or if behavioral changes are affecting your loved one’s mental and physical well-being, professional memory care could be the valuable lifeline you both deserve.
3.Are they able to cope with the demands of daily life independently?
Perhaps their memory loss symptoms are causing them to forget when to eat or how to cook basic meals, or maybe reduced physical mobility or visual perception symptoms are making things like bathing and getting dressed much more challenging. If your parent or loved one is finding activities of daily living (ADLs) difficult, a dedicated memory care community can support them.
4.Are they able to socialize often?
Quality social interaction is crucial to maintaining good health, but Alzheimer’s and dementia can make connecting with others much more difficult. For example, perhaps your loved one is unable to safely leave their home due to memory loss or confusion but lives a long way away from friends and family. In a senior living setting, they will find accessible daily opportunities to socialize (whether around the dinner table, over a morning coffee, or by getting involved in an organized activity).
5.How are you feeling, and how is your physical health?
A 2018 Alzheimer’s Society survey in the UK found that 90% of those caring for a person with dementia felt anxious or stressed multiple times each week. And another study by Cleveland Clinic found that around 60% of caregivers experience burnout, characterized by feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and fatigue.
Burnout may increase a family caregiver’s risk of developing (or worsening) a range of physical and mental health problems. This can also impact the health and well-being of the person they care for. If the demands of providing care are becoming too overwhelming to cope with alone, it might be time to consider residential senior living.
What to Look for in a Memory Care Community in 2024
Every memory care community has unique benefits, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for seniors with dementia. When searching for the perfect senior care community to support your loved one’s physical health and mental wellbeing in 2024, here are just a few things to consider:
- Does the community’s staff-to-resident ratio allow for attentive, personalized care?
- Does the community offer activities that align with your relative’s interests?
- How much freedom do residents have?
- Does the community have any outdoor space for relaxation or socializing?
- What additional services can residents access on-site (e.g., hospice or speech therapy)?
- How does the community manage residents with challenging behaviors?
- What safety, security, and infection control measures are in place to protect residents, family caregivers, and staff members?
Why Choose Alpine View Lodge for Memory Care?
We understand that it takes a village to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Coping with symptoms like confusion, agitation, language difficulties, and mood changes can become overwhelming for family caregivers. Struggling to support a parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia isn’t a personal failure; these are complex conditions, and almost all affected individuals require professional care at some stage.
Alpine View Lodge offers hands-on care for 38 seniors. As a small memory care provider, we’re committed to truly getting to know every resident and their family caregivers. Each senior resident in our care has a unique support plan tailored to their needs, wishes, and favored routines. Alpine View Lodge offers delicious and healthy meals, comfortable, clean, modern living spaces, luxurious bedrooms, and varied activities. We also partner with trusted hospice providers, allowing residents to remain in the comfort of their home for the long term.
With a safe and secure perimeter, residents can enjoy the beautiful surrounding hills and mountain air, free from restrictions but without the risk of wandering into harm. We see each resident not as their condition but as the individual they are, and we aim to cater to a range of personalities by offering activities from pet therapy and crafts to educational, exercise, and musical classes. We also host a full calendar of social events for residents to enjoy with friends and family to cultivate an uplifting social support network for family caregivers.