If you’re loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, researching their long-term care options as early as possible is essential. One care option that has become increasingly more common is memory care.
What Is Memory Care?
To know if your loved one could benefit from memory care, you’ll first have to understand what type of care it is. Memory care provides specialized, long-term nursing care to those with serious memory-related conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Memory care facilities provide specific tasks and activities like music therapy or monitored cooking classes that are designed to help support those suffering from memory loss. These monitored facilities also include staff who are specially trained to attend to the needs of dementia or Alzheimer’s patients.
The building itself may also be designed to suit patients’ needs with soothing areas to lower stress, secured and alarmed entries and exits to mitigate wandering-off behavior, and memory driven layouts to aid in navigating around the building.
In addition to dementia-related services, memory care facilities offer:
- 24/7 supervised care
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Meal preparation
- Medical care and medication monitoring, health management
- Transportation services
- Community programs and activities
- Help with activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, toileting, walking)
When Memory Care Is Needed
While you may want to keep your loved one at home as long as possible, those who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s may need constant supervision and care.
Here are a few signs that it may be time to think about a long-term care facility that specializes in memory care:
- Your loved one often has a difficult time performing everyday tasks, can no longer accomplish activities of daily living by themselves, or they are no longer able to take proper medications or dosages.
- Your loved one has behavior issues, or is no longer sleeping through the night.
- Your loved one is having continuous issues with incontinency (unable to go to the restroom and maintain their needs of nature).
- Your loved one often becomes disoriented and lost, seeks exits, and doesn’t remember where they are or has episodes of delusions where reasoning is impaired.
- Your loved one has sudden mood swings or differences in behavior and often becomes aggressive, suspicious or upset for no apparent reason.
- Taking care of your loved one has prevented you from being able to manage your other daily responsibilities or has impacted your health.
Is Memory Care Right for Our Family?
All memory care facilities or units may not provide the same range of services. Memory care facilities are helpful to those who require a higher level of nursing care than those in an assisted care facility, although many do offer memory care units.
Determining what type of care your loved needs by consulting your loved one’s physician is the first step in finding a facility that is right for your family. Remember that memory care’s purpose is not to reverse memory loss but is aimed at improving your loved one’s quality of life by providing basic care in a comfortable but monitored setting.
Another thing to consider with long-term care is your financial capability. The annual costs of memory care are generally higher than those of assisted living facilities and can vary based on level of care needed, space, location of facility, and other factors. If you are the sole financial provider for your loved one, you’ll need some guidance on how to approach paying for long-term care.
The elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of Christina Lesher PC can provide the proper guidance to help you make the best decisions for your loved one’s future. Call us today at (713) 529-5900.