Dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be distressing for seniors and family caregivers alike. As dementia progresses, it may become unsafe or impractical for family members to manage the senior care of a loved one alone. Choosing a memory care community in San Antonio is an excellent way to ensure a senior gets the best personalized care within a safe and secure environment. Here are 7 benefits that memory care can facilitate.
1. A Safe Environment with Enhanced Security.
The risks of wandering and becoming lost are key concerns when managing the care of a senior with dementia, so having a safe and secure residence is key. Memory care facilities typically feature round the clock supervision and locked entrances to prevent residents from wandering outside and into dangerous situations. These enhanced security measures prevent the confusion, distress and risk that can follow when a senior with dementia gets lost.
2. Enriching Activities for Mental Stimulation.
Most senior care facilities have some form of events calendar with regular groups and activities. In a specialist memory care community, many of these activities are hand selected for their benefits to cognitive health. For example, elder care facilities may offer pursuits like cooking, art or gardening. These types of activities can positively impact seniors with dementia by offering mental stimulation, boosting mood, sparking creativity, stimulating the senses or fostering a feeling of purpose.
3. Nutritious Meals and Snacks.
Mealtimes can be particularly difficult for both seniors with dementia and their family caregivers. It’s not uncommon for seniors to have a reduced appetite, but those with dementia may also face additional challenges. They may struggle to recognize the food in front of them, or become distracted during mealtimes. In the more advanced stages of dementia, seniors may also develop difficulties with chewing and swallowing. These issues are often very hard for family caregivers to deal with, and it can be distressing if a loved one is losing weight but will not eat.
Caregivers in memory care settings are experts in providing the compassionate eating support seniors with dementia need. This specialized support allows the individual to remain as independent as possible, nurturing positive and stress-free mealtime experiences. What’s more, meals and snacks in memory care may be specifically tailored to support brain health, while also accounting for the personal dietary needs and preferences of residents.
4. Personalized Support With Activities of Daily Living.
Seniors with dementia often face a wider range of challenges with activities of daily living than seniors without memory loss. On top of common issues faced by aging seniors like reduced mobility, those with dementia may forget when or how to carry out essential daily tasks like getting dressed, brushing their teeth or taking a shower. If left unaddressed, this can lead to discomfort, lack of confidence and a whole host of health complications. In memory care, seniors have access to compassionate support with personal care and activities of daily living, allowing them to live more comfortably and feel ready for each day.
5. Specially Trained Caregivers.
Seniors with dementia often experience difficult emotions that may lead to frustration and confusion. If these issues are addressed in the wrong way by caregivers they may be amplified, causing further distress or even aggression. It can be very difficult for family caregivers to manage these high-pressure situations and see a loved one in distress.
Professional caregivers in memory care are specially trained to meet the needs of seniors with dementia. They are skilled in compassionate care and de-escalation to ensure residents avoid unnecessary harm and distress wherever possible. Techniques like remaining calm, helping seniors maintain a beneficial routine and encouraging good sleeping habits are used to prevent issues like sundowning, wandering and agitation.
6. A Great Social Community.
Many seniors struggle with loneliness and social isolation as they get older. When a senior has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, this might be even more true. Seniors dealing with memory loss may find it difficult to get out the house – forgetting important details like how to get to where they want to go, or how to use public transport. As dementia progresses, it may become unsafe for a senior to leave their home unassisted.
When a senior resides in a memory care facility, they are typically able to explore their environment safely and independently. Enhanced security and specially designed building layouts prevent wandering both on and off-site, and seniors are able to enjoy a safer and more controlled form of freedom. With this freedom, residents are able to meet with friends in communal areas, enjoy activities and events, and retreat to their own room for quiet time whenever they please.
7. Respite for Families.
The benefits of elder care for seniors with dementia don’t stop with seniors themselves. Being responsible for the care of a senior with dementia can be both daunting and exhausting, especially as their disease progresses. When a senior moves to elder care, families get the peace of mind that their loved one is safe and supervised at all times.
Safe in the knowledge that their relative’s needs are being met, loved ones are able to step away from their caregiver role and simply become a son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandchild again. Senior care facilities strive to include family members in events and activities, and a loved one’s memory care community can become an important social support network for family caregivers.
If you’d like to find out how memory care support at Pipestone Place can help your loved one, give us a call or arrange a tour of our community today.