A Typical Day in Memory Care for Memory Care Residents
Mike McClernonDec 23rd, 2021
Deciding whether to “place” a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or dementia in Memory Care can be difficult for your family. You want to ensure that your older relatives have the best quality of life but not knowing what their days will be like in Memory Care can be scary. You might also have grown used to the daily routine you've created for your loved one at home, making you apprehensive about letting them go.
It's important to remember, though, that Memory Care communities exist for a reason: to give people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or dementia the brightest, most upbeat, and safest care possible.
Let's demystify Memory Care and delve into what a typical day looks like at these remarkable facilities. If you have any questions, I'm just a phone call away (Mike McClernon, 516-254-9481).
What is Memory Care?
Memory Care is specialized care for people with dementia and other types of cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer's disease. These communities provide a safe environment tailored to make living with the illness as comfortable as possible. In Memory Care, people stay in a 24-hour care facility where their overall health and well-being are monitored and looked after.
Residents are provided a range of cognitive support and activities to engage cognitive abilities and help them continue doing things they enjoy. The staff at these facilities are also specialists with specific training designed to help in dealing with people suffering from memory loss and other effects of dementia.
What does a typical day look like in Memory Care?
There are many misconceptions about what takes place in a Memory Care setting. Caregivers often worry about whether their loved one will be lonely or not engaged with activities. This, of course, is far from the truth.
Memory Care provides dementia residents with plenty of activities to help them handle their condition and feel a sense of purpose. The facilities are designed for easy navigation and color-coordinated – right down to the dining room place settings – to stimulate brain activity. Meal selections include nutritious, brain-healthy ingredients. In most communities, no detail is spared to ensure a comfortable experience for Memory Care residents.
Here's an example of a typical day that your loved one can look forward to:
A Memory Care routine offers a roadmap that tailors services to suit the needs of each resident. In most cases, residents wake up at their own pace and convene for breakfast when they feel ready. Breakfast will include a range of nutritious food to ensure residents stay healthy. This is usually followed by morning exercise - a given in all types of Assisted Living. Other activities include short walks, word games, and puzzles.
After a relaxed morning, residents will have lunch around midday, where they can find a selection of delicious food that provides a balanced and healthy diet. This is followed by relaxing afternoon activities, including a book club, an art class, or other activity that helps stimulate the mind.
Depending on the provider, dinner is served in a large dining room where residents can socialize and enjoy the company of others. Evening activities can include a film club or board game. Memory Care residents can opt-out and choose to return to their room to relax.
Note that activities will differ between communities, so it's always worth checking before choosing one. Also, most Memory Care communities understand the importance of pets to their residents, so they often bring small, gentle animals into the community for interaction.
What are the benefits of memory care?
Memory Care providers encourage residents to be independent and pursue their interests. This approach can have a positive effect on their cognitive abilities. Residents are also in relative control of their day, and providers never force them to do activities. Memory Care is all about creating an environment that allows people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia to take life at their own pace and stay as mentally active as possible.
Memory Care providers also offer a range of other services that will benefit your loved one, including:
- Coordinated treatments:
Providers will often arrange transport to and from medical appointments and liaise with health professionals to book appointments and manage medications.
- Specialized care:
As a home caregiver, you will do everything for your loved one, but there are times where you might feel underqualified. In Memory Care, your parents or grandparents will receive care from seasoned professionals who know how to identify issues early and what the best course of action is.
Many providers offer unique therapy treatments to help residents. This includes occupational, pet, and art therapy. These can teach your loved one coping strategies to handle the loss of cognitive abilities and improve quality of life.
Life within a Memory Care community enhances the independence of residents
Deciding to place a parent or grandparent in Memory Care is a decision that most families come to after extensive discussion. It is hard to see someone we love slowly lose physical and cognitive abilities due to dementia.
However, dementia care specialists will tell you that placement in a Memory community actually increases independence. People with dementia living at home will often only see one or two other people during a day. They will have few activities other than television. Their interaction with healthcare professionals may be limited to once a month - or even less frequently.
In a Memory Care community, on the other hand, residents now have a built-in ‘friend group’ of 20 or more people, they are interacting and under the supervision of healthcare professionals 24/7, and they have access to activities throughout each day. While the initial impulse is to think of residency in a Memory Care community as limiting independence, most families feel like residency in a Memory Care community actually improves options, improves life, and makes the senior with dementia less dependent on family.
When to seek professional Memory Care
The right time will be different for everyone. Generally, specialized care should be considered when home care is no longer safe or suitable. For example, you might be having difficulty handling their frustration and aggression or meeting their sanitary and hygiene needs. It's important to remember that there is help out there and that you can get advice on what's best for you and your loved one.
Find Memory Care and Assisted Living on Long Island
When you need help navigating the complex process of selecting Assisted Living or Memory Care for your elderly loved one, contact Mike McClernon of Assisted Living Locators of Long Island.
With experience collaborating with hundreds of families, Mike provides expert guidance and exhaustive research to match your relatives with the most appropriate Assisted Living or Memory Care Community. He will ensure that you make the most informed choice on where your older loved ones will thrive and be well cared for during their vintage years.
Contact Mike today at 516-254-9481 or firstname.lastname@example.org to explore Senior Living Community options for the older person in your life. His phone is always on!