How to Help a Family Member with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Most likely you landed here because you have a family member with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia and you are searching for help. Thank you for stopping – we have first-hand experience and know the level of difficulty caring for someone who is suffering from memory loss. If you are exploring what might be the best next step for your loved one, the answer for your family might be a memory care community.
In this article, we will highlight various care options for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia including nursing homes, assisted living centers, and memory care communities. The Moments is a specialized memory care and enhanced assisted living community offering high-acuity specialized clinical services in a thoughtfully designed, amenity-rich environment with the highest level of hospitality standards.
Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Alzheimer’s (sometimes called AD) is a condition that causes abnormal changes in the brain, mainly causing loss of memory and other mental abilities. Alzheimer’s is a disease, not a normal part of growing old. It is the most common form of dementia in older adults. If you or a loved one are experiencing this, you are not alone.
Alzheimer’s presents difficulties for not just the person who is diagnosed with the disease, but also the person’s family and friends. In fact, Alzheimer’s is often called the “family disease.” It’s likely that at least one person close to the diagnosed individual will take on caregiving responsibilities. The good news about Alzheimer’s is that it often progresses slowly, which allows your family time to make decisions together for the future.
Each year, more than 16 million Americans provide more than 17 billion hours of unpaid care for family and friends with Alzheimer’s and related dementias, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, the demands of caregiving can often mean the caregiver is no longer taking the best care of themselves.
For many families, the option to care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia at home is unrealistic for the long term. During the middle stages of Alzheimer’s, it becomes necessary to provide 24-hour supervision to keep the person with dementia safe. This is often an impossible task for families to complete by themselves. There are several signs that might indicate the time is right to look for a long-term care option for your family member.
When Is It Time for Someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia to Move to a Memory Care Community?
Many times, family and friends try to care for their loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia on their own for as long as possible. However, many families do eventually find that it is in the best interest of their loved one to provide them with full-time professional memory care. At some point, it often becomes unsafe and unhealthy for someone living with memory loss to live at home, even with a caregiver (or multiple caregivers.)
There are a few signs to know that it might be time to consider a memory care community for your loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. Here are some signs to be on the lookout for:
- Your loved one might become lost or disoriented while walking or driving on a familiar route
- They might lose prescriptions, forget to take a medication, or take the improper dose of their usual medication
- You might notice personality changes in your loved one, like increased aggression or withdrawal from family and friends
- They might have dangerous incidents at home. For example, they might forget to turn the stove or oven off or leave a gate or door open and unlocked.
- Your loved one might stop grooming his or herself, for example, he might stop shaving or she might wear clothes that appear to be unwashed
- The main sign that it might be time to consider a memory care community is that your loved one no longer cooperates with their caregivers at home
Ultimately, only you can decide when it is best for your loved one to be placed in a safe and secure environment. Once this decision is made, families need to decide what long-term option is best for your family and the individual family member suffering from memory loss.
Alzheimer’s Nursing Home
One option for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is a nursing home. A nursing home provides around-the-clock care and long-term medical treatment. Nursing homes are sometimes also referred to as skilled nursing facilities, long-term care facilities, or custodial care homes. Many nursing homes have services and staff to address issues like nutrition, care planning, recreation, spirituality, and medical care. However, the services at every nursing home will ultimately vary.
Nursing homes are licensed by the state in which they are located and are regulated by the federal government. They have different staff-to-resident ratios, and their staff members have various levels of experience and training.
Assisted Living for Dementia Patients
Another option for patients suffering from dementia is assisted living. Assisted living bridges the gap between living independently and living in a nursing home. It typically offers a combination of housing, meals, supportive services and health care.
However, similar to nursing homes, the level of care offered and the services offered at each assisted living facility are different. That’s because assisted living is not regulated by the federal government in the United States, and its definitions vary from state to state. In fact, not all assisted living facilities offer services specifically designed for people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, so it’s important to ask when you are in the process of choosing a long-term care center for your loved one.
Though some assisted living centers and nursing homes do offer care for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, and some even have dedicated areas or wings for patients suffering from memory loss, there is another better option. That is a memory care center that is specifically dedicated to the care of those suffering from memory loss.
Memory Care for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients
The third option for your loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is a memory care community, like The Moments. There are several benefits to choosing a memory care center for your loved one over a different kind of long-term facility. Here are some of the benefits of memory care centers:
A memory care center is designed especially for those suffering from memory loss, in several different aspects – from architecture to security. For example, the architecture and design of The Moments was built with our residents in mind. From the beginning, we set out to be the leading memory care center in the country. That means every detail is the highest quality in both construction and style.
We also utilize the latest technology to assure the comfort of our residents and their families. We took into consideration the unique sensitivities of those suffering from memory loss. For example, we provide odor-free air quality, natural lighting, and unrestricted access to the outdoors.
In addition, each residential wing of The Moments Memory Care has a “therapy kitchen” that doubles as a nurse’s station. This allows caregivers to bake and do other kitchen activities with residents, who get to participate in baking cookies and other baked goods throughout the day.
We know that one of the main areas of concern for families of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is security.
The Moments Memory Care is fully secure and utilizes the latest technology to stay up-to-date. Specifically, all the exterior doors operate on an e-system that silently alerts staff on their iPads when a resident tries to leave and sends staff a video of the door in real time.
Our goal is to provide a sense of freedom for our residents, while also easing the minds of their families and making sure their loved one is as safe as possible.
It is difficult to provide round-the-clock medical care for your loved one at home. At few memory care centers, unlike ours, there are rarely nurses on-site 24 hours a day.
At The Moments, we use sensory-driven methods to support our residents’ well-being in the long term. Too often, traditional memory care providers rely on pharmaceutical inventions to manage and treat aggression, agitation, anxiety, and other behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia. At The Moments, our philosophy is grounded in evidence-based research that a sensory-driven care model creates a sustainable level of well-being for individuals living with forms of dementia
Another benefit of a memory care center is that they provide opportunities to socialize and engage with others. Memory care centers also provide activities that are known to be beneficial for those suffering from memory loss.
For example, at The Moments Memory Care, we provide programming and activities designed specifically for our residents. To keep our residents engaged and sustaining a good quality of life, we coordinate special events and outings to enjoy cultural activities in addition to offering music therapy, nature-based programming, gardening activities, and even wildlife therapy.
Get Help for Your Family Member with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
If you are still wondering what to do with a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia, don’t wonder or worry any longer. Contact us today at The Moments today to see how we can help your family.
TAKE A TOUR
Our resident specialist will give you a private tour of The Moments Memory Care Community and answer any questions you may have.
Our HVAC system was uniquely designed to deliver six complete air changes per hour which means clean air, safer air, throughout the building. Our resident rooms have individual fresh air and filtration above the windows, both designed to increase safety and sanitation levels.
Our normal protocol includes rigorous daily disinfecting of resident rooms and common areas. During every shift, staff disinfects doors, handrails and other common areas.
Meals have shifted from community gatherings to small group, socially distanced meals that are served in shifts, tables and chairs are sanitized after each seating.
ALL residents and staff are tested bi-weekly, at a minimum and take temperature checks are conducted daily of all residents.
Anybody – staff, caregivers, residents, vendors – who enters The Moments will pass through the ENTRY where Far-UVC lighting will inactivate surface-level viruses and bacteria
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