Every 67 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer's disease in the United States. In fact, Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the disease cannot yet be cured, prevented, or slowed down.
With such staggering statistics, it's no surprise that family members of those affected with Alzheimer's and dementia struggle to care for these individuals. The good news is that there is help for Alzheimer's patients and their families. Memory care neighborhoods or communities allow Alzheimer's and dementia patients to live as normal a life as possible in an environment designed for their safety and well-being.
Alzheimer's Community Care
People with an Alzheimer's diagnosis often benefit from a memory care community, which can be a designated place within an assisted living, or even an entire neighborhood designed specifically for people with cognitive challenges.
Memory care housing goes beyond standard assisted living care and includes amenities like specialized outings, full meal preparation and delivery, life-engaging activities, and assistance with basic care needs and housekeeping activities. There are often a variety of clinical services available to meet the various needs of residents as well.
Memory Care Community Design
Research shows that Alzheimer's and dementia patients do not respond well to stress, and this is taken into consideration when designing a memory care senior living community. Knowing that residents can become disoriented, the communities are designed to create a more relaxing, stress-free environment for all those who reside there.
Many memory care communities offer:
- Social community events
- Memory boxes
- Fitness programs
- Wellness features, such as aromatherapy
- Engaging music
- Spiritual enrichment
- Natural lighting and smart lighting
- Courtyards for spending time outside
Residents of memory care communities have an intimate setting with both privacy and common areas. Residents may have private rooms, or they may share a room for increased companionship, and some communities have one-bedroom apartments for their residents. Because memory care residents can be more prone to wandering, the buildings and neighborhoods allow access to walking paths but also include controlled doors for safety.
Memory Care Communities Provide Residents Comfort
In a memory care community, the staff handles everything. From cooking and cleaning to meal preparation and transportation, your loved ones can receive the care they need at all times.
Most memory care communities provide everyday accommodations, including:
- An intimate home-like atmosphere
- Daily housekeeping
- Personal laundry service
- Beauty and barber shops
- Meal preparation and service
- Private gathering rooms for family get-togethers
These communities also typically include standard safety measures, including:
- Buildings designed for safety
- Emergency call response system
- Safe-access controlled outdoor areas
They also include general care, including:
- Specially trained staff on-site 24/7
- Assistance with daily activities of living (e.g., bathing, dressing, mobility)
- Medication management
- Specialized programs designed for individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia
Offering Comfort to Family and Friends
While helping a loved one find memory care can be a difficult decision, the results can bring many benefits to everyone involved.
Caring for an individual with dementia is round-the-clock work. It can be exhausting and nerve-wracking. Once the individual is safely living in a specialized memory care neighborhood, family members can relax and not feel guilty about not being at their side all of the time. Families can return to more familiar roles and enjoy their time with their loved ones.
If you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia, you owe it to yourself and your loved one to take a look into memory care community living options.