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Debunking 5 Common Myths About Memory Care

Sarah Benbow, Executive Director of Communications | Oct 9, 2023

Memory loss is a significant condition impacting millions of older adults. If your loved one is experiencing signs of Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive decline, it may be time to consider memory care

However, myths and misconceptions persist about what these specialized facilities entail. Do memory care residents really lose their independence? Is it only for those with severe impairment? This article will debunk five common myths about memory care and shed light on its benefits for residents and families.

Myth 1: Memory Care Is Only for People With Severe Memory Loss

Many people believe memory care is only for those in the later stages of Alzheimer's or dementia. However, memory care can also benefit those in the early to middle stages. The specialized programming and staff training ensures residents get support for memory loss, even if it's not yet severe.

For example, many facilities have early-stage programs tailored to residents with milder impairment, allowing them to maintain more independence while getting the assistance they need. No matter where your loved one is in their journey, memory care gives them a supportive environment and enriching lifestyle.

Myth 2: Memory Care Is Too Expensive

It's true that memory care typically costs more than traditional assisted living, given the higher staffing levels and specialized care. However, there are ways to make memory care more affordable. Many facilities offer financial assistance or accept Medicaid. Lower-tiered pricing options are also available in some communities.

Long-term care insurance policies can provide significant financial relief as well. The costs reflect the top-quality, customized care that memory care offers. For many families, the benefits of a secure, engaging environment staffed by dementia-trained professionals make the expense well worth it.

Myth 3: Memory Care Means Losing Independence

Many people wrongly assume that memory care takes away a person's autonomy and independence. On the contrary, these facilities encourage residents to be as independent as possible within a safe setting. Residents can still make their own choices and retain their dignity.

Staff are trained to give gentle reminders, cues, and assistance for daily tasks so residents can do as much as they can on their own. Programming keeps residents engaged while building confidence. The security measures protect residents while giving them the freedom to move around community areas at their own pace. With support for their unique needs, residents thrive.

Myth 4: Memory Care Is Just Like a Nursing Home

Memory care is often mistakenly likened to nursing homes, but the two are quite different. While nursing homes have a clinical feel and focus on medical care, memory care aims to provide a warm, home-like environment.

The emphasis is on providing enrichment and supporting residents' cognitive abilities and memory in a residential setting. Caregivers get specialized dementia training to connect with each resident and understand their unique needs. Facilities offer social programming, therapies, and personalized care tailored to individuals' interests and abilities. The goal is to improve quality of life, not just deliver medical treatment.

Myth 5: Memory Care Doesn't Provide Quality Care

Many families worry that memory care facilities won't meet their loved one's needs. However, accredited memory care communities adhere to strict standards for delivering compassionate, individualized care.

These facilities only hire staff with specialized dementia training who undergo rigorous certification. Caregivers get continuing education to provide patient, dignified care responsive to each resident's needs. With 24/7 support in a secure environment, residents thrive through engaging programming and assistance with activities of daily living. Memory care communities are dedicated to enriching the quality of life.

Benefits of Memory Care

memory care nurse and resident bonding and laughing

The specialized programming in memory care communities provides a wealth of benefits that improve the quality of life for residents. Here are a few of the biggest:

  • Engaging and therapeutic activities to stimulate the mind
  • Specialized dementia training for caregivers
  • Safe, secure environment with controlled access
  • Support with activities of daily living on residents' own schedule
  • Smaller facility and resident-to-staff ratios for more individualized care

How To Choose the Right Memory Care Facility

memory care nurse taking care of resident in wheelchair

Before searching for a memory care community, make a list of the things that are most important to you. It's important to ask the necessary questions to ensure you choose a place with all the services you need. Here are some essential items to look for in your search:

  • A home-like, cozy environment with space to move around
  • Secured outdoor areas for walking safely
  • Engaging activities tailored to individuals' abilities and preferences
  • Compassionate, patient staff trained in dementia care
  • Care plans customized to each resident's needs
  • Options to keep families involved in care

Often, the best way to decide whether a community is the right one for you is to take a tour and get a feel for whether or not the environment feels like home. The ideal memory care program should provide comprehensive support and foster the best possible quality of life for each resident.

Memory Care Living at Walker Methodist

Memory care at Walker Methodist provides specialized, compassionate support for loved ones with Alzheimer's, dementia, or relat­ed cognitive conditions. Every member of our professional team is dedicated to personal respect and dignity for every resident. Our experienced healthcare specialists provide comfort and care – 24 hours a day – in therapeutic settings custom-designed for memory care. 

Learn About Our Memory Care Program

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