Memory care is designed to support the specific needs of residents with Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and dementia. Many memory care facilities develop innovative educational and social programs that engage residents in the daily activities that slow memory loss and provide continuity through structured support. Some memory care facilities have distinct locations for programs that address the wide range of resident memory loss. Although memory care facilities should be secure in order to prevent residents from wandering, part of the secured area may be a landscaped courtyard or garden so that residents have access to the outdoors.
Memory care facilities are staffed with experts who have undergone specialized training to give your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss or dementia, the assistance he or she requires. Memory care residents usually receive 24/7 support. With these facilities in particular, it’s important to make sure you’ve chosen a reputable senior care center to ensure your loved one’s well-being.
Assisted Living vs. Memory Care
At memory care facilities, staff not only offer residents assistance with daily activities like bathing and dressing; they are also specially trained to help residents manage some of the issues that come with Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and dementia, including disruptive behaviors, communication problems and loss of appetite. Staff guide residents in structured programs and individual interactions to help them thrive and remain engaged without becoming overwhelmed. And low staff-to-resident ratios mean residents get the help they need, whenever they need it.
Memory care facilities and units are designed to be relaxing and easily navigable to minimize resident confusion and frustration, and they feature extra security to help residents stay safe and prevent them from wandering off-site. Interior and outdoor areas are fully secured and monitored. Units do not include kitchens, to minimize the risks that come with cooking, and staff may remove or lock up potentially harmful items like medications and chemicals, to ensure they do not pose a danger.
Residents of memory care facilities typically have more structured schedules, as people with Alzheimer’s and dementia tend to do better when they follow routines. Security checks are also more frequent.
Paying for Memory Care
Memory care costs vary depending upon what services are included and where care is provided, but they are typically higher than assisted living care costs. Medicare does not pay for long-term memory care. Private funds is the most common way to pay for memory care or with a mixture of private funds and long-term care insurance.