5 Things You Need to Know About Memory Care
Updated April 15, 2021
Originally posted November 29, 2015
If you love or care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you understand the need for a special kind of supportive care. Memory loss can alter personality and/or abilities to perform basic everyday tasks, making supportive care necessary. If you’re the one providing that care it can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Yet, considering a move to a supportive assisted living community poses its own set of challenges, as your loved one deserves the very best quality of life possible.
Memory Care communities provide a special type of supportive care in a home-like environment.
Thankfully, there are specific types of Memory Care communities that address the needs of people with memory loss, and they can be a life saver for the individual and their loved ones. You may be asking yourself “Where do I start?, What should I know about Memory Care communities?, How will I know this is right for my loved one?” While every person is unique, here are five things you need to know about Memory Care regardless of the level of personalized care needed:
- Memory Care is more than assisted living or an apartment; it’s comprised of a whole program and way of life. This type of setting incorporates a 24/7 layer of support staff who offer reminders and assistance with activities of daily living, as well as programs geared specifically to residents with memory loss to enhance their physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual well-being. In addition, the usual services such as daily meals, housekeeping, laundry, and medication management are provided. Understanding what Memory Care provides will help you determine if this setting is right for your loved one.
- A “secured” or “locked” unit doesn’t feel as secluded as it may sound. While the level of security is necessary to keep residents safe, it is implemented in a subtle way. If you stepped inside a Memory Care community, you’d find comfortable living spaces and homey touches, all within secure walls. Locked doors don’t hinder the fun, either – regular activity programming encourages residents to stay social and intellectually stimulated right in their own community.
Even though it's a secure environment, a Memory Care community feels like home.
- A loved one at Memory Care often equates to happier families. The right environment for your loved one brings everyone peace of mind because you know your loved one is receiving the level of care needed. Memory Care eliminates worry and anxiety for caregivers who may otherwise be trying to juggle providing individualized care between a regular job and family responsibilities. The professionals at a Memory Care community are not only there for the resident, but they’re also there to act as advocates and support residents’ loved ones. They’re experts, and they’re happy to share ideas, resources, or just be a support system.
- It’s not cheap. Specialized care comes at a cost. Unfortunately, there is no easy way around that. All the specialized staff, features, and programming result in a costlier rent than traditional assisted living, but most people find the investment well worth it. According to PayingforSeniorCare.com, in 2019, the U.S. national average cost of memory care for a single resident was almost $5,000 a month. That number can, of course, vary greatly depending on state and community chosen.
- A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia doesn’t automatically mean Memory Care is the answer. Looking at the whole person is the first step in determining what course of action needs to be taken. It is natural to jump to Memory Care right away but if the memory loss is mild, a traditional Assisted Living community may serve the person better. The goal is to have your loved one move into a setting where their current needs are met.
Looking at the whole person allows loved ones to make the best decision about the care an older adult needs.
Do you have a question we can help answer as you begin learning more about Memory Care? Contact us or leave a comment below - we’d love to be a resource for you.