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Care Options for Parents with Dementia

Caring for your loved ones at home when they are in the advanced stage becomes a serious concern, especially for those elders who have dementia of Alzheimer’s disease. Since there is no cure for these and it worsens with time, it is too challenging to ensure proper care and provide the right kind of support at home. In such cases, you must look for some memory care in Louisiana to spend their time comfortably under the caregivers’ watchful eyes around the clock. Memory care facilities are like the senior assisted living facilities but specially equipped to handle people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. They provide specialized care for people with memory issues.

parents at home

Most of the stand-alone memory care facilities cater only to patients suffering from memory problems. Some nursing homes and assisted living facilities create special units for dementia patients. In the senior housing market, memory care is a growing segment, with the number of units increasing by 55% between 2013 and 2018, as mentioned in the magazine named Senior Housing Business.

How to find a memory care facility?

Finding memory care facilities need some preparation by gathering information about the sector to understand how the facilities operate and what it can offer. One thing that is common among all memory care facilities is that these have a specific design to provide a structured and safe environment with fixed routines to reduce stress for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The inmates receive round the clock care, and support from the caregivers with personal care tasks like you would find in an assisted care facility. But the staff is specially trained to deal with unique issues that can arise with patients of Alzheimer’s and dementia. They provide extra structure and support to ensure the residents’ complete safety and check-in with the residents frequently to help them navigate their day.

Memory care facility vs NursingHome

Unlike assisted living facilities where residents have to manage their own time, the staff keeps a close watch on the residents and helps them adhere to the mealtimes and menus to feel comfortable. The staff ensures that the residents get their meals and participate in the recommended daily Alzheimer’s or dementia activities for elderly patients that work to keep their memory skills as sharp as possible. 

Memory care facilities have doors with alarms to alert the staff if some residents wander away, common among dementia patients and Alzheimer’s. To prevent the residents from wandering, the elevators require a code for operating. The residents do not know these codes, and the outdoor spaces are enclosed to ensure that the residents remain on the site. However, to allow residents the freedom of movement, some memory care facilities offer tracking bracelets to the residents so that the staff can monitor their location.

Care facilities contain many activities to help residents lead an active and remain engaged to spend their time meaningfully. Memory care facilities design the activities to engage residents at different stages of the disease and improve their cognitive functions. It also helps them to get better. 

Finding a memory care facility

Start your search for a memory care facility by looking up at the online directory of Alzheimer’s Association’s Community Resource Finder (AARP). Select a type of residence like continuing care retirement community or assisted living by clicking on the ‘Housing Option’ and enter your zip code. The result will include information if the facility has a memory care unit. After you narrow down, your choices visit the facility but unannounced, preferably in the evening when there is less staff, and consider the following factors. 

Physical environment and layout – How you feel about the center’s cleanliness and whether it has a pleasant appeal is the first thing to consider. Check if there are no dead ends, and the hall has a circular design so that residents do not get frustrated. Can residents find their way easily to the rooms? Do the rooms have clear and legible labels and a picture for easy identification?  Remember that an enclosed outdoor area is a must. 

Continued care and support – Check if the facility has an adequate medical facility to care for complex issues. Also, enquire about the kind of health condition of residents that might call for moving them to more expensive care within the premises.  

Food and activities – How much of activities the facility offer for keeping residents engages are crucial as also the efforts and strategies they take to encourage residents to have their food. There must be the opportunity of participating in at least one activity and having one square meal per day.  See the level of engagement between the staff and the residents and how well they know about the residents personally.

Memory care is expensive, and a good one could charge anything between $5,000 and $ 8,000 per month.