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Memory Care Services Tailored for Your Loved One

Memory Care Services Tailored for Your Loved One

According to a study published in Dialogues in Clinical Science, as many as 75 percent of people living with dementia are cared for by family members. If you are caring for a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you might be interested in what memory care services are available for your loved one.

Some assisted living communities, like BridgeWater Assisted Living, offer memory care services tailored to each resident in a safe, secure, supportive environment. As a caregiver, you may also be interested in respite care opportunities, where your loved one can enjoy a temporary stay in the memory care community while you attend to other matters. 

The following article discusses what memory care is and where you might find memory care services.:

What is Memory Care?

Memory care is long-term care focused on supporting anyone who is living with memory loss, especially those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. 

What sets memory care apart from other types of senior care?

  • Increased environmental security—Since dementia sometimes leads to wandering, memory care communities employ extra safety measures like enclosed outdoor areas, alarmed doors, or tracking bracelets that allow residents to explore and move around safely while being monitored unobtrusively.
  • Structured daily routines – When you know what to expect, you feel more comfortable. Having a consistent schedule helps lower stress levels for those with dementia, so memory care staff incorporate structure and familiarity into daily schedules.
  • Cognitive therapy – Many forms of cognitive therapy can play a significant role in maintaining cognitive skills. Cognitive therapy uses art, music, colors, pictures, word games, and smells to evoke memories and encourage and improve cognitive function.
  • Additional training for caregivers – Memory care staff receive additional training related to dementia itself as well as addressing the unique challenges it can sometimes pose when assisting with personal care (i.e., bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, medication management, etc.), activities, companionship, transportation, and more. 
  • Specially designed physical environment – many memory care communities make sure to clearly label all rooms and doors with both words (in bold) and pictures to help avoid confusion. Calming art like nature scenes, walls and floors painted in contrasting hues to help differentiate between the two, enclosed outdoor areas for walking, and well-lit entrances and exits are just a few examples of dementia-friendly adjustments that memory care communities make to the layout and physical environment of the community to help their residents stay safe.

Where Can You Find Memory Care Services?

Memory care services are available in many residential assisted living communities, stand-alone memory care communities, or drop-in adult day care centers. Some in-home care providers are also trained to provide these services. 

How Do Memory Care Communities Provide Personalized Memory Care Services?

Dementia affects everyone differently, and symptoms can vary from day to day, which is why it’s so important to have memory care services personalized to meet the individual’s needs. How do memory care communities tailor memory care services to each person? 

Personal assessment

Memory care staff will begin by conducting a comprehensive assessment of the individual. Input from close family members, professional caregivers, doctors, and other specialists is welcome. This assessment generally includes information about cognitive abilities, medical history, overall physical health, family and personal history, and preferences regarding socializing and activities. The information provided helps memory care staff better understand the individual’s needs and wants.

Individual Care Plan

Based on the personal assessment, memory care staff develop an individual care plan to address the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the person needing care.

Activities and Interests

Based on the individual’s personal history, such as their hobbies or career, an individual care plan will tailor activities and therapy to include what appeals to them. For instance, someone who played piano or painted as a hobby would likely enjoy music and art therapy. If the individual loves animals, pet therapy might be a good option. 

Opportunities for Social Interaction

Personal preferences regarding the types of social interaction that are encouraged are also taken into account. A quieter person might like board games and one-on-one interactions, while a more social, extroverted person might prefer group activities. 

Individual care plans often include strategies to encourage social interactions. Communal dining and structured social events such as arts and crafts classes, sing-alongs and dances, and even group exercise classes can all provide opportunities for meaningful connections. Trained and compassionate memory care staff also provide support and companionship, attending meals and activities with the individual.

Physical and Medical Needs

During the initial assessment, memory care staff will determine how best to address the physical and medical needs of the individual. The individual care plan will then include options regarding medication management, exercise, nutrition, personal care assistance (i.e., assistance with activities of daily living), health conditions to monitor, and coordination of care among healthcare providers. Of course, these care plans are reviewed on a regular basis and updated to address any changing needs or preferences of the individual.

Emotional Support

One of the most significant benefits to a memory care community is the additional training the staff receive. Dementia symptoms can sometimes include an individual feeling agitated, anxious, or confused, so memory care staff are trained in different methods of communication that might be effective (e.g., changing tone, communicating with body language, etc.) and are careful to give more structure and support as needed. Knowing each individual’s personal and medical history, interests, and preferences means that staff can adjust their approach to find what will work best for each person.

Caregiving is Personal at BridgeWater Assisted Living

If you are caring for someone with dementia, you can find many helpful resources online. For instance, the Alzheimer’s Association has helpful tips on developing a daily care plan to provide structure for you and your loved one.

If you are looking for residential memory care services for your loved one, we would love for you to consider BridgeWater Assisted Living communities. Affordable, accessible, compassionate, and individualized memory care is available at several locations. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a tour!