Signs You May Be Ready To Move A Loved One To Memory Care
In most cases, a gradual decline in mental and or physical function leads to a move to memory care. Thats why it can be so hard to know when the right time is. In the end, safety is the deciding factor in making a move. If assisted living staff are unable to keep your loved one safe, it might be time for memory care. These are some of the common signs to watch for.
The Assisted Living Community Requires It
You might be shocked to get a call from the assisted living director, informing you that your family member needs to move to memory care. You may assume that they seem to be doing fine. It is well within an assisted living communitys right to recommend a move. But before leaping to a decision, find out what the real issues are. Depending on the situation, you might be able to solve the problem without a move. Here are some suggested solutions to problems.
- Your loved one needs more help with hygiene and dressing
- Solution: Hire caregivers to take some of the stress away from assisted living staff. If cost is a concern, talk to your family about taking shifts to help with some of these tasks.
Assisted Living & Memory Care: Staff To Patient Ratio
Because of the specific needs that patients in memory care facilities have, they must have higher personnel to patient ratio as compared to residents of assisted living facilities. An ideal number would be where one caregiver looks after after five patients or less.
Sadly, it is not something that the federal government controls. Thus, in most cases, the facilities decide on the number of staff members who are in the communities, however there are still state-specific rules and regulations.
Keep in mind that at times even the most adequately staffed and well-run memory care residences may still not offer enough care to particular individuals. In such an event, it would be best for family members to seek additional help preferably a dedicated daily caregiver and bare the extra costs for their loved one to receive additional care a few hours every day or once in a while, depending on what their requirements are.
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Goals & Benefits Of Memory Care
Memory Care is the fastest growing segment of senior care, and for a good reason it offers more than assisted living by providing an improved quality of life, despite the circumstances. In addition to keeping seniors safe and promoting their mental and physical well-being, memory care units offer residents a variety of services that actively work against their memory loss.
Memory Care units have reported other substantial improvements in their residents overall quality of life. Some of the more notable enhancements are as follows: Decreased falls and injuries Reduced need for medications and reduction in medication-related side effects Fewer violent episodes Increased independence and social interaction Enhanced nutrition and reduction in vitamin deficiencies
The Differences Between Memory Care Vs Assisted Living Vs Nursing Homes
With so many different levels of care, it can be confusing throughout your search for what suits your loved one best. The difference between memory care vs. assisted living vs. nursing homes can be particularly confusing in terms of what each offers to residents.
Memory care is typically for people with more advanced cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimers disease. These individuals require specially-trained care professionals and a safe, structured environment, including secured doors to protect those with exit-seeking behaviors.
At GreenField Terrace, part of The GreenFields Continuing Care Community in Lancaster, NY, three of the four houses are specifically for memory care. Each house contains 12 rooms, allowing for more individualized care and attention to each person. Residents at GreenField Terrace have mild to moderate dementia, says Lori Hannon, Senior Living Director at The GreenFields. They are relatively independent, but need reminders to give them direction on their daily living activities.
Memory Care vs. Assisted Living
Comparatively, assisted living for seniors is for assistance with daily activities, but not medical/nursing care. This may include activities such as bathing, dressing, or grooming. Typically, assisted living residents are able to move around independently. Whether it be with a cane, walker, or wheelchair, and transfer and toilet independently.
Memory Care vs. Nursing Homes
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Whats The Main Difference Between Assisted Living And Memory Care
The main difference between assisted living and memory care lies in safety features and programming. Most memory care facilities are locked and secure. Assisted living communities allow people the freedom to leave the building when they want.
Both memory care and assisted living offer all meals, transportation, activities, medication management, and housekeeping. Both also sometimes offer in house physician services. Many assisted living communities allow residents the flexibility to schedule meal times. Memory care meal times are scheduled at the same time every day to reinforce structure and routine.
The higher staff-to-resident ratio in memory care allows staff to monitor residents more easily. Innovative changes in memory care design seek to accommodate people who like to wander by giving them circular pathways, as people with dementia often are frustrated by dead-end hallways.
Other design elements include pictures and artifacts in hallways for residents to stop, look, and interact with. The focus of these design features is to ultimately reduce any agitation or anxious feelings.
Memory care recreational activities focus on music, art, and smaller groups. Many residents feel less anxious in smaller, more contained groups. One-on-one activities are not unusual if a resident needs that.
Staff in memory care are also specifically trained to deal with people who have dementia. They understand the unique behaviors and needs of memory care residents.
Help Finding & Choosing Residential Care
When searching for an assisted living facility or a memory care unit, its important that one thoroughly researches options. Since residences vary on services and care provided, number of occupants and staff, layout of the community, cost, and so forth, its vital to find a home that best meets your loved ones needs. This process can be overwhelming especially when already spending so much time and effort caring for your loved one. Fortunately, free assistance is available to help families locate and evaluate assisted living, memory care residences and adult foster care homes. Get free assistance here.
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Assisted Living Vs Memory Care: 6 Key Differences
As our loved ones advance in age, it becomes tasking to care for them, especially when they have health issues, including cognitive impairments such as Alzheimers disease. They struggle to live safely and manage typical activities of daily living at home, making it difficult for us to leave them unsupervised. A possible solution to this could be to hire a live-in nanny, who has little or no training in elderly care, to cater to their needs. This will take the work off our hands but, it wont be beneficial to our elderly loved ones especially if they experiencing memory problems.
Thats where a long-term care facility comes into play. They offer supportive care provided by well-trained staff, healthcare, a relaxing & safe environment, and so much more. But figuring out what type of facility is right for our loved ones can be challenging. Knowing the differences between the various types will prove helpful in our search for the best option.
In this article, you shall get an insight on 2 popular and fast-growing senior living communities assisted living and memory care facilities , starting with overviews on what these are and finishing off with 6 major differences between them.
Alzheimers Care In Nursing Homes
As the disease progresses or additional health problems arise, your loved one may require more intense medical care and/or around-the-clock supervision. When this happens, you may need to consider a move to a nursing home.
Nurses, health care providers and health aides often are on-site 24/7 at nursing homes. This means your loved one will be able to receive all the assistance and support they need with everything from daily activities to complex medical care.
Some services and amenities offered by nursing homes with memory care include:
- 24/7 medical care: Round-the-clock supervision by support staff and medical professionals sets nursing homes apart from most other senior living options.
- Housing: Residents often live in shared or private rooms.
- Dining and nutrition services: All meals and snacks are usually provided.
- Personal care: Nursing homes provide assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, grooming, showering, eating and transfers.
- Security: Memory units at nursing homes are often locked to prevent wandering.
- Activities: On-site recreation is often available.
- Trained staff: Employees at nursing homes should be trained to handle the behavioral issues that tend to arise with dementia.
The combination of round-the-clock supervision and specialized medical care makes nursing homes expensive, though. The nationwide average for nursing home care is $7,756 per month for a shared room and $8,821 per month for a private room.
Assisted Living Vs Memory Care Whats The Difference
If you or someone you know has a family member with dementia, Alzheimers disease, or another form of memory issues, you may know firsthand the importance of memory care facilities. In fact, you may even be responsible for choosing the right facility for a loved one. And though memory care facilities and assisted living facilities are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two.
Before you start your search for the right facility for your loved one, heres what you need to know.
The Differences Between Memory Care And Assisted Living
Making a big life change like moving to a senior living community can be exciting but it can be overwhelming and a little stressful too. There are a lot of decisions that have to be made, and the terminology can be confusing if youve not had to deal with it before. If you or a loved one are moving because of a life change, such as needing assistance to live safely and independently or due to a progressive cognitive disease like Alzheimers, you may be weighing different types of senior living scenarios and wondering whats best for your situation.
One of the biggest questions we help answer for individuals beginning this journey is whats the difference between assisted living and memory care? says Nat Grim, Executive Director of Bridges® by EPOCH at Mashpee. These two types of living situations have many similarities, but depending on whats going on in your life and lifestyle, one option will more than likely be better for you than the other.
If you or a loved one has just been diagnosed with dementia, or youve simply been noticing that your memory isnt quite what it used to be, you may be wondering whether or not its worth it to move into memory care. After all, at the moment, all you need is assisted living services and you may not need much more than that, depending on what happens with your health.
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What Is Assisted Living
Assisted living is designed to encourage as much independence as possible for aging seniors while providing housing, services, and care for individuals who need assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, grooming, cooking, medication management, etc. Aging adults who also enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle and engaging social activities benefit from amenities and services that support a thriving lifestyle all with access to routine assistance and care as needed for daily living.
How To Pay For Memory Care
Given the high cost of memory care, it’s no surprise that many people worry about how they’ll pay for these services. There are a number of ways you can pay for memory care, and which option is right for you depends on the type of care your loved one needs and their financial situation.
Here are some of the ways people commonly pay for memory care.
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Staff Training In Memory Care
Staff in memory care units may require extra training or specific qualifications in order to interact with memory care residents, although these may vary and range in hours and topics. Training may include: techniques for de-escalation, progressive cognitive strategies, how dementia affects the brain and comfort care and communication techniques when interacting with dementia residents.2
Specialized dementia care training may also look like: medication training in dementia patients and the effects, specialized approaches to dementia care and common problems, communication, positive therapeutic activities, changes in behaviors, assistance with ADLs, responding to behavior triggers as well as safety and supervision.1
Properly trained staff lead to a reduction in resident crisis, lowers caregiving stress and creates better living standards. It is important to ask questions about specific staff training and qualifications when contemplating a memory care unit or facility as well as how staff stay up to date with techniques for dementia care.
Signs That Its Time For Memory Care
It can be challenging for a senior and their loved ones to make the decision to transition to residential memory care. Many family caregivers provide unpaid care during the early stages of the condition, but when symptoms progress, its often a sign that the individual may be better cared for in residential care. Here are some questions to consider when deciding whether its time to transition to residential memory care.
- Is full-time supervision necessary? Since memory care communities have staff on-site 24/7, a resident who requires more supervision may fare better in a memory care community than at home.
- Does the senior need assistance performing most or all of their activities of daily living? If so, its likely time to transition to memory care. Bear in mind that most dementias increase in severity over time, so most people who need assistance now will need more assistance as time passes.
- Is the person able to communicate their wants and needs to family and friends? If the answer is no, a memory care community may be the best option. The inability to communicate can threaten the safety of someone living in a private residence. Memory care staff are trained to work with residents who may not be able to clearly communicate and are better equipped to meet their needs even when its difficult for the senior to express.
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Assisted Living Communities & Memory Care: Costs
For both assisted living and memory care options, what residents pay depends on numerous variables. These can include the location, whether one lives with a roommate or alone, and level of care that a person demands. On average, one can expect to pay around $4000 monthly for staying in assisted living.
Thanks to the extra attention that older adults receive in memory care facilities, they could end up being more expensive than assisted living. Fortunately, some elderly residents can take advantage of various options to help reduce the out of pocket costs and pay for assisted senior care. These include Medicaid, Medicare, and Veterans benefits. Aging individuals can expect to spend around $5000 every month to cover rent and care services in memory care units.
What Services Are Provided In Memory Care Facilities
Most memory care communities offer the same services found in an assisted living setting, such as:
- Semiprivate or private accommodations in an apartment-style suite with an en suite bathroom
- Three daily meals served restaurant-style, plus snacks and beverages throughout the day
- Housekeeping, personal laundry and linen services
- Daily social and recreational activities, such as fitness classes, organized games, Bible study groups and escorted day trips
- In-house medical alert systems
- Some assistance with activities of daily living, including dressing, grooming and transferring
In addition to the services provided at most assisted living facilities, memory care communities also offer:
- Daily group and individual therapeutic recreational programming, such as brain games that are specifically designed to slow the progression of memory loss
- 24/7 security
- Anti-wandering systems such as WanderGuard, a wireless wearable tracking device that lets caregivers monitor the exact location of each resident
- A relatively low staff-to-resident ratio
- Help with activities of daily living
- Family support groups
Each memory care facility offers its own unique range of services. Some offer enhanced services including on-site physical, occupational and speech-language therapy, on-site physicians services and escorts to local medical appointments.
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What Is The Difference Between Memory Care And Dementia Care
Finding the right assisted living or nursing program with memory care for your elderly loved one can be an emotional and stressful challenge. Additionally, you face the added difficulty of finding an appropriate program for them when they have a memory disorder or struggle with dementia. A substantial portion of Americas elderly population struggles with dementia at various levels. Even at the initial onset of symptoms, dementia can be incredibly disruptive to your elderly loved ones life and diminish their ability to live independently.
As you navigate all of the options for elder care available in your area, you are likely to face many tough questions and experience confusion when it comes to the finer details of the programs available to your elderly loved one. For example, what is the difference between memory care and dementia care? Ultimately, these two types of treatment programs focus on the same thing: maintaining or hopefully improving your loved ones memory. However, there are some differences you should know before committing to one type of treatment over the other.