Memory Care Facilities

Memory care facilities are specifically tailored for seniors who suffer from forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and similar conditions. Some memory care programs are part of assisted living facilities, while others are stand-alone locations. They vary in size and population, but no matter what, the emphasis is on the safety and care of the seniors who are present.

 

The establishments contain numerous safety features and protocols. Doors and windows have locks and alarms that can alert staff if there are any attempts to leave the community. The layouts tend to be easy-to-navigate and level. The goal is to avoid disorientation and confusion and to reduce anxiety; many locations feature constant watch or have semi-private rooms to ease feelings of isolation.

Seniors afflicted with cognitive troubles are fully cared for at memory care facilities. They receive:

  • Enrichment
  • Brain fitness
  • Social activities
  • Daily wellness checks
  • 3 nutritious meals per day
  • Assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Freshly changed bedding and linens
  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Transportation to medical appointments, procedures, and check-ups
  • Escorts
  • Transfers
  • Medication administration and management
  • Incontinence care
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy

Brain Fitness

Seniors in memory care facilities receive various forms of brain fitness and engagement to help them deal with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The exercises and activities are meant to soothe or calm the mind, promote a more present mind and body connection, and improve recognition. Some forms of memory care therapy and activities include:

  • Music and art therapy, where residents can listen to classic music, create music, paint and draw, clip collages, use clay, and more. Elders who were musically or artistically inclined throughout life often still have the muscle memory intact.
  • Mental stimulation, which can include all types of cognitive engagement, is the hallmark of a great memory care community. The degree of difficulty and interactivity will vary from individual to individual, but mental stimulation helps combat restlessness and anxiety and will slow the progression of the disease if done correctly.
  • Memory boxes, or containers that have keepsakes and belongings from the seniors’ lives. The boxes can include photo albums, trinkets, materials from hobbies, Christmas ornaments, jewelry, and much more. Memory boxes are also beneficial to remind staff about your loved one’s life prior to placement.
  • Pet therapy, where residents may collectively help take care of a communal bird, cat, fish, or dog. Pets can also provide soothing tactile stimulation; residents can run their hands through the pet’s fur, for example. Pets can also be engaging visual stimulation; some communities have dog parks where residents can watch puppies and other dogs play, or fish tanks with a variety of fish that the residents can observe and feed.
  • Physical exercise, which can include chair yoga and walking clubs, as well as Physical Therapy ordered by a doctor are also popular therapies in memory care. Occupational and speech therapy are available as well.

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