We speak regularly with concerned adult children of parents experiencing memory loss who feel that it is no longer safe or advantageous for them to continue living at home.
One of the biggest questions they have is whether mom or dad should transition to an assisted living community or memory care. It’s a great question. Of course, the first order of business we recommend is to get a medical assessment to determine the cause of your loved one’s memory loss.
When you receive a diagnosis of dementia, it’s time to make some decisions about ongoing care. That is because, as the disease progresses, your loved one will need an increasing level of care from people with deep knowledge of the phases of dementia as well as how to help your loved one live his or her best life going forward.
Following are three key benefits associated with communities, such as Anthem Memory Care, which are 100% dedicated to providing memory care.
- Dementia experience and training: Focusing 100% on memory care means staff is highly trained and keeping current on the latest therapies and research on dementia. It means that they are dedicated to finding the optimum interactive environment for your loved one and always seeking new ways to connect them to other residents to the world around them. This dedication to memory care extends out to the greater community as well, in the form of seminars and educational programs with local schools, youth groups and Alzheimer’s associations. This encourages involvement and engagement with residents and staff. It also keeps care and engagement always focused on dementia, rather than diffused to meet a wider range of needs.
- Building design: The construction and layout of memory care communities has been carefully designed to optimize residents’ health and wellbeing. Freedom of movement is enhanced with wide, easy to navigate corridors. Lighting is optimized to reduce the likelihood of sundown syndrome, with windows strategically located to bring in as much natural sunlight as possible. Sensors are placed throughout the buildings to help protect residents from falls and other potential issues, while respecting their need for privacy and dignity.
- Continuum of care: Residents and family members can be assured that they will not need to transition into a long-term care community downstream to receive more intensive care when their health issues increase, which they will. Memory care communities are able to maintain a high level of quality care and compassion through all stages of dementia. This establishes and maintains consistency and familiarity, both of which are so important to those living with dementia.
We realize that the decision to transition your mom or dad into a care community is not an easy one. It is important to educate yourself and to share your thoughts and feelings with family and close friends. It is also important to research the many care environments available to you.
It is also important to note that we all rely upon specialists to help us meet specific health challenges. Likewise, an individual with dementia deserves to live in an environment created especially for them, with specialists who can meet their unique needs and provide a life experience that is worthwhile, purposeful and compassionate.
At Anthem Memory Care, we welcome you to visit one of our communities in your area and share your own experience with us. Our communities regularly hold dementia support groups, to which everyone is invited. We are here to help!
(Our top photo shows a few of the amazing residents of Willowbrook Place, an Anthem Memory Care community located in Littleton, Colorado.)