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The Arbor Company Senior Living Blog

What Should You Look For When Deciding On Memory Care?

Sep 6, 2016 1:00:00 PM / Julie Hull Julie Hull

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The progression of dementia impacts everyone differently. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, can span anywhere from several months to several decades. That’s why memory care decisions must be guided by the unique experiences and needs of you or your loved one.

With that said, many families bring a set of universal needs to their search for a memory care community. These universal needs often include therapeutic programming, staff with specialized training, and a safe and secure environment. When each of those points are addressed, the end result is a high quality of life for memory care residents.  

Look for Therapeutic Programming to Yield Long-term Benefits

Therapeutic interventions that promote cognitive, behavioral and physical health of memory care residents has been shown to positively impact their quality of life and overall wellness, research shows.

Therapeutic programming can often be broken down into three subsets: behavioral, cognitive and physical. Here are examples of how assisted living communities with memory care  that offer programming in theses areas can improve qualify of life and overall wellness of residents:

  • Behavioral: Finding a memory care community that provide occupational therapy to help residents maintain activities of daily living (ADLs) can bring long-term returns, research shows. Maintaining ADLs increases feelings of competence and self-sufficiency, resulting in fewer instances of self-reported depression and frustration. The end result is higher quality of life.
  • Cognitive: Finding a memory care community that provides cognitive stimulation to residents can help manage the progression of dementia and reduce behavioral disturbances, research shows. Regular cognitive stimulation therapy — reality orientation, practice using money, word games, group discussion and multisensory stimulation — led to significantly higher cognitive assessments, fewer behavioral disturbances, improved mood and higher quality of life among memory care residents.
  • Physical: Finding a memory care community that provides physical fitness programming and promotes self care can help your or your loved one can lead to fewer restricted activity, better physical functioning and fewer depressive symptoms, preliminary research suggests.

Looking for a memory care community that offers a range of therapeutic programming — behavioral, cognitive and physical — can help improve the quality of life for you or your loved one while reducing behavioral disturbances and instances of depression.

Look for Memory Care to Foster a Sense of Community, Belonging

Social interaction and community connectivity have proven to be keys to brain vitality. Leisure activities that combine social, physical and mental activities have been shown to help prevent dementia, and  they could slow its progression too, the Alzheimer’s Association reports.

Finding a memory care community that fosters social interactions among residents and specialized staff can help you or your loved one maintain cognitive vitality and a high quality of life. Additionally, finding a memory care community that provides opportunities for residents to add value and to engage in events and service projects will help foster a sense of community connectivity that has proven to be a barrier against cognitive decline.

Looking for a Community that Promises Safety, Security and Comfort

Family caregivers frequently begin their search for memory care when they feel they’re no longer able to ensure the safety and security of a loved one with dementia. Safe communities that are monitored 24 hours a day play a central role in ensuring the safety of residents, but staff with specialized training to care for residents with dementia are also a core component.

When it comes to symptoms of dementia like wandering and sunsetting, research shows that memory care staff with specialized behavioral modification training have been able to eliminate these adverse events through positive social interactions, environmental orientation and other adaptation activities. Finding a memory care community with specialized staff that can provide these interventions will positively impact the functionality, wellness and quality of life of you or your loved one.    

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Topics: Memory care, Dementia, Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease

Julie Hull

Julie Hull

Julie Hull is the Regional Vice President of Sales for The Arbor Company.

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