Does Your Loved One Need Memory Care?

shutterstock_680112613-300x163Your loved one is having trouble remembering certain facts; they are disoriented and confused about a lot of details. It seems like they may have a condition beyond just aging memory issues and something more akin to developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It’s worth investigating whether your loved one needs Memory Care and if so what to look for in a nursing home that offers this type of specialized care.

What is Memory Care?

Memory Care differs from regular care at nursing homes or assisted living facilities because Memory Care is specifically designed for individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Unlike an assisted living facility where a resident has enough independence to set their own schedules, (such as deciding when they will eat and when to engage in activities) a Memory Care facility is more like a nursing home in that the resident must have the staff manage their time and attend to their needs very closely.

The Memory Care staff is trained to deal with the unique challenges that stem from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Another connection between Memory Care and nursing homes is that a nursing home itself may have a specific memory care wing or may be a Memory Care nursing home. With Memory Care, emphasis is placed on creating a structured environment with a low-key and less stressful atmosphere.

Conditions Needed for Memory Care

Because dementia sufferers have very specific needs, Memory Care facilities can offer the activities that are more catered to them, such as activities that are used to help develop cognitive function and activities that occupy patients with various stages of dementia.

Because Memory Care is geared toward people with dementia, it requires more security considerations than an assisted living facility and is more in line with nursing homes, with even more precautions that balance the need to engage their cognitive functions. For instance, they will likely offer the following:

  • Alarms on the doors;
  • Devices that track the residents, including bracelets;
  • Elevators that have access codes;
  • Enclosed outdoor areas, such as walking paths; and/or
  • Circular hallways that help prevent residents’ frustration with dead ends.

Deciding on Memory Care

If you think that your loved one needs the specialized care of Memory Care, you follow the same steps that you would when deciding on a nursing home in general. You should research the home very closely. Specifically, for facilities that have Memory Care, you should look out for the following:

  • Staff: Memory Care staff are supposed to receive specialized training to adequately deal with dementia patients. It would help loved ones to learn about the specific training that the staff receives. Additionally, note the staff member to resident ratio.
  • Layout: Individuals with dementia tend to wander, therefore the physical environment of the facility is very important. Make sure the layout and design is compatible with your loved one’s needs.
  • Activities: Inquire about what activities are offered and whether they are designed to deal with cognitive functional development.
  • Costs: The cost of nursing homes continue to rise, and Memory Care costs are even more pricey. Expect to pay an additional $1,000 – $4,000 per month for the detailed care.

 Talk to a Nursing Home Attorney

Memory Care might be a viable option for your loved one whether you’re trying to transition from home to Memory Care or need to update placement. Regardless of the preparation that you’ve done, unfortunately sometimes bad things can occur. If you or your loved one have suffered from nursing home abuse, you need the expertise and dedication of a nursing home attorney. Here at Walton Law, we accommodate your needs and will fight for your rights. Contact us today.

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