What is Memory Care?
No one plans to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other type of dementia.
It’s not something people purposefully work into their retirement future. Often, a diagnosis simply hits us like a lightning bolt on a clear day, even though we may have had a gnawing suspicion of what it could be for some time. As humans, we want to feel as if we can face any challenge. Yet once we get the official confirmation, we’re faced with an overwhelming sense of helplessness.
But family, friends and those who have been recently diagnosed aren’t helpless in the face of this disease. There are remarkable memory care services available to them, offering specialized care that can make a truly positive difference in the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s. The assisted living memory care environment at Artis Senior Living is just one example.
Understanding what memory care is
To fully appreciate what memory care is, it helps to understand why memory care is so important.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. It accounts for 60 to 80% of dementia cases. It worsens over time, and there is no cure. It’s estimated that 6.2 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today, a figure expected to double by 2050.
- In its early stages, symptoms may not be readily apparent, though some signs are common, such as forgetting words and names, having difficulty planning or organizing, or struggling to remember where an object was last placed. Usually a person can continue to function independently.
- At the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s, dementia symptoms become more pronounced. The person may become more easily confused, agitated or depressed, sleep patterns may change and they may wander or get lost. The individual may be able to participate in daily activities with assistance. This stage is the longest and may last for several years. As the need for more intensive care increases, caregivers may need to consider respite care to get an occasional break from their caregiving responsibilities, which can be overwhelming physically, mentally and emotionally. Often, families may start investigating memory care facilities because the level of care needed is simply too great for a family member to provide.
- At the late stage of the disease, the person may lose the ability to communicate or respond to their environment. However, they may still react to music, which has been known to stimulate memories. They require round-the-clock dementia care delivered by people specifically trained to provide it. At the late stage of this disease, the person is living in a memory or dementia care facility and may eventually need hospice services.
Especially at the moderate and late stages, it becomes apparent why memory care is so vital for both the person with Alzheimer’s, and for those who love and care for them.
Memory care is specifically designed to offer a safe and structured setting, with services and amenities provided, including meals, laundry and housekeeping, and medication management,when residents are unable to manage these tasks of daily living on their own.
Residents with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia can receive 24-hour care and attention from highly trained staff members who also deliver memory-enhancing therapies, encourage residents to engage with others and provide personal assistance. Often the focus of a memory care facility is on providing a good quality of life and keeping the resident safe and secure.
Families know their loved one is living in an environment designed for their disease, is receiving specialized care and is being cared for by staff trained to meet each resident’s unique needs and priorities.
What memory care is at Artis Senior Living
At Artis Senior Living, we focus on the person, not the disease. This unique focus is why we design and build each assisted living memory care community from the ground up: to give residents freedom of movement inside and outside our building, and ensure they enjoy a better quality of life.
Each Artis assisted living memory care community is created around a model that features many small neighborhoods within a larger community. All neighborhoods connect to the Town Center, a central core area that offers amenities like a health center, combined beauty salon and barber shop and a studio for community gatherings.
Residents are free to safely stroll between households and open spaces; the building design itself offers visual cues to help residents find their way around more independently. During meal times, residents are served tableside to stimulate their senses of sight and smell, and allow them to make personal choices based on their preferences.
- Ability to have a voice — residents are empowered to share their opinions and have their voices heard at Town Hall meetings with leadership.
- Respect and maintain relationships between residents, and between residents, staff and families. A universal worker model means everyone who cares for your loved one will know their preferences and passions, in order to provide the most personalized care.
- Treasuring each person’s uniqueness through partnership profiles family members share about their residents; engagement programming is then developed around each resident’s partnership profile.
- Integrity and doing the right thing in all ways.
- Success and recognition, such as asking current residents to make welcome gifts for new residents.
If someone you love needs assisted living memory care, we encourage you to take a closer look at an Artis Senior Living community. We have 27 communities located in 11 states, so chances are good there’s one close to you or someone you love. Contact us to discover our unique approach to memory care.
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