Every year, thousands of Americans are forced to make difficult decisions when it comes to the medical care and support their elderly loved ones need. While many people in this challenging situation may default to considering nursing homes, it is vital to consider the neurological needs of your elderly loved one, especially when it comes to their memory.
Many factors can interfere with and diminish memory capabilities with age, and it’s often up to the loved ones of those affected by memory conditions to secure the ongoing care they need from teams with the skills, equipment, and credentials to handle memory care effectively.
What is the difference between memory care and a nursing home? Quite a lot, in fact. If your elderly loved one has any type of memory condition at any stage, it’s vital to consider the benefits of what a true memory care facility can offer compared to what they would expect from a nursing home.
What Your Loved One Can Expect in a Nursing Home
The term “nursing home” is ubiquitously applied to many different senior care centers throughout the United States. The reality is that these nursing homes can provide varying levels of care depending on residents’ needs. Medical care is a staple of the nursing home experience. The majority of elderly individuals struggle with one or more adverse health complications that require consistent monitoring and treatment. Many nursing homes strive to provide access to this ongoing care in a supportive and comfortable environment, typically seeking to provide residents with as many opportunities for individual expression and independence as they can manage.
Some nursing homes are more clinical in nature, effectively functioning as more comfortable and “homey” hospitals for elders with critical medical conditions. These facilities also often provide palliative care to those who need it. Other nursing homes more closely fit the definition of assisted living facilities, where residents are afforded as much independence as possible while still having access to the medical care and support they need to manage everyday tasks without excessive difficulty.
The best nursing homes in the United States offer individualized care plans. While amenities and comfort-focused services may be largely the same for all residents, care staff will attend to each resident’s unique healthcare requirements on an individual basis. However, most nursing homes only offer baseline medical care and may not have the staff, training, or facilities that are necessary for managing certain memory conditions. This is where memory care can come into play and offer more individualized and more effective care to elders.
What Your Loved One Can Expect in Memory Care
Memory conditions manifest among the elderly population in many ways. The most commonly reported memory problem amongst elderly Americans is Alzheimer’s Disease, which many professional medical researchers expect to affect more than 13 million Americans by 2050. Every day, thousands of elderly Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other neurodegenerative conditions that negatively impact their memories.
Memory care combines the best of assisted living and nursing home care with dedicated treatment specifically focused on maintaining and, in some cases, improving memory functions. Without effective memory care, an elderly person afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease will gradually succumb to the condition, often with tragic consequences. They may gradually forget their closest relatives, including their own children and grandchildren. They may forget where they are or where they are going, and they may forget to take care of themselves at a basic level.
It’s common for families of elderly individuals afflicted by memory conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, to realize they are not properly prepared or equipped to handle the ongoing daily care their elderly loved ones need. An elder with a memory impairment could eventually endanger themselves or others, and memory care can provide them with the treatment and support they need to live a healthy, safe, and fulfilling lifestyle.
Memory Care from Rocky Mountain Assisted Living
While you might find nursing homes that claim to offer memory care programs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any that can match the level of personalized, comprehensive memory care treatment offered by Rocky Mountain Assisted Living. Whether your elderly loved one needs the careful medical supervision that you would expect from a nursing home, or the freedom offered by an assisted living facility, Rocky Mountain Assisted Living can provide the care and comfort they need and a memory care program carefully designed to optimize their quality of life. Some of the benefits of our memory care program include:
- Enhanced physical safety. Our memory care program includes carefully designed living spaces and treatment facilities that account for mobility issues while minimizing the risk of injuries from wandering.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps elderly residents be proactive participants in their own treatment plans.
- Physical activity programs that improve whole-body wellness, and a healthy body naturally encourages a healthier mind.
- Carefully individualized memory care treatment that involves collaboration with your elderly loved one’s medical care team.
- Individual and group counseling sessions that remind your loved one they are not alone and have the support they need from others who understand their challenges.
These are just a few of the benefits an elderly resident enjoys at Rocky Mountain Assisted Living. We have multiple facilities throughout Colorado that can suit various preferences and individual needs, and every memory care plan we develop is entirely focused on the individual resident’s needs.
Nursing homes are often very clinical facilities that offer little flexibility in terms of individual patient care, and many of the leading nursing homes throughout Colorado do not offer effective memory care programs for their residents. While nursing homes may be able to provide basic everyday support for your elderly loved one, they likely cannot match the level of personalized memory care treatment they would receive from Rocky Mountain Assisted Living.
Deciding a care plan for an elderly loved one with a memory impairment is a very difficult process that involves many decisions, and it can be incredibly challenging and emotionally stressful to navigate this process effectively. If you are ready to see the real difference between a nursing home and the best memory care facilities in Colorado, contact Rocky Mountain Assisted Living to learn more about the memory care programs we provide.