Memory care facilities are specialized facilities designed to assist individuals who have memory loss. Typically, the patient’s memory loss is the result of dementia or Alzheimer’s, but there are other causes as well. Usually, family members or loved ones of the residents choose to place them in a memory care facility instead of a nursing home because of the specialized care that they can receive.
Memory Care Facility Services
Like nursing homes, memory care facilities also provide traditional round-the-clock care. Caregivers at memory care facilities assist residents with management of their medications and with activities of daily living (ADLs). Activities of daily living include dressing, general hygiene, and supply of daily scheduled meals.
Unlike nursing homes, memory care facilities offer a wide variety of therapies specifically designed to assist in the management of dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms, including:
- Memory loss and confusion
- Aggressive or combative behavior
- Sundown syndrome (a state of confusion occurring at dusk or into the late evening)
While nursing homes staff caregivers who are typically more specialized in general medical care, like attending to injuries or administering IVs, the caregivers who manage residents in memory care facilities have undergone specific training to do so. The caregivers and staff are consistently updated and continually educated on how to manage and treat the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
All caregivers have completed thorough, curriculum-based courses to become a certified specialist. In addition to knowing that your elderly parent or loved one will be in the hands of a highly trained specialist, it can also reduce anxiety about future relocations, as well.
Memory Care Facility Therapies
Memory care facilities offer a wide variety of therapies to reduce the symptoms of memory loss and restore cognitive and motor skills. The most common therapies provided in a memory care facility are:
- Music and Art Therapy. Music and art therapy uses the creation and assessment of music and art to restore cognitive stimulation and motor skills. Art therapy has been known to improve cognitive function by allowing the individual to create on their own and analyze the meaning behind different art pieces. Music therapy includes both creating and listening to music, which can reduce depression and return beneficial memories.
- Light Therapy. In addition to ensuring that residents receive plenty of sunlight when the weather is amicable, light therapy includes using indoor lights to recreate the effects of sunlight in the winter months. Exposure to a healthy amount of sunlight can increase vitamin D levels. Light therapy can also reduce the risk and alleviate symptoms of seasonal depression.
- Pet Therapy. Allowing residents to interact with trained animals has been shown to help in the recovery of injuries or illnesses. Regular interaction with animals can also reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well. Typically, facilities use professionally trained, certified therapy dogs, but other facilities have also been known to include equine, or interaction with horses, therapy as well.
- Reminiscence Therapy. Reminiscence Therapy is used to assist residents experiencing symptoms of memory loss recall the past on their own. Individuals who experience memory loss as a result of dementia and Alzheimer’s can become frustrated, angry, and combative when they are asked to recall information they can no longer remember. Reminiscence therapy utilizes photographs or videos of the past to allow the resident to remember aspects of their life on their own, without putting them in a stressful or anxiety-inducing situation.
- Aromatherapy. Our sense of smell can be much more powerful at returning memories than many people realize. Aromatherapy is a type of holistic treatment that utilizes the extracts of certain plants in the form of essential oils in order to promote and improve physical and psychological wellbeing.
- Sensory Stimulation. Similar to aromatherapy, sensory stimulation uses activities that stimulate one or more of our five senses. Sensory stimulation sometimes includes activities that are used in art or music therapy but generally has an entirely additional plan of care. Sensory stimulation can improve motor skills and cognitive performance in adults who are experiencing memory loss.
The Unique Designs of Memory Care Facilities
Memory care facilities also feature much different interior and exterior designs from that of nursing homes. Everything from security measures to the paint scheme of the building is installed with the intent of assisting memory care patients with the maintenance and recovery of their symptoms.
Design aspects of memory care facilities are placed with ease of access for residents in mind. They are also utilized to reduce frustration, anger, or panic a resident may feel from being lost.
Color-coded hallways and floors of memory care facilities help residents remember where they are and give them the freedom of being able to navigate the facility more independently. Memory care facilities feature large, open floor plans and widened doors and entryways.
Memory Care Facility Security
Security aspects of memory care facilities provide safety without reducing the dignity of residents. Common safety measures of memory care facilities include:
- Keypads are installed for the entry of family members and staff. These are usually placed in areas that residents may potentially wander into that could place them at risk and prevent them from leaving the facility unattended.
- Gardens and patios are gated to ensure that wandering does not occur. Usually, most memory care facilities feature a large, enclosed common area or courtyard for residents to enjoy and mingle without having to exit the facility.
- Some of the best facilities provide thorough video surveillance of all public areas. This allows security to keep a watchful eye on residents from afar. Video surveillance also allows security to ensure that no one enters the facility without the staff’s knowledge. It also ensures staff and caregivers are always following protocol and providing care to the best standards.
Rocky Mountain Assisted Living for Memory Care Services
If you are considering relocating an elderly parent or loved one to a memory care facility, Rocky Mountain Assisted Living’s staff and caregivers are highly trained certified professionals. We provide a comfortable, safe, and caring environment for the residents at our facility. If you would like to see an overview of the personal care plans that we offer, or start a conversation with a representative regarding relocating your parent or family member to a memory care facility, contact us online today.