As our nation’s elderly population continues to grow, rates of dementia are rising as well. Over six million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, and experts predict this number will rise to nearly 13 million by 2050. Deaths caused by this disease have skyrocketed 145% from 2000 to 2019, and one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, more than both breast and prostate cancers combined. This has placed an incredible burden on family members and friends who care for their loved ones, and over 11 million people provide unpaid care to support their seniors.
While it may be possible during the early stages of this disease to provide sufficient care for your senior at home, Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological disease that will continue to cause a significant, irreversible decline in thinking, memory, and social and behavioral skills. Even when they receive the best treatment, it will eventually become impossible for patients to function independently, make rational judgments in ordinary situations, and perform daily tasks like bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and maintaining their home. As the disease progresses, they are susceptible to experiencing depression, delusions, and mood swings, becoming aggressive, wandering off, having accidents, and sustaining serious injuries.
Many families recognize that they are not equipped to provide the intensive, round-the-clock care their loved one needs to stay safe, healthy, and comfortable, so they decide to move their senior to a memory care facility that offers specialized support and treatment. Learn more about memory care below, then contact Rocky Mountain Assisted Living today to discuss our services.
What Does Memory Care Mean in Assisted Living?
Memory care facilities refer to residential communities designed for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. In the past, memory care facilities and assisted living facilities were separate, but now certain assisted living homes provide services for residents who suffer from memory impairment. These facilities combine personal care assistance with enhanced safety measures to meet residents’ needs, allowing them to maintain some level of independence while still ensuring their safety and giving them the care they need to stay healthy and happy. Caregivers receive specialized training to help residents cope with memory loss and improve their quality of life.
What Are the Benefits of Memory Care?
Memory care services at assisted living facilities are precisely tailored to each individual resident yet flexible enough to accommodate changes in their abilities. These programs offer a variety of benefits, including:
- Planning and coordination of treatment among a collaborative team of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, and mental health specialists
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Individual and group counseling sessions
- Activity programs to stimulate their minds, boost mental flexibility, and improve memory
- Opportunities for socialization with peers and recreational outings
- Enhanced safety features to meet mobility challenges and mitigate the risk of wandering
- Security staff and community alert systems provide 24/7 emergency monitoring to promptly handle any issues that may arise
Caregivers may also assist with personal care tasks, home maintenance, meal preparation, eating, transportation, or other services.
How Do I Know If My Loved One Needs Memory Care?
It can be difficult to determine when your senior has reached a point in their disease where they can no longer safely live at home, and you no longer have the time, energy, or resources to give them the care they deserve. To decide if your loved one needs to transition to residential care with memory support, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do they require full-time supervision?
- Do they need help performing most or all of their daily activities?
- Do they remember to eat, drink, and take their medication?
- Are they forgetting to turn off stovetop burners or other appliances when cooking?
- Are they struggling with bathing and getting dressed?
- Are they neglecting to care for pets?
- Do they get lost on routes they used to navigate without issue, such as walking around the neighborhood or running errands?
- Do they become confused and disoriented and put their safety at risk?
- Are they wandering off?
- Do they have injuries they can’t explain or can’t remember sustaining?
- Are they frequently going to the emergency room for medical care?
- Is their physical health deteriorating, such as losing weight or becoming incontinent?
- Are they able to communicate what they need?
- Have you noticed any drastic changes in behavior, including irritability, aggression, mood swings, showing fear in ordinary situations, or becoming withdrawn if they were previously social?
- Are they experiencing delusions?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you need to consider assisted living with memory care. Remember that dementia increases in severity over time, so seeking help now is vital for preparing for the future when they will inevitably need more assistance.
Why Should I Choose Rocky Mountain Assisted Living?
If you think it may be time to make specialized living arrangements for your loved one, Rocky Mountain Assisted Living is an industry-leading facility staffed with dedicated memory care experts. We offer comprehensive, personalized memory support designed to help seniors suffering from cognitive decline and accommodate their unique needs. Maintaining the safety, comfort, and dignity of your senior is our number one priority, so our program focuses on creating a welcoming, nurturing space that limits confusion and helps them cope with their daily challenges while also encouraging socialization and participation in recreational activities.
At Rocky Mountain Assisted Living, our professional caregivers have extensive education, training, and experience in memory care, and our low resident-to-staff ratio ensures your senior has access to the support they need at any time of day or night. We provide a broad range of cognitive, therapeutic, and restorative treatments to improve memory and mental flexibility across all levels of care. Additionally, our homes are thoughtfully designed inside and out for comfort, safety, and engagement. They feature beautiful scenery, secure walking paths, natural lighting, serene color schemes, and quiet rooms for relaxing.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your loved one achieve the right balance of independence and structured care as they transition to assisted living. You can speak with our team about our services, discuss treatment options, or schedule a tour of our grounds.