Memory care, often called Alzheimer’s care, provides housing, meals, supportive services, and various levels of health care for people with dementia or other forms of memory loss. Memory care facilities provide a secure area, often via alarmed exit doors, and employ specially trained staff. This type of care focuses on enhancing quality of life for people with dementia, while minimizing wandering, frustration, and depression.
Dementia —a term for brain disorders that cause memory loss and problems with thinking and reasoning skills — is progressive. This means symptoms worsen over time. Someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s eventually requires 24-hour supervised care in a secure environment.
Standalone memory care communities focus specifically on this unique care type and welcome mostly residents with dementia. Memory care units also are often found within assisted living communities in a separate wing or building. Sometimes, dementia care is offered in nursing homes.
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The demand for memory care continues to surge. Senior Housing Business magazine noted a 55 percent increase in memory units from 2013 to 2018, with communities acting fast to meet this rising need. In fact, memory care now represents the fastest-growing sector of senior living, resulting in more options for seniors.
Memory care facilities cater to seniors’ increased need of support with daily activities, building upon general assisted living services in several ways:
Families can also expect personalized support based on a resident’s stage of dementia. Individuals with early-stage dementia have the capacity to relearn skills and improve their memory through focused treatment. For residents with advanced forms of memory loss, these programs can help slow the progression of the disease.
Above all, families typically turn to memory care for expertise and peace of mind. These communities prioritize safety, featuring alarmed doors and keypad entrances.
Memory care facilities also aim to comfort your loved one with accessible layouts and social inclusion. From a design perspective, for example, communities make navigation simple with non-repetitive hallways and clearly marked exits.
Facilities empower residents to recognize their surroundings through sensory cues, like music in communal areas and familiar scents in the kitchen. They may facilitate relaxation with gardens and secure, enclosed outdoor spaces.
Communities also present opportunities to socialize, providing activities and communal gatherings. Therapies may even involve your loved one’s special interests and hobbies. In memory care, trained staff lead fun, memory-enhancing group therapies and programs, such as:
To find out more about memory care and whether it might be a good fit for your loved one, talk by phone or chat online with one of A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors.
Adler, Jane. “Investors rethink memory care.” https://seniorshousingbusiness.com/investors-rethink-memory-care/.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “What is Alzheimer’s Disease?” https://www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm.
Kara Lewis is a content writer at A Place for Mom. She’s worked in writing, editing, and creative strategy for several years, most recently at Andrews McMeel Universal, Hallmark, and Gannett Media. Her writing has appeared in Bustle, Alma, and The Kansas City Star, among other outlets. She has won awards for digitally conscious journalism, investigative reporting, magazine writing, and poetry.