Knowing When to Move to Memory Care from Assisted Living
Sometimes, choosing a place for your elderly loved one to finish out their years isn’t a permanent decision. Oftentimes, an assisted living facility is the appropriate choice, and then as they get older, they need more help, such as at a memory care facility. Both of these types of communities offer not only housing and food, as well as grooming and medical help but provide emergency notifications and daily check-ins. That being said, there is a point where semi-independent assisted living is no longer appropriate, and people need higher-level care.
Is your senior beginning to act in ways that require heightened safety? When someone begins wandering away and can’t remember where they belong, if they are aggressive toward staff or family members (or other residents), if they are beginning to trip and fall—all of these are signs that they might need memory care over the assisted living.
Although assisted living facilities have plenty of security, memory care homes have enhanced features such as locked and sound-motioned doors going in and out of the building, keypads, camouflaged exits, etc.
Memory care facilities often offer special areas that provide relaxing, calming spaces that help people reset and calm themselves after periods of aggression or confusion. These are often combined with activities that can bring people back to a level sense of stability and self.
If your loved one seems to be more upset and frustrated in their assisted facility, it might be time to move them to a place that concentrates more on memory care.
Heightened Education and Training
Nursing home employees need specialized training and should have an empathetic, calm, compassionate persona. Staff at a memory care facility, though, should go through even deeper levels of training, as they have to provide a higher level of care. Best practices for dementia and Alzheimer’s should be taught and followed at all times.
Does your elderly relative require more specialized care than they used to? Are you finding that those who care for them are no longer capable of giving them the understanding and resources that they need?
Lower Staff-to-Patient Ratios
Memory-care facilities traditionally (and should) have lower ratios of staff to patients than more independent facilities. Memory care patients need more focused, patient-centered care. This attentiveness can help maintain self-esteem, cognitive abilities, and quality of life for even longer than if employees aren’t attending to their patients with individual care and concern.
All elderly-care facilities should have traditional offerings such as outdoor spaces, transportation, libraries or game rooms, arts and crafts, etc. In a memory care facility, though, there should be specified common areas, color-coded rooms and floors to make it easy for residents to identify spaces, and opportunities for individualization (such as doors or boxes outside of their rooms) so that patients can identify where they belong.
The Final Decision
Listen to your intuition. If your loved one is no longer happy, safe, or thriving in their assisted living facility, it might be time to move them on to a place that offers more personalized, intensive care. You are making the best decision for their health and happiness.
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