If a loved one is suffering from a cognitive decline, you may want to consider memory care. Whether it’s Alzheimer’s disease or degenerative dementia, there are many overwhelming care options to choose from. Naturally, watching a family member experience these challenges is stressful and heart-wrenching. As a result, it can be difficult to determine the best way to help them. That’s why much time and effort goes into deciding what steps are next. 

Don’t worry! You don’t have to navigate this process alone. Using our Coral Senior Care Consultant’s expert recommendations in senior care, you can make an informed decision.

image of senior in memory care visited by grandchild at assisted living facility in Florida

What Is Memory Care for Seniors?

Memory care is a specialized residential facility dedicated to assisting patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other forms of cognitive degeneration. In fact, this is the fastest-growing sector in the senior housing market due to its many benefits

Overall, these facilities are designed to create a safe environment with structured patient routines. They also provide meals and assistance with personal tasks, like an assisted living facility. 

Memory care facilities have activities that include:

  • Gardening
  • Exercise
  • Cognitive games
  • Social engagement
  • Therapies
  • Personal care (i.e., bathing, grooming, dressing)

In memory care centers, the employees are trained to deal with the unique challenges of individuals with memory issues. Specifically, they can calm patients’ irritability and anxiety caused by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Furthermore, they ensure resident’s safety by using alarmed doors, enclosed outdoor spaces, and tracking bracelets. Using these strategies prevents patients from getting lost or harmed. 

How To Determine Whether Memory Care Is Appropriate

When your loved one is battling Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can be difficult to manage their needs. 

To lessen your stress, placing your family member in a facility specializing in memory care may be ideal. 

To determine whether memory care is appropriate, your family member must consult a medical professional specialized in evaluating and diagnosing cognitive issues, such as a neurologist, psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, or geriatrician. These issues should not be self-diagnosed. When you cannot find a specialist, consult your insurance company for a list of doctors compatible with your insurance or ask your primary care physician for a referral. 

If you’re uncertain whether your loved one is battling a cognitive decline, have them evaluated. Doing so will help you choose the best level of care. However, individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or reversible causes of memory loss will likely benefit from outpatient care, not a facility. If you are not sure what is most appropriate, doctors can make a recommendation.

How To Select a Facility

Understanding your family member’s physical and mental needs will guide you in deciding whether to continue caregiving or place them in a facility. Specifically, a memory care facility may be optimal when their day-to-day care exceeds what you can manage. 

When determining the following steps, it’s best to consider the level of care, what insurance covers, and financial limitations. For instance, if your loved one requires round-the-clock assistance, is immobile, or has comorbid health conditions, they will benefit from a memory care facility. Before making a decision, you must consider your financial status and insurance options. More importantly, visit the memory care centers and evaluate the staff’s training and expertise to ensure the patient’s needs are addressed. 

Solutions For Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients

Potential solutions for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients include:

  • Memory Residential Care Facilities 

Residential facilities are most helpful when the individual requires more supervision and care than can be provided at home. Assisted living facilities with memory care may be able to manage the early stages, whereas nursing homes may be more appropriate for a higher level of care. 

  • Home Care

Home care allows seniors to remain at home with caregivers, nursing staff, and medical professional support. They will receive help with bathing, dressing, eating, and keeping the person with dementia safe. This is best for those who cannot afford a facility or whose insurance does not cover memory care. 

  • Adult Daycare

Adult daycare centers are focused on care during the day, allowing the caregiver to take a break. This is a short-term alternative for those who lack the insurance or funds for a memory care center.

Adult daycare provides:

  • Counseling 
  • Health services
  • Nutritious meals
  • Personal care
  • Activities and social engagement
  • Behavior management
  • Special needs accommodation
  • Therapy (physical, mental, or occupational)

Along with adult daycare, you may seek respite care services, including supervision, meal delivery to the home, and transportation. 

  • Hospice

Hospice can offer end-of-life care and comfort for those with dementia and their families. These services can be provided at a residential care facility, a hospital, or a hospice center.

Ask Coral Senior Care Consultants 

Our experts at Coral Senior Care Consultants, serving the greater Tampa Bay, Florida, area, will help you navigate the complex world of senior care options, including memory care. Remember, you do not have to do this alone! Using our expertise, we guide you in making well-informed decisions regarding the following:

  • Assisted living facilities
  • Independent living 
  • Nursing homes
  • Home care agencies
  • Hospice
  • Memory care communities and residential facilities
  • Healthcare professionals

If you want to ask us a question or speak with one of our professionals, please contact us today!