For many families, finding the right fit in senior care for an aging loved one is a straightforward undertaking – recognize the level of care the senior requires and find a senior living community that meets those needs.
Does Grandma still like to go shopping in town and maintain her own living space? Does Dad need support in bathing and grooming but still like to play cards with friends? Do Uncle Steve and Aunt Debbie want to live together with their dog but no longer want to do home or lawn maintenance?
The different types of senior living communities are designed to meet a variety of needs and care levels. However, for families with a loved one who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the task of finding the right care community can be much more difficult.
While there are many options for safe care for older adults with dementia, the cognitive impairment does make the decision a bit more complicated. It helps to understand what options are available, what different types of senior care offer their residents and how memory care needs are different.
Types of Senior Care
There are a variety of types of senior care that align with different conditions, care levels and support needs. Some senior care communities are equipped to support residents with cognitive impairments, such dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, while others are not designed for that level of care. Here is an overview of the types of senior care:
Skilled nursing care refers to a patient’s need for care or treatment that can only be performed by licensed nurses. Skilled nursing communities are designed for seniors who require post-surgical rehabilitation, wound care, pain management and cognitive care. Some skilled nursing communities offer specialized dementia care.
Senior living communities that are defined as independent living communities mostly focus on meeting the social needs of residents, and the residents are able to live without much support.
Assisted living is a type of senior living community that provides older adults with personalized care in a residential setting. Seniors who are in primarily good health, but who do require support for some activities, will find a good fit in assisted living. Assisted living also focuses on supporting residents in living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a high level of social engagement.
Many assisted living communities offer a special unit dedicated to memory care. Around 14% of assisted living communities have a specialized dementia care unit. Within skilled nursing and assisted living communities, memory care units offer round-the-clock care and supervision as well as help with day-to-day activities like bathing and dressing. Often, memory care is located in a separate area within an assisted living or nursing facility; sometimes these units are secured to reduce the risk that people with memory loss could wander.
Memory care communities offer specialized care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Memory care communities usually feature secure environments where team members can closely monitor the health and daily needs of the residents. The programs, events and activities in memory care are designed to help memory care residents work on their cognitive abilities, while also participating in their personal hobbies and passions. Team members who work in memory care are trained to provide the specialized care necessary for seniors with memory loss.
Every senior living community has its own unique identity and culture. However, each one of these types of care typically offers residents enrichment programs, housekeeping and laundry services, transportation and various social activities. At Mount Prospect Senior Living, in addition to care services, residents have access to:
- Restaurant-style dining
- Bus service for local transportation
- Spacious common areas
- Cleansing portal at entry
- Cadillac movie theater
- Wrigley’s Bistro
- Private gardens and walking paths
- Well-appointed, spacious apartments
- Beauty salon
- Weekly linen, housekeeping and laundry service
- Vibrant Life® activity schedule
- Wellness center
- Spacious dog park
Memory Care Communities
No matter if the care is provided in a memory care community or a memory care unit within another senior care community, memory care is very unique. Here are some of the unique benefits that seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia receive in memory care communities or memory care units that would not be available in standard senior care communities:
- Constant Support. Dementia is a progressive disease, which means it worsens over time. Most residents of memory care end up needing full-time support by the later stages of the disease.
- Personalized Care. Memory care communities are staffed with team members who understand dementia’s challenges and the unique ways the disease presents itself in every resident.
- Socialization. Memory care communities and units make it easy for residents to interact with neighbors and caregivers on a daily basis, giving residents an active social life, which supports cognitive health.
- Unique Programming. Memory care programs are designed with activities that promote cognitive stimulation and health.
- Nutrition and Overall Wellness. Memory care communities ensure residents are eating well and receive the appropriate amount of assistance needed during mealtimes. Staying active, staying social and getting enough rest are also priorities in order to help the residents maintain the optimal level of overall health.
- Specially Trained Team Members. Specialized memory care communities and units only train caregivers using best practices for caring for those with dementia. For the benefit of the residents, these professionals understand the intricacies of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and have the ability to monitor subtle changes in health and adapt an individual’s care for optimal results. Those trained in dementia care also understand the emotional challenges experienced by loved ones and can support families as needed.
- Families Regain Their Roles. Once there is confidence in the care and support a loved one is receiving in memory care, family members can enjoy serving in family roles once again, rather than serving as caregivers.
At Mount Prospect Senior Living, memory care residents have access to signature programs that are designed to create an immersive, sensory-focused environment based on proven techniques to foster happiness and individual moments of achievement. These programs include:
- Life Story Display – Honoring each resident’s experiences that make the “story of a lifetime.”
- Tune Into Me – Music has proven links to memory – which is why Mount Prospect created personalized jukebox playlists for residents.
- Culinary Creations – Preparing recipes from the past to delight the senses and enliven memories.
- It’s All Right – Highlighting the individuality and unique creativity of each resident.
- Never Stop Exploring – Connecting with and staying involved in the local community.
- From Our Generation to Yours – Creative intergenerational activities create a bridge between age groups.
About Mount Prospect Senior Living
Mount Prospect Senior Living offers both assisted living and memory care services. We create a culture of caring for each resident and each family as they work to write life’s next chapter. We are committed to helping each resident create the life they want, on their terms and with the best possible health outcomes.
We offer activities for seniors, life enrichment and health programs designed to create opportunities for social interaction, connection and engagement. All of this is part of our Vibrant Life® program. This program is designed to inspire and challenge residents, from the innovative daily activity calendar to the wide-ranging neighborhood monthly meeting. Our goal is to help each resident build their best day, their best health outcomes, their best social calendar and their best life!
Interested in learning more about Mount Prospect? Contact us today with questions, to learn more about our community, to schedule a tour or to inquire about our life enrichment programs for seniors!