There are many reasons why an older adult may experience memory loss or other cognitive problems. These reasons include an infection, side effects from a medication, depression or simple aging. Sometimes, these problems can be treated and cognitive function improves. In other cases, such as if a senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, the condition cannot be reversed.
For seniors with cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, they experience many challenges in living with these conditions. Because of these challenges, it is important for seniors with memory loss to have the right support, care and resources. When considering the options available to help families and seniors with memory loss, it is important to consider:
- The Unique Needs of Seniors with Memory Loss
In memory care settings, dementia care focuses on the importance of caring for all aspects of a person’s well-being – including their social, mental and emotional needs, as well as their physical and medical needs.
- Safety Concerns
Over time, people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia become less able to manage daily tasks. They may forget to turn off the oven, forget they are running a bath or lose household items they need, such as eyeglasses or medications.
- The Importance of Specialized Memory Care
Following a dementia diagnosis, many families choose to care for their loved one at home. However, in most cases, seniors and their families opt for the incredible support of memory care at some point during their memory loss journey.
Memory Loss and Quality of Life
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, so memory care treatment is designed to improve the senior’s quality of life. Because of the nature of diseases of cognitive impairment, such as dementia, it is difficult to assess quality of life in many seniors. Seniors with memory loss often do not remember daily activities and are not able to describe their feelings. Additionally, many experts differ in their opinions on how to measure quality of life for someone with dementia. In general, the goal of caring for a senior with dementia is to ensure their days are as comfortable as possible, with little confusion, pain or distress.
Based on these principles, families considering making the move to memory care can consider factors like these to assess a senior loved one’s quality of life at home:
- Home Environment. Many seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease have a difficult time living in environments where things are changing frequently. Even small changes, such as using different dishes or changing towels can be confusing. A stable, safe environment is very important for quality of life.
- Socialization. Having a chance to connect with peers and carry on conversations is important for everyone and very important for seniors with cognitive impairment. Sharing memories and discussing life accomplishments is a great way to build bonds and increase daily engagement.
- Mental and Physical Health. Questions around daily pain or discomfort, fears or stressors, mobility challenges or concerns about medications should be addressed when discussing quality of life, as well as safety.
- Daily Activities. What does an average day look like? Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia benefit from routines, social time and stimulating activities. Is a senior living at home engaging with others, staying active and receiving support and stimulation?
- Self-Care. Basic activities of self-care, such as brushing teeth or bathing, become more difficult as cognitive impairment advances. Tasks such as cleaning the house and emptying the dishwasher can also become hard to remember and even harder to execute. An environment with specialized support is important to maintain proper cleanliness and hygiene.
- Respect. No matter the daily challenges, seniors with memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia deserve to be treated with care and respect. Untrained caregivers can lose patience, become frustrated or become confused by unpredictable behaviors – compassion is key.
Benefits of a Memory Care Community
Specialized memory care communities, like Mount Prospect Senior Living, are designed to provide unique levels of care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, including providing programs that promote brain health. Additional benefits of memory care include:
- Team members receive specialized training to handle and support residents through the unique challenges brought on by disease of cognitive impairment.
- Residents have access to support anytime, day or night.
- Engaging programs and activities are specifically designed for individuals with memory impairment.
- Residents in memory care programs receive personalized care plans that address their personal needs.
- Once a senior loved one is in a memory care program, family members can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved one is receiving top-tier care and support.
At Mount Prospect Senior Living, the team takes memory care to the next level. Each program creates an immersive, sensory-focused environment based on proven techniques to foster happiness and individual moments of achievement for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These unique programs include:
- The Life Story Display. Honoring each resident’s experiences that creates the “story of a lifetime.”
- Tune Into Me. Because music has proven links to memory, the Mount Prospect team has created personalized jukebox playlists for memory care residents.
- Culinary Creations. Favorite recipes from the past are used to delight the senses and inspire old memories.
- From Our Generation to Yours. Creative intergenerational activities are used to create a bridge between age groups and to foster social connections.
- Never Stop Exploring. Connecting with and staying involved in the local community gives every day purpose and brings a sense of pride and accomplishment.
- It’s All Right. Highlighting the individuality and unique creativity of each person allows each senior to use their own talents and stay connected to their interests.
About Mount Prospect Senior Living
If you are considering memory care for yourself or a loved one, the best way to understand what a community is like is to visit one! Contact Mount Prospect Senior Living today to schedule a tour and to learn more about our programs. Do you have questions about our culture, our care or our services? Interested in discussing how families pay for memory care? Call us today at 847-250-6029!