If your mom or dad has Alzheimer’s or dementia, and you have been discussing the best way to manage their care, a “memory care community” may have been suggested by their healthcare team. But what is memory care, and how does it differ from other types of senior living communities?
What is Memory Care?
Memory care is a specialized form of care typically provided to seniors who are experiencing some level of dementia or Alzheimer’s. At The Kensington Falls Church, we believe in making seniors who need memory care feel comfortable and calm. We meet their needs by creating structured environments with an emphasis on scheduled daily activities and a dependable, comforting routine.
Early-Stage Memory Care
Understanding memory loss can help you understand the need for memory care. When a senior is first experiencing the early stages of dementia or has early Alzheimer’s, they can easily become confused and frustrated with what seems like normal tasks. Any uncertainty they experience can add to those feelings and contribute to stress. Cognitive issues can lead to behavioral changes, and it can be difficult to care for an aging parent who is struggling to remember to take medications on schedule, make mortgage payments, or get to doctor appointments on the right day.
As memory loss progresses, your loved one may experience “sundowning,” becoming agitated as the day draws to a close. They may also become more prone to wandering off and getting lost, causing even more stress and confusion. Seniors with early-stage memory loss also frequently experience depression, as they are on some level aware of their declining condition.
A memory care community can create a stress-free lifestyle by streamlining your loved one’s day, reminding them gently when certain actions need to be performed, and helping them with medication regimens and doctor visits. Knowing your mom or dad is being supported with the small things that make up a happy, healthy life can take some of the responsibility off of your shoulders giving you peace of mind when you aren’t physically present.
The Connections Neighborhood
The Connections Neighborhood at The Kensington Falls Church is designed for residents with early-stage dementia or Alzheimer’s. We strive to provide a natural environment with plenty of outdoor spaces, a welcoming pet policy, and a wander management system to ensure your loved one stays safe without feeling restricted or managed. Our Connections residents also benefit from the strong community network which is available to provide social activities, recreation programs, group trips and reading discussion clubs to enhance daily life.
Advanced Stage Memory Care
When dementia or Alzheimer’s advances further, basic skills such as being able to bathe and eat alone may become slowly unachievable for your loved one. They may also become a higher risk for wandering, as they lose the capability to dependably remember where they are and what year or day it is. A more advanced memory care community can offer daily help to keep your loved one safe, assist them with meals and hygiene, and provide a peaceful, loving environment that promotes happiness and a sense of security.
Knowing that your loved one is being looked after in such a way that allows them to maintain their dignity can be a significant factor in choosing a memory care community. Alzheimer’s and dementia are not a straight decline, with increased loss of cognition daily. Instead, it is a slow slide that has ups and downs along the way. That’s why it’s all so important to have your parent’s care in the hands of trained, compassionate staff who can adjust their care as needed, to suit your loved one’s daily needs.
The Haven Neighborhood
The Haven Neighborhood at The Kensington Falls Church is designed to provide the same warm community feel as Connections, but with an added layer of support for seniors experiencing middle- to late-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia. The memory care we provide can be expanded as needed to fit the needs of your loved ones as they fluctuate from day to day and gradually become more significant.
In addition to the wander management system and pet-friendly policy mentioned above, Haven residents can benefit from nature-based experiences in fully secure outdoor terraces. They can also enjoy pleasant memories triggered by simple smells like bread baking in the kitchen or sounds like their favorite songs of yesteryear. We’ve also implemented adaptive memory features like painted doors and carpet designs to help them recognize and hold onto familiar images helping them to feel safe and at home.
A guide to evaluating the best memory care community can help you and your mom or dad make the final decision about their care. The community you choose should have clear, transparent guidelines for dealing with cognitive behavioral issues, a well trained and experienced staff, and a commitment to engaging with residents to help them feel at home in the community and with each other.
Finding out more about how The Kensington Falls Church can help your loved one maintain the highest level of independence without compromising their safety is only a phone call away.