Patients who have Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia require expert and attentive care in a caring environment that is secure and safe. This is because medical conditions that affect memory usually have an intense impact on the ability of a patient to safely and properly take care of themselves.
Most of the time, it may not be possible to offer the patients the care they need at home, especially if they are already in the advanced stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Thankfully, memory care communities exist near you to offer specialized memory care to older adults with varying levels of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Finding Memory Care Near Me
It goes without saying that memory care facilities are an ideal place for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you or a loved one has the condition, instead of looking for retirement homes near you, it may be time to start looking for the best memory care facilities in your state, city or county. If you are not interested in moving away from your current location, then searching for memory care facilities near you will point you in the proper direction.
To find memory care homes, there are several places you can begin to search. The obvious choice for most would be online – you can take advantage of our comprehensive memory care finder that will search through 50,000+ facilities. You can also get recommendations from friends, family, and medical experts who are very familiar with memory care homes.
Ideally, seek to find a list of at least three homes that you can schedule a tour with. From here, you will have to visit as many memory care homes as possible to help make a decision on the one where you or your loved one will end up spending post-retirement years.
There are many things to look out for during your visits. Remember that visiting a facility for dementia patients should not be restricted to one time. Schedule a couple of visits during different times to get a true picture of what really goes on in the facility. Factors that you must consider during your search for memory care units near you include:
Does the Facility Offer Continuing Care?
One of the most important things to ask when searching for dementia homes near you is whether they offer continuing care. Sadly, a majority of cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s and dementia get worse over time. It is, therefore, important to find a memory care center where patients can stay for long so that they do not have to keep going from one facility to the next when they are at later stages of dementia and when their increased needs are not met.
Activities and Therapy
Never settle for a home for dementia without knowing the types of activities of therapy they have to offer. These should be things that the patient enjoys and benefits highly from. Ask the memory care community how they match activities to the residents to ensure that no one is forced to do the things they do not want.
Type of Assistance and Care Offered
It helps to make sure that you or your loved one will be getting all the care and assistance you need in the facilities for Alzheimer’s. Get to know the type of staff that works in the dementia homes and their responsibilities. While you are at it, try and gauge the interactions that residents have with the personnel to know if they really care for the needs of their patients.
Avoid scenarios where you are always worrying about a dementia patient because the facility they are in does not have enough security measures in place. Inhabitants in the facilities should feel safe at all times and there should be strict measures to prevent wandering. For this reason, you should always make sure that you only consider a memory care place that prioritizes safety, especially because dementia and Alzheimer’s patients are susceptible to wandering.
Quality of Life
Do not forget to get information on how the local memory care facility you or your loved one wants to move into ensures that all the residents enjoy high-quality life. In addition to stimulating activities, safety, and medical care, the memory care home should also focus on making certain that memory care patients end up enjoying their lives to the fullest regardless of their current condition. Socially active lives are essential for health; thus, you need to know how the dementia community takes care of this part of well-being.
Many older adults may be living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, but it does not mean that they should not thrive in their golden years. Memory care centers exist to ease the burden from relatives and caregivers and to help adults with memory care problems live happy lives.
What is a Memory Care Facility?
Memory care facilities are homes that strive to avail a structured environment with set non-intrusive schedules and routines that dementia and Alzheimer’s residents can benefit from. Dementia care homes allow residents to lead safe, healthy, and stress-free lives. Memory care facilities may be stand-alone or part of larger dementia communities. It is up to you whether you prefer a larger community or a smaller dementia care home.
Alzheimer’s care centers usually have multiple safety features as well as kind and supportive staff that are available 24/7. The residences normally have top-of-the-line resources, trained staff, and expertly crafted activities to help the inhabitants.
The primary goal of an Alzheimer’s care facility is to help occupants slow down the progression of the condition. Personnel in the homes do this while allowing the elderly to feel a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and enjoyment every day.
Worth noting is that is that unlike with 55+ apartments near them, memory care patients cannot just walk into any facility and start living there. They must go through an intense evaluation so that memory care community can know if it is capable of satisfying the needs of the individual in the best possible way. It makes it possible for the staff to deliver person-centered care that will benefit the occupant, not only meeting their health needs but fostering a lifestyle of positivity and perseverance.
What Features Will I Find in Memory Care Facilities Near Me?
Elders in an Alzheimer’s care facility get a chance to enjoy relaxing environments to reduce stress levels and disorientation. Memory care communities often feature enclosed outdoor spaces like gardens or courtyards. These features allow occupants to enjoy the sunshine and some fresh air without the risk of wandering.
A majority of facilities for dementia patients also have common gathering spaces like lounges and libraries. These encourage residents to interact with each other in low-stress settings. Additionally, dining halls are a frequent staple for dementia communities, offering family-style dining so that members of the older generation can experience a sense of community while having their meals. Memory care residents also enjoy other amenities in dementia care communities like:
- Laundry services
- Housekeeping services
- Medical services
- Supervision round the clock
- Social activities
- Fitness programs
- Emergency call systems
- Various utilities
- Quiet time rooms or spaces
- Healthy food and snacks
What Activities Will I Find in Alzheimer’s Care Facilities Near Me?
Care homes for Alzheimer’s patients usually present numerous programs that the elderly can participate in to cultivate cognitive skills and connect with their peers. Examples of these programs and activities include:
- Exercises and other physical activities that are crucial for maintaining balance and physical strength. Experts agree that physical exercise is great for the mind as well.
- Celebrations - many memory care homes offer various recreation activities like celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other achievements.
- Gardening areas and work benches - these create an environment where memory care patients are encouraged to do the things they love in the Alzheimer’s facility.
- Trivia sessions
- Book clubs
- Bible study
- Art classes
- Pet therapy
- Flower arrangements
- Going for walks
- Expert massages
- Sorting objects
- Making scrapbooks
- Watching movies
Simple activities such as helping with the dishes, making beds or helping with tidying up can also give Alzheimer’s patients a great deal of satisfaction.
In most memory care facilities, senior citizens with dementia do not have telephones or TVs in their living quarters. This is to help them go out and socialize with other seniors in the community. It is one of the reasons the Alzheimer’s homes focus on socializing groups.
Activity directors in Alzheimer’s care facilities only introduce activities that help to engage the minds of the residents without stressing or overwhelming the patients. A majority of the activities typically have a calming physical component that is beneficial to the occupants.
What Makes Memory Care Homes Different from Other Retirement Communities?
There are a couple of things that make memory care facilities stand out from other 55 and over communities near you, such as:
- The communities are regulated heavily in different states. This includes the special care unit disclosure laws that demand that caregivers disclose the specific type of care they provide. It is beneficial for patients and their loved ones because they get an opportunity to understand the help that residents get.
- The physical design of the facilities takes the residents’ condition into mind. Buildings are normally laid out in easy and convenient patterns. The patterns allow patients to freely move around without being confused.
- Staff who work in the dementia care centers usually go for additional training to understand the conditions deeper while gaining skills on how to provide the best memory care. This makes sure that all residents end up enjoying the best dementia care possible. Personnel learn a wide-range of duties during training including normal nursing responsibilities and arranging memory games for the senior citizens they are looking after.
What Accommodation Options Can I Get in Dementia Care Facilities Near Me?
Note that not all dementia care facilities are identical, and dementia care homes are also much different from skilled nursing facilities near you. Depending on the facility where a person resides, they can either live in a private or semi-private room. Apartment and suite features are normally minimal and kitchenettes may not be included as a means of increasing safety.
Care for Alzheimer’s or dementia patients can occur in different types of forms. It is possible to identify memory care communities that only take care of residents who have the memory conditions. These are stand-alone communities that do not admit any other seniors - only the ones with memory care issues.
In other cases, the memory care may happen in wings or sections of other senior care options. A retired person may opt to reside in an assisted living facility near them that is specifically for Alzheimer’s patients, also known as memory care assisted living. These are assisted living homes that normally have special units for inhabitants who have memory care needs.
The same principle also applies when an aged person decides to check into Alzheimer’s nursing homes or dementia nursing homes. These also have separate units where caring for Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home takes place.
Continuing care communities may also have units where they offer memory care. This gives patients plenty of options to choose from to pick the one they feel will serve their needs in the most practical manner.
Staff Members who work in Memory Care Communities
As a general rule of thumb staff members that work in memory care facilities include:
- Facility administrator or director
- Administrative personnel
- Admissions Coordinator
- Medical director
- Nursing director
- Nursing personnel i.e. registered nurses, assistants, and practical nurses
- Care managers
- Activity directors
- Dining staff
- Custodial staff
Some dementia care centers also have volunteers who help patients with their basic needs.
How Much Does a Memory Care Facility Near Me Cost?
The cost of dementia and Alzheimer’s homes usually varies depending on the type of residence that a patient lives in. Other factors that affect the price normally include: geographical location, type of care received, living quarters and amenities that the residents use.
An older adult with dementia may end up paying around $7,000 a month to get the care they need. The figure may go down or up depending on the facility where the person is getting the care. In addition to care, senior citizens with dementia must also factor in the costs of prescriptions medications. Consumer Reports show that on average, Alzheimer’s patients will need about $200 every month for their medication.
How do I Pay for Memory Care Communities Near Me?
Aging individuals can explore a couple of financial resources to pay for memory care in a dementia or Alzheimer’s care facility such as:
- Personal savings, property and investments - You can use personal assets to cover the costs of memory care. You can sell personal property like artwork or jewelry. Investments like real estate, bonds, savings accounts and stocks can also be utilized. A reverse mortgage can convert equity of your home into income to help pay for dementia care. This allows adults who are 62 years old or older to remain homeowners while at the same time converting some equity from their home into some money to pay for memory care.
- Retirement Benefits- Retirement plans benefits can offer a crucial financial resource to cover dementia care facility cost. This works out well, even when a senior with dementia has not retired yet. Retirement plans include annuities and IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts).
- Insurance - A majority of older adults who are 65 and above can use Medicare as a health care coverage source. Additionally, group employee plans, private insurance and retiree health coverage may also help.
Private insurance may come in handy for people who are younger than sixty-five with dementia. Should you decide to change a policy, make sure you check how soon expenses for Alzheimer’s will be covered under the new policy.
- Employee benefits - Aging individuals who continue working during the onset of dementia may have several benefits they can rely on to pay for a dementia or Alzheimer’s facility. These may include short-term disability benefits, paid sick leave and a flexible spending account.
The latter facilitates out-of-pocket payment for medical expenses with pre-tax dollars with a potential savings of up to 30%. Just be sure to keenly go through the employers’ benefits handbook and consult a benefits specialist to understand all the benefits you can take advantage of. It is also safe to keep all the written confirmations of the benefits.
- Community support services - Multiple community organizations offer affordable or even free services to dementia sufferers that may include home-delivered meals, transportation, respite care, and support groups. Go through the local Alzheimer’s Association to find some of the available support services.
Government assistance - There are other public programs that dementia patients can use other than Medicare. These usually offer income support to eligible memory care candidates. These include SSI (Supplemental Security Income), SSDI (Social Security Disability Income), Veteran benefits, Medicaid, Tax deductions and credits.
Why Should I Live in a Memory Care Facility Near Me?
As mentioned before, all residents in homes for dementia have a personalized care program that helps to meet individual needs successfully. Here is a snippet of perks that memory care patients enjoy:
Focus on Abilities and Strengths
At an Alzheimer’s care facility, personnel will work hard towards focusing on an individual’s abilities and strengths. For instance, if a resident can eat and bathe without needing a hand, they are left to handle the activities on their own. This shows that they are people who can still take care of themselves and do the things they love and not just people that have been attacked by degenerative diseases. The staff also organizes activities that the patients can enjoy so that they stay cheerful and optimistic.
These plans make it possible for memory care residents to enjoy balanced lifestyles that more often result in happiness and fulfilment. The sense of fulfilment typically come when self-care, leisure, and social interests are well balanced.
Family Gets Involved in the Care Process
Taking care of dementia patients at home can be frustrating and stressing. When a loved one is in a facility receiving proper memory care, it also becomes easier for family members and friends to step in once in a while and help out without feeling like they are burdened. Dementia care facilities allow visitors to check up on their loved ones. Family members also play a crucial role in coming up with the personalized care plans that fully benefit the patients.