Posted: October 29, 2021
Finding a community for your parent or older loved one with their ongoing changing needs is a difficult and confusing task. Many people search for an assisted living community when they really need a memory care community. At Heritage Crossing, we’ve combined the two options so residents can get the personalized care they need to meet their changing physical, emotional, and social needs
The Differences Between Assisted Living and Memory Care
Assisted living communities are generally equipped to provide care to individuals in the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. People with dementia may not immediately have medical problems, but they do need more support for Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as taking care of hygiene, making healthy meals, and sleeping well.
Residents of assisted living communities have staff that are available to assist them around the clock. Assisted living communities also offer transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and social activities. There are dining halls where residents can gather and share their meals. This type of an arrangement is perfect for someone who is mostly independent but needs assistance with ADLs.
Some assisted living communities also offer “special care neighborhoods,” where residents can move when their needs become too extensive for general assisted living. Individuals with dementia can get a higher level of skilled care. Memory care communities offer the same services as assisted living communities but with increased supervision and enrichment programs specifically designed for residents experiencing dementia. Staff are required to undergo special training, and staff-to-patient ratios are typically lower.
Heritage Crossing offers a unique memory care program. Rhythms Dementia is a person-centered care designed to enhance physical, emotional, and social well-being. Features of the Rhythms Dementia memory care program include:
A difficult truth of Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases is that as the disease progresses, living at home becomes nearly impossible and sometimes dangerous. Not only is caregiving overwhelming for family members, but it is often cost-prohibitive to hire caregivers care can be the best option as it can meet the needs of residents’ housing, support, and health care.
Caring for Patients Who Have Dementia or Alzheimer’s
Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s provides special challenges. Dementia can lead to the loss of memory, reasoning, judgment, physical health, and more. With so many things to look for, it’s important to recognize some of the common special needs of people with dementia so you can better aid them.
People living with dementia can have the same health concerns as anyone else, but they may struggle to take care of the most basic health needs such as taking their medications regularly they can’t always communicate when there is a problem, so routine medical and dental appointments are essential for good health.
Often, those with dementia don’t remember to eat, so it’s important to ensure that they’re getting nutritious meals. Heritage Crossing provides residents with nutritious, chef-planned meals and a dining experience that emphasizes the social aspects of sharing a meal with others.
As dementia progresses, people can experience communication issues. They may have difficulty remembering words or phrases, and they may repeat themselves. They still experience feelings and emotions, but they can be frustrated as well. It’s essential that caregivers and others show compassion when communicating with dementia patients. They still have social needs, but others must be patient as conversations can be difficult. Residents of Heritage Crossing can rest assured that our team has extensive experience—and patience—when it comes to working with those who have dementia.
As dementia progresses, it can affect judgment, sense of time and place, and physical ability. Suddenly, even the most familiar places are dangerous. They may show poor judgment. Elopement can be an issue as they may try to leave their residence. They may try to push on the exit bar or stand by the door, or even try to exit out of windows. Memory care communities can offer ways to prevent unsafe wandering or exit-seeking—without making residents feel like they are locked up in jail.
Providing the Right Level of Care
While it’s true that some age-related memory loss is to be expected as we grow older, dementia is not a normal part of aging. The early signs of Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders can be easy to dismiss or overlook. When dementia is diagnosed, it’s important that families make a decision about care options that suits their loved one’s personal preferences and personality. For most people and their families, moving once to an assisted living residence that offers a memory care community to accommodate their changing needs without another move will bring peace of mind.
Do you need more information about an assisted living and memory care community for your loved one? Learn how Heritage Crossing helps older adults stay as independent as safely possible while maintaining their privacy, dignity, and autonomy for as long as possible. See how our community offers the security, support, and care that keeps people with memory problems safe, healthy, happy, and engaged.
Our experienced memory care team is available 24/7 to ensure your loved one’s needs are met at all times. We incorporate programs that embrace individual interests and passions while providing enrichment for residents so they can live each day with a sense of purpose.
Schedule a tour today to learn about our assisted living and memory care neighborhoods at Heritage Crossing.