About 68% of residents in nursing homes have some form of cognitive impairment, such as dementia. Approximately 40% of the same group suffers from severe memory impairment. For that reason, memory care has been identified as a critical part of assisted living.
What is memory care? It is a program meant to assist seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Assisted living communities are for residents that can live independently, but still require assistance with everyday tasks. In memory care, seniors are safer with closer monitoring and higher levels of security. Here are some of the reasons why patients with cognitive problems should be in a memory care nursing home.
Enhance Security and Safety
Wandering and getting lost is not uncommon for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Due to cognitive impairment, seniors can unknowingly put themselves in danger. The family of the patient may not be in a position to provide round-the-clock assistance.
A memory care program must ensure that the environment is conducive for people with memory challenges. The physical environment must have safety measures in place to reduce the chances of confusion and overstimulation.
For the patient to be safe, it is necessary to ensure proper coordination of the process. Staff will plan and review the requirements of a senior with dementia to ensure the care is consistent with the best practices. For example, a member of staff may be assigned to perform activities like cooking, which could be risky for older adults.
Allow for Engagement and Independence
It would be a mistake to isolate a patient with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Social interactions have a wide range of physical and mental benefits. It has been shown that engaging peers and other members of the community can significantly increase brain function.
Social interactions provide a unique form of mental and emotional stimulation that starves the symptoms of cognitive decline. A nursing home with a memory care program must have a policy that allows seniors to engage. A program for assisted living in Escondido may have a member of staff who talks and provides company to older adults with cognitive impairment.
For seniors to engage with family and peers, they need independence. Most programs in nursing homes will help seniors take part in several activities. It may include going shopping, going to a movie, and taking part in games, among other activities. The memory care team is there to organize logistics and uphold safety and security.
Unique Personalized Care
In nursing homes with memory programs, behavioral therapy is often offered as part of the system alongside physical and social activities. The purpose of the therapy is to address behavioral challenges that seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia face.
Seniors with cognitive impairment may experience symptoms such as social withdrawal, depression, anxiety, or hallucinations. Not two cases are the same. Each patient’s behavioral symptoms are assessed by qualified memory care doctors. Every stage of the disease is considered when developing a personalized treatment plan for the patient.
Research suggests the best treatment is through a combination of environmental, medical, and behavioral approaches. Memory care patients require less medication than those who do not go through such programs. However, there is no emphasis on any particular element of treatment. When developing personalized programs, the environment may be as important for the patient as behavior and medication.
It is also important to note that all the factors are interconnected. When setting up a suitable environment, you have to consider behavioral factors. For example, the hallways are painted in different color codes to help patients recognize paths. The interior often has a design that makes it feel more like a home than an institution.
Seniors over the age of 65 are susceptible to conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Unfortunately, not all assisted living facilities have an environment optimized for older adults with cognitive impairment. But there are nursing homes with memory care programs that are based on a holistic process. Contact Vista Del Lago today to learn about a program that could suit the senior in your life.