Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other neurodegenerative conditions can be genetic. If your grandparents or great-grandparents had these conditions — you and your parents are at a higher risk of developing these conditions. If concerns about this type of cognitive decline have you worried about the future for yourself or your senior loved ones, consider making the transition to assisted living with memory care support before the disease sets in.
Some assisted living communities can support memory care services, which means your loved one can settle into a community and routine that can support their needs now and into the future. Memory care in assisted living offers several benefits for the residents in these communities — keep reading to discover them!
Avoid Stressful, Confusing Moves to New Communities
When your loved one’s condition can no longer be supported by yourself or their current living situation, moving may be the best option for their health and safety. However, one of the biggest stressors for seniors struggling with dementia is sudden changes to their living space and the people around them. They may be accustomed to their current lifestyle, or their condition may make it difficult to understand and accept why these changes are happening, causing confusion and frustration.
If neurodegenerative disease is a concern for your loved one, choosing a community with memory care services available from the beginning can prevent stressful moves when your loved one’s care needs change.
Support from Early Stages of Cognitive Decline
If your loved one moves into an assisted living community before dementia is diagnosed or at its early stages, the community can assist right from the beginning. Early intervention is critical to help manage and slow the disease’s progression.
Already living in a community with memory care available means your loved one can receive critical care and support as soon as possible. Additionally, caregivers in these communities are familiar with the symptoms and stages of dementia and can help you and your family spot signs.
Assisted living caregivers get to know your loved one through the care they provide every day, which means they can:
- Develop a trusting relationship with your loved one
- Keep an eye out for new changes in their health
- Provide a sense of security for your loved one
These benefits go along with the daily care and assistance provided, such as medication management, help with activities of daily living (ADLs), and object-based therapies to stimulate memory and emotion.
You and your family will also become familiar with your loved one’s care team and have the time to develop relationships with them! This can make the communication process more natural and comfortable when it comes to difficult topics like addressing your loved one’s health.
Safety is a key concern for seniors with dementia, who can sometimes wander and unintentionally get lost. Assisted living spaces have certain safety precautions in place and are ADA accessible, but a community with memory care support has additional features, including:
- Doors and entries that are locked and must be opened by staff to prevent residents from wandering off the premises
- A security system with cameras throughout the property, which allows staff members to keep an eye on residents at all times
- Emergency button pendants that can be pressed by a resident if there’s an emergency, such as a fall
There are many other considerations when designing a memory care facility, such as light and color psychology, that can help community members safely navigate the space independently.
Memory care services offer specific therapies to keep the brain active and slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, but a memory care community provides more than therapy. Assisted living allows residents to connect with each other, encouraging social interaction and making friends in their peer group. Senior isolation can contribute to cognitive decline, and living in a senior community can prevent isolation and depression in your loved one.
Assisted living communities also offer a variety of activities for all types of people, including:
- Exercise classes
- Arts and crafts
- Puzzles and games
- Holiday celebrations
- Religious services or study groups
- Outings to local community events
Staying active and engaged with others is a great way to keep the brain sharp and enjoy life to the fullest in your golden years!
If cognitive decline or a neurodegenerative disease like dementia or Alzheimer’s are a concern for yourself or a loved one, make sure to explore senior communities that offer a continuum of care. This creates a familiar environment for your loved one in the early stages of the disease and provides continued support to prevent stressful moves as their needs change.
Many of our Vista Springs communities offer memory care through our Rediscovery Neighborhoods, designed and staffed specifically for those experiencing cognitive decline. Explore one of our 12 Full of Life communities in Michigan and Ohio, and schedule a tour today!