Does my loved one need specialized memory care?
Deciding on how to best care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be overwhelming. In the early stages, many people prefer to try to keep their loved one at home, either with the help of family or part-time caregivers. However, caring for someone in the advanced stages of dementia can be a full-time job. Most family caregivers are simply not able to dedicate 100% of their time. Also, in the long-run, the family home is often not the most suitable environment, mostly due to safety concerns.
If you’re at the point where you think your loved one would be best served in residential care, there are a variety of options available. There are larger assisted living communities and continuing care retirement communities that have a portion of the community dedicated to memory care. There are also standalone memory care communities that specialize in caring for residents in all stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Of course, everyone’s situation is unique and there is no simple answer as to whether or not your loved one would be best served by a specialized memory care community. However, understanding some of the unique aspects of standalone memory care can be helpful in determining if it is the best fit for your loved one.
Standalone communities like Iris Memory Care are designed with Alzheimer’s and dementia care residents in mind. From the physical structure of the building and grounds to the specially-trained staff, personal attention, and carefully planned activities, all aspects of Iris Memory Care communities are tailor-made to meet the particular needs of residents in all stages of dementia with a variety of other health issues.
Safety & Security: Injuries are the single biggest risk to folks with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Wandering is a common behavior and can be a source of many problems. Residents at Iris are monitored 24 hours a day and many wear a monitoring device on their wrist or ankle, so staff can locate them at any time.
Personalized Care: Each resident at Iris has a customized care plan based on his/her particular needs. Larger assisted living facilities may not have the resources to offer the same level of personalized attention. The smaller size and the low staff to resident ratio at Iris allows for each resident to receive the best possible care and frequent contact with staff.
Staying Engaged & Socializing: Isolation can be very detrimental to the health and wellbeing of folks with dementia. Iris communities and staff strive to help residents stay engaged and socially active. Residents are encouraged to spend much of their time with other residents in the dining and common areas.
Staying Active: The programs and staff at Iris are committed to helping residents stay as physically active as possible throughout the day. While residents have their own apartment, the communities are designed to encourage residents to move about the community. There are also secure outdoor walking paths for residents to enjoy.
Maintaining Independence: Although memory care residents often need help and care with many basic daily activities, Iris communities are designed to encourage residents to maintain a healthy level of independence, allowing them to age in place with dignity and grace.
Having Fun: Throughout each day, there are a variety of programs that offer residents the opportunity to have fun and enjoy themselves. Some of these enriching activities include games, gardening, field trips and outings, music and art therapy, and spiritual programs.
While some of the larger assisted living facilities and continuing care retirement communities may offer some of these features, few of them will have the same range of features tailored specifically to folks with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Also, larger facilities may have more of an institutional look and feel, whereas standalone memory care communities typically offer more of a home-like environment.