According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, more than 15 million family members fill the role of caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a different form of dementia. These unpaid caregivers provide the majority of memory care in the United States, often sacrificing their careers, finances and personal health in order to care for the well-being of those diagnosed with memory loss. However, most cases of dementia eventually advance beyond the abilities of many family caregivers, and professional, around-the-clock care becomes necessary.
Heather Battey, Executive Director at amavida, a senior living community located in Fort Myers, Florida, explains that helping a loved one make the move to a memory care community benefits not just the senior, but their family caregivers as well. “Many family members have a hard time making the decision for full-time memory care,” says Battey. “They might feel guilty because they think they should be responsible for caring for their loved one at home. However, once families realize how beneficial a specialized community lifestyle can be for seniors with dementia, they can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved one is healthy, happy and in the best of hands.”
How Memory Care Communities Enhance Lives
If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, you may be wondering whether moving your loved one to a memory care community is the right decision. While the answer ultimately depends on your family’s circumstances and resources, as well as your loved one’s wishes, the life-improving benefits of memory care communities are undeniable. Whether you’re thinking about professional memory care for now or in the future, consider these eight ways memory care can enhance your loved one’s life:
- Around-the-Clock Support – Since dementia is a progressive disease which worsens over time, most loved ones with memory loss eventually end up needing full-time support by the later stages of dementia. Communities offer loved ones assistance and security throughout the day and night, with trained caregivers and nurses on hand to help with their daily needs. Unlike receiving care from a home-health provider, families don’t need to wait until their scheduled visit to meet the more advanced needs of their loved one’s care. They enjoy the assurance that professional support is available whenever their loved one requires it.
- Personalized Approaches to Care – Memory care communities are staffed with individuals who understand dementia’s challenges and the unique ways the disease presents itself in every person. Residing in a specialized community gives residents access to care plans and resources that can be designed to fit their exact needs. Because caregivers get to know the residents they work with daily, they can personalize care techniques to bring about the greatest results in each person.
- Specially Designed Programs – Just as approaches to your loved one’s care can be customized to their specific needs, the activities they partake in each day can be tailored to their interests and preferences. Designing programs that pique the interests of their residents enables memory care communities to create opportunities for loved ones to enjoy meaningful tasks. Specialized programming eliminates boredom and increases activity levels among residents who might otherwise have difficulty engaging.
Memory care communities also specialize their programs by designing activities that promote cognitive stimulation and health. Research shows that keeping the mind active can slow down the progression of dementia. Staff can adapt activities according to each resident’s strengths and abilities.
- Socialization – When loved ones with memory loss live at home, they may not have access to many social opportunities. Community life makes it easy for residents to benefit from interacting with each other and their caregivers and staff on a daily basis. An active social life is also a major component of cognitive health. Company is always available when they want it, and optional when they don’t.
- Highly Trained Caregivers – Specialized memory care communities hire and train caregivers in best practices for caring for those with dementia. Not only do these professionals understand the intricacies of the disease, but they can monitor subtle changes in health and adapt individual’s care for optimal results. Those trained in dementia care also understand the emotional challenges experienced by loved ones and their families. Caregivers are often valuable sources of compassion and support for the most difficult realities of dementia.
- Access to Health Services & Professionals – Memory care communities not only have trained staff and nurses on site, but they also have professional connections to additional healthcare services and specialists. Some communities even offer axillary services, such as podiatry or dental care, in their own clinics. Communities also provide transportation to medical appointments, communicate with residents’ doctors and ensure easy access to advanced medical care if needs arise.
- Improved Diet & Wellness – For those with dementia, getting enough nutrients to stay healthy can be a struggle. Memory care communities ensure that residents are eating well and receive the appropriate amount of assistance they need during mealtimes. Dining teams create menus full of nutritious options that can be modified to meet specific needs, such as dairy-free choices or changes in consistency.
- Families Regain Their Roles – With confidence in the support their loved ones receive at a memory care community, families can enjoy the simplicity of just being a family again. Visits with loved ones can consist of spending quality time together, enjoying meals and having fun without the stress of needing to provide care. Families can still be involved in their loved one’s care planning, but the day-to-day tasks of physically providing care no longer weigh upon their minds. Family members are free to regain the roles of supporters, encouragers and loved ones.
Discover Memory Care at amavida
“At amavida, we’re excited to offer life-changing memory care services to residents and their families,” says Battey. “We combine dignified care with an uplifting lifestyle. Residents will experience joy, security and support, while their families enjoy the feelings of peace of mind and confidence.
“If you would like to learn more about how memory care can benefit the life of your loved one, reach out the to team at amavida for guidance and support.”
a love for life
Welcome to amavida, 32-acre resort-style senior living community in Fort Myers, Florida, designed for those who have a love for life. From maintenance-free cottage residences and apartment homes to exceptional amenities, amavida is a place to revel in an active, carefree and meaningful lifestyle!
Offering independent living, assisted living and memory care, as well as an onsite physician-staffed wellness clinic, residents live with calm confidence, knowing that if healthcare needs change, support is available right at home.
aspire to more
amavida and its services, amenities and programming have been meticulously designed to positively impact the lives of seniors. The flagship senior living community of developer Quadrum Global, amavida disrupts any commonly held beliefs about aging. This community embodies the youthful spirit that so many seniors feel – but aren't honored or recognized in other communities.
For seniors who aspire to more adventure, more indulgence, more meaning, amavida shares their zestful spirit and creates space for endless possibilities.