Alzheimer’s is a very difficult condition for seniors. It’s also difficult for caregivers as well. This is why many Americans are asking “how can I find memory care near me.”
Here at Sabal Palms, we’ll go through the different memory care options for your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Each option is good, but some might be more suitable than others.
What Is Memory Care?
Memory care, aka dementia care or Alzheimer’s care, is the perfect option for seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Memory care services are similar to those offered in nursing homes, except that the nurses in memory care facilities are more specialized in memory disorders. Memory care from these skilled nurses is more than adequate to provide individuals with the comfort and attention they need to live happy lives despite the disease.
Also, these facilities have more security and safety measures put in place so that seniors with Alzheimer’s won’t wander off. These measures help ensure that they remain safe and won’t harm themselves or others.
How Does Memory Care Work?
Memory care is frequently offered in state-licensed assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Memory care units (MCUs) are often housed in a separate wing with their security, cueing devices, and additional services.
MCUs hire staff who are well trained to monitor residents so that they don’t wander off the premises. They are also trained to prevent residents from becoming disoriented so that they don’t try to wander off in the first place.
Similar to other long term care options, memory care provides the following services:
- Private or semi-private living quarters
- Assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living)
- Social events, exercises, and fun activities
- Around the clock staff and security
- Laundry and housekeeping
- Dining and meal preparation
- Medication management and reminders
- Transport to doctor appointments and other activities
Many facilities also offer cognitive programs and therapies designed to keep the brain mentally fit. They are built for seniors with cognitive disorders who are experiencing cognitive decline.
Even though MCUs are often kept separate from the main facility, there are still social and therapeutic activities provided to keep residents happy and engaged.
Why Is Memory Care Necessary?
First of all, Alzheimer’s is one form of dementia. As Alzheimer’s progresses, so too should the level of attention and care. While it can be extremely difficult to let go of a loved one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, eventually they will need 24-7 care as the disease progresses.
Why is this necessary you might ask? Well, unfortunately, a common symptom of Alzheimer’s is for the resident to wander into places that they shouldn’t. This is why 24-7 care in a secured area is a necessary part of memory care.
In addition to that, they will also need help with rudimentary activities like eating, bathing, dressing, taking medications, and other daily tasks.
Memory Care Vs. Assisted Living
Assisted living is designed for seniors who can live independently but still need some help occasionally.
Memory care, on the other hand, is designed specifically for Alzheimer’s patients. It’s a long term care solution that requires a more specialized approach to dealing with dementia and other memory problems.
While an assisted living facility might be able to deal with early and moderate stages of Alzheimer’s, they’re usually not equipped for dealing with the later stages.
What About Nursing Homes?
Nursing homes provide extended care that includes meal preparation, assistance with activities of daily living, and medical assistance. They are intended for seniors who can’t live independently and who can’t perform daily activities like bathing on their own due to a debilitating physical or mental condition.
Nursing homes provide continuous supervision and often have their own wing of the facility dedicated to Alzheimer’s or dementia residents.
If your loved one is dealing with cognitive issues or prohibitive medical problems, the skilled nurses at a nursing home can handle them.
Memory Care Vs. Adult Day Care
Adult daycare centers offer memory care, social activities, exercise programs, art, leisure, and support activities. It serves a similar purpose as nursing homes and assisted living centers in that they provide a daily break from 24/7 family caregiving.
As is the case with all senior living facilities, not all of them cater to dementia, so you’ve to check first.
There are a few ways that you can pay for adult day care entirely or in part by Medicaid, Veterans benefits, out of pocket, or with long term care insurance. Medicare, on the other hand, doesn’t usually pay for adult daycare expenses.
Types of Memory Care Facilities
MCUs inside Larger Facilities
IF your loved one does not currently need memory care, but you anticipate that he or she might need it in the future, then you should strongly consider finding a larger facility that caters to those who need assisted living services, nursing care services, and memory care services.
In these types of places, residents can easily move from one service and place to another as their needs change. Also, this will cut down on waiting time, which is always important when your loved one needs urgent care right away.
Dedicated Memory Care
There are also smaller facilities that are built and run specifically to provide memory care services. They usually maintain a higher staff to resident ratio. They might be more comfortable for your loved one to transition to because they may feel less overwhelming. Furthermore, they are often more affordable, but with the downside of having slightly less security.
Adult/Foster Care Homes
If you prefer a more “homey” environment, this could be the place for you. The advantage of foster care homes includes better one-on-one attention and care. The downsides are that often they lack the amenities and security measures of larger facilities.
What is the cost of memory care?
The cost of memory care is higher than in other communities. This is due to the higher staff to resident ratio required, as well as having more qualified staff on hand. Costs can also vary according to these following factors:
- Amount of care needed
- Room size
- Private vs. semi-private room
- Where the facility itself is located
In 2012, the website Gemworth.com reported that the average cost of memory care was about $5,000/month. However, since this is the average cost, the actual price can vary significantly depending on the facility in question. Some communities can cost as low as $1,500/month, while others can be even more expensive than $5,000.
If you’re wondering “how I can find memory care near me,” then consider following our blog for more updates about assisted living and memory care.