Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological disease that generally affects people in their mid-60’s. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s is an irreversible condition that destroys neurons and affects the mental state.

The patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s tend to forget even small details, and thus, they need dedicated professional care. Memory Care and Assisted Living form the two pillars of Alzheimer’s care facilities. In this article, we will discuss both these aspects in detail.

 

Assisted Living Centers

It is a home-like care facility that provides exceptional care for senior citizens. The staff here offers medical assistance (including skilled nursing) and personal support to Alzheimer’s patients. Assisted living homes are completely different from nursing homes.

Unlike nursing homes, assisted living centers do not concentrate only on healthcare. They allow senior citizens to enjoy a greater degree of freedom within a homely atmosphere. At the same time, these centers have qualified staff available around-the-clock. These centers are also free from the pungent smell of medicine, blood and phenyl, and the typical white walls. People who stay in an assisted living community are allowed to decorate their apartments as they like.

 

Memory Care

It is a form of senior living that provides exceptional care for people suffering from memory issues. Numerous assisted living centers have select memory care units that deal with patients who have Alzheimer’s. They also act as stand-alone facilities for memory care.

 

The laws and regulations governing memory care differ from state to state. Also, the quality of the units varies. Thus it is essential to visit these memory care communities and choose the one best suited to you.

These communities offer a structured and safe environment for seniors who have Alzheimer’s. The staff at these centers provide meals regularly and help residents with their routine needs. They receive special training to cater to the ever-changing needs of their patients. Unlike assisted living centers, the staff in memory care facilities check in on the residents more frequently and provide more significant support.

Senior man with Alzheimer's receiving food from caregiver in Alzheimer's assisted living facility

How To Choose The Best Care Center?

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is quite challenging. So, you’ll want to choose only the best Alzheimer’s assisted living facility. Before choosing the best care system, make sure that their care system caters to the following points.

 

Focus On The Quality Of Life

Choose a center that improves the seniors’ quality of life suffering from Alzheimer’s. Apart from addressing the physical issues, the center must also ensure that residents are socially engaged.

 

Help With Daily Life

The centers must have a dedicated staff that offers help to the seniors to carry out their chores and live everyday lives. The team must give reminders to take medication, look after the seniors’ hygiene, and more.

 

Medication Management

Seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease often forget to take their medicines on time. They need to have a support staff that helps them stay on track with their medications. Choose a center that takes the seniors to visit the doctors regularly. 

Forgetfulness is the core trait of any Alzheimer’s patient. The center must provide personal care and follow careful medication management.

 

Safety

Alzheimer’s patients tend to wander off and end up lost in the middle of nowhere. Also, the presence of handrails ensures the patients will not fall off the stairs and get seriously injured. The centers must also possess technologically advanced equipment to track the seniors if they accidentally or intentionally wander off.

 

Essentials

Ask yourself a few essential questions when hunting for an Alzheimer’s care facility. The answers will help you choose the best senior living facility.

Questions such as, “How good is the treatment procedure?” “How does it implement safety measures?” “What is the budget?” “Does it take insurance” are the most important ones. Also, make sure to check the level of cleanliness.

 

Medical Emergency

It is good to choose a care center close to a hospital in case any medical emergency arises. The staff of the senior living community should know how to respond in case of any medical emergency.

They must provide a secure and structured environment with a fixed routine. Such a treatment system offers a degree of stability and reduces the stress level of Alzheimer’s patients.

The staff must provide meals at regular intervals and help the residents take care of themselves. The memory care team must be able to handle the issues an Alzheimer’s patient faces.

 

Layout And Environment

The center needs to be clean. It needs to have structured hallways so that the residents do not get confused with the routes and panic. An enclosed outdoor area with a walking path is the right choice because walking is healthy for seniors. The rooms and doors need to be labeled clearly, with pictures and words, as Alzheimer’s patients tend to forget their rooms.

 

Staff

It is good to have a casual conversation with the team to determine the training they have received. You can ask general questions about how they manage a patient who suddenly becomes aggressive.

Also, ensure that they do not solely depend on medications for dealing with agitated residents. Stay at the center for some time and check how the staff caters to the other patients’ needs.

You can choose to participate in at least one meal and activity at the memory care community to assess the quality of service it provides. It would help if you also observed how the staff engages with the residents during these sessions as well.

 

Activities

It is crucial to know whether the care center offers enough activities to keep the residents engaged. The center must conduct enough activities that allow residents to get familiar with each other.

 

The Final Verdict

Alzheimer’s symptoms worsen with the disease’s progression, which creates new challenges for the caregiver. Thus, choose a center where the staff knows how to cater to different types of patient needs. Memory care is quite similar to assisted living; the only difference being that memory care provides exceptional support and care to seniors suffering from memory impairment. Consider all the factors mentioned above before making an informed choice.