Caring for an elderly loved one can be tremendously daunting when they’re grappling with a progressive cognitive disorder like Alzheimer’s. Since June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to examine how senior caregivers in Rockville, Maryland, can effectively manage memory care for their loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Having the proper support when managing memory care is vitally important. Fortunately, Comfort Home Care in Rockville, MD, has been providing care for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s since 1999 have become experts in this specialized care. Continue reading to learn about how to navigate memory care for seniors.
1. Understand What Memory Care Is
Memory care refers to the specialized care or assistance provided to individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It typically involves round-the-clock monitoring with help from trained professionals.
Many assisted living facilities are designed to be safe and supportive environments for seniors with memory-related conditions. They offer various services such as therapies to assist with memory, mood enhancement, self-expression, and medication management, plus help with the activities of daily living and social activities.
2. Determine the Level of Care Your Loved One Needs
Before you choose between in-home memory care or a memory care community, you need to assess your loved one’s needs. Some seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia require minimal assistance, while others may need more intensive care. An open conversation with your loved one’s care team – caregivers, doctors – plus their family and friends will be instrumental to understanding in what areas your loved one needs assistance.
Comfort Home Care has put together this Self Assessment to help you understand how well your loved one is managing with the Activities of Daily Living.
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How well does your loved one manage with the Activities of Daily Living?
3. Research Memory Care Communities
Not all memory care facilities are the same. Before choosing one, do your research and compare different communities. Consider factors such as location, cost, amenities, staff qualifications, and reviews from other families. Visiting the different memory care communities you are considering will be essential to get a good feel for the facility, the staff, and how well their patients are being cared for. Try to speak with the residents and their families for their feedback. And if possible, involve your loved one in the decision-making process to ensure they are comfortable with the chosen community.
4. Make a Smooth Transition
Moving into a memory care community can be an overwhelming experience for seniors and their families. To make the transition smoother, take the following steps to help your loved one adjust.
- Involve them in the decision-making process, if feasible
- Help them pack and move their belongings
- Try to recreate their surroundings with their favorite items – photos, books, knickknacks – to make their new living space more like home
- Familiarize them with the community’s staff, routines, and surroundings
- Visit as often as possible, especially during the first few weeks
5. Support Your Loved One Emotionally
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be emotionally draining…for both of you.
You can support your loved one by:
- Communicating in a calm and clear manner
- Showing patience, empathy, and kindness
- Engaging them in activities they enjoy
- Encouraging them to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle
- Staying informed about the latest developments in memory care and Alzheimer’s research
6. Take Care of Yourself
As a caregiver, it’s crucial to remember to take care of yourself. Alzheimer’s or dementia can affect a caregiver’s physical and emotional well-being. Taking breaks, using respite care (link to June 2023 respite care blog), and prioritizing self-care is essential. Make time to exercise, eat a healthy diet, and keep up with your hobbies or activities. Taking care of yourself will make you a better and happier caregiver in the long run.
Navigating memory care is challenging but will provide a safe and supportive environment for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. To manage this process effectively, you need to understand what memory care is, determine the level of care your loved one needs, research the various avenues of care, make a smooth transition, and support your loved one emotionally while caring for yourself. These steps will help you support your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia and help them have a better quality of life.
Contact Comfort Home Care in Rockville, MD, today and discover compassionate and professional in-home memory care support for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.