What is Memory Care?
After receiving the life-changing diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, the need for additional care becomes a question of when, not if. One of the most important decisions will be choosing the right care and environment for your loved one. One option to consider is memory care. Let’s take a look into what memory care is, and how it can support your loved one.
What is memory care?
Memory care is specialized care for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. It’s offered in a secure residential environment with specially trained staff who help the residents stay safe, engaged, and in good quality of life.
How is memory care different from other types of care?
Assisted living communities offer various levels of daily care for adults who are still partially independent but need help with activities such as medication management and mobility assistance. Most assisted living communities also offer social and recreational activities for their residents. Nursing homes (also called skilled nursing facilities) offer more complex ongoing medical care, assistance and supervision, as well as rehabilitation following a hospital stay.
In contrast, memory care facilities (whether standalone or part of a larger community) are distinct from assisted living and nursing facilities. They are unique residential spaces with coordinated, specialized care, staff, and services dedicated to dementia, and have higher staff to resident ratios than assisted living. Memory care spaces are designed to limit confusion, prevent wandering, and increase safety and security, promoting a sense of calm and ease for their residents. Memory care staff coordinate with doctors and nurses for each resident’s care and medication needs. Finally, these facilities also offer memory-enhancing therapies and activities—like art, music, and occupational—to stimulate cognitive health, build social connections, and improve quality of life.
When is it time to consider memory care?
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is one that calls for a long-term care plan of care. If your loved one starts to experience safety risks, it may mean they are starting to need the 24-hour support that a memory care residence offers. If they’re becoming confused and fearful in their usual social activities and are starting to isolate, they may benefit from the safe, social environment that memory care offers.
Dementia symptoms and stages can vary for each person, and at first, behavior can be unpredictable. By offering a secure, connected environment with coordinated, full-time care for your loved one, memory care can provide peace of mind for your family, knowing that your loved one is safe and supported every hour of every day.
About Era Living Memory Care
While based in a universal goal of care, memory care communities can vary in their methods and format. At Era Living Memory Care (located at The Terrace at Ida Culver House Broadview and The Gardens at Town Square), staff care and environment are rooted in the Best Friends™ approach. The Best Friends approach was developed by Virginia Bell and David Troxel and is built on the belief that what a person with dementia needs most of all is to feel loved, valued, and connected, as they do with a “best friend.”
Staff at Era Living Memory Care use Best Friends approach to learn each resident’s history, personality, and life experiences to communicate in the most caring and impactful ways possible. By coordinating with families and doctors and incorporating input from experts at the nearby University of Washington, Era Living Memory Care programming uniquely builds a holistic care plan for each resident, promoting cognitive functioning, health and safety, and positive, meaningful connections. You can learn more about Era Living Memory Care here.
If you’re starting the conversation about memory care with your family, it’s highly encouraged to keep your loved one part of the conversation about their transition. If you’ve recently received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis in your family, you may find these resources helpful in answering questions, identifying next steps, and forming a care and support system.
Best Friends™ is a trademark of Health Professions Press, Inc.