Memory care is designed to provide a safe, structured environment with set routines to lower stress for people with Alzheimer's or dementia. Employees provide meals and help residents with personal care tasks, just like the staff at an assisted living facility, but they are also specially trained to deal with the unique issues that often arise as a result of dementia or Alzheimer's. They check in with residents more frequently and provide extra structure and support to help them navigate their day.
Many people diagnosed with Alzheimer's can live on their own during the early stages of the disease, especially if a family member or paid caregiver provides regular, in-home support. But there may come a time when your loved one needs more care than you feel you can provide at home. Here are some questions to help you determine if it's the right time for a move.
“In regular assisted living, residents are expected to manage their own time; menus and mealtimes are posted, but staff is not checking in on them,” Carnarius says. “In memory care, the staff ensures residents are getting to meals, coming to activities and moving on to the next thing.”
Because people with dementia are prone to wander (6 in 10 do so, according to the Alzheimer's Association), memory care facilities have alarmed doors, elevators that require a code, and enclosed outdoor spaces to keep residents on site. Many offer tracking bracelets that give residents the freedom to explore but still allow staff to monitor their location.
Activities are designed to improve cognitive function and engage residents at different stages of the disease