?Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead.?
John Updike’s quote about the aging process is all too true for dementia patients and their family members. Their slight alterations can occur in a rapid pace that can leave them confused, angry, depressed, and, often, speechless and unable to communicate. A major challenge of healthcare providers in the last years has been an attempt to make these alterFamilies who are looking for the best dementia long term care facilities search for comfortable, well staffed facilities that can make their loved ones feel respected and well cared for.
Long Term Care for Alzheimers Patients Is a Growing Need in America
As healthcare professionals continue to know more about care for patients with Alzheimers and dementia long term care facilities for these patients, an increasing number of opportunities are available. With improved methods for early detection of dementia, facilities that allow patients to move through the different stages of care that they will need continue to expand.
The following statistics indicate the need for dementia long term care facilities in this country:
- Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 cause of death in America that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured.
- 66% of American Alzheimers patients are female.
- 33% of seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
- Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America.
The Changing Face of Memory Care
A generation ago families often kept their aging loved ones in their own homes. Instead of even thinking about turning care for their parents and grandparents over to strangers, children and grandchildren instead kept elderly relatives in their own homes. Emotional attachments, as well as a lack of other options led to these family care arrangements.
As nursing homes and other care facilities began to increase in number, families started to look at other options for the care of their oldest family members. In many of these nursing homes, as they were called, the care for individual patients was very standard, and very similar.
In recent decades, however, memory care facilities have capitalized on the growing amount of knowledge that we now know about memory care. Memory care assisted living facilities can cater to patients as the progress through anticipated stages of Alzeimers, dementia, and other memory care issues:
- Memory care work is difficult Working with memory care work can be a challenge. When families find themselves looking for a care center for their loved ones, it is important to find a facility that is staffed with qualified personnel.
- Detailed plans in place. It is important to know how often the written personal care plans are updated. Memory care patients can progress quickly or slowly through a variety is stages. It is essential that the selected memory care facility be willing to update care plans as often as necessary.
- Location and layout are important. Circular hallways, without any dead end locations, are a more comfortable arrangement for many memory care patients. Afraid and frustrated if they get caught in a dead end hallway, memory care patients are more comfortable in a layout that allows them to continue to make progress. Additionally, memory care units should be separated from the other parts of a facility.
- Variety of activities. As memory care patients adjust to a changing environment created by their diminishing memory, they long for the comfort of familiar activities. Working with fabric, familiar and safe tools, and basic musical instruments can create a nurturing return to former skills and sensorial experiences.
- Access to nature. Senior living settings that include access to a safe, secure outdoor environment are beneficial to residents. Memory care patients find comfort in having access to past tasks that were important parts of their lives. Opportunities for gardening, for example, create a comfort for patients as they get to have their fingers in soil, weed gardens, and plant new seeds.
Memory care facilities are a safe, nurturing option for loved ones who need frequent monitoring and assistance with personal care tasks. Nearly 40% of assisted living residents receive assistance with at least three daily living activities. This assistance and supervision can take place in dementia long term care facilities that foster patient respect.