fbpx

Reno Memory Care Allows Families a Fresh Start in the New Year

Category Archives: Assisted living and memory care

Stone Valley Memory Care Community Provides Residents With Person-Centered Care and Families With Peace of Mind

The new year is a great time for a fresh start. Many people make new year’s resolutions to improve their lives in meaningful ways. They plan to leave behind the old in 2019 and move forward into the new decade with a new outlook and an improved quality of life.

The same can be true for your loved one who needs memory care or assistance with the tasks of daily living. At Stone Valley Assisted Living and Memory Care in Reno, Nevada, the community and its staff are excited to provide new residents with a warm, welcoming community, Person-Centered Care, and an improved lifestyle in the new year. They’re also proud to provide residents’ families with complete peace of mind.

Get a fresh start with the Easy-Move Program

Perhaps you already know your loved one would thrive in a retirement community. But the stress and hassle of moving can cause even the most motivated among us to procrastinate when getting the process started. And it’s understandable; the transition to senior living can be difficult when faced with the normal physical and financial obstacles caused by aging and downsizing one’s home.

But thanks to the community’s Easy-Move Program, your loved one can move into their luxury retirement community sooner than you might think. Caring and dedicated staff are available to assist you and your loved one with real estate matters, financial services, hiring moving professionals, veteran assistance information, and more.

Enjoy healthy meals with the 24/7 dining program

If your loved one needs daily assistance or memory care, cooking for themselves may be difficult or even dangerous. And even if you are an amazing cook in your own right, making and delivering three meals a day to your loved one can easily become a prohibitively time-consuming task.

At Stone Valley, your loved one can enjoy gourmet food prepared from the freshest ingredients by the community’s Executive Chef and team of professionals—any time of the day or night. The team is trained and happy to accommodate residents with dietary needs due to various health restrictions, such as low gluten and sugar-free diets, and much more.

The daily menu incorporates foods from the Rush University Medical Center MIND diet, which fosters brain health. Entrees are served on colored plates to stimulate appetite, and a server greets each resident individually with multiple daily menu choices.

And since the community staff can take on the responsibility of providing all of your loved one’s healthy meals, bringing your loved one some of their home-cooked favorites can once again become an enjoyable experience for both of you.

Feel complete peace of mind with Person-Centered Care

It can be difficult to turn your loved one’s care over to someone else, but Stone Valley gives families complete peace of mind with their customizable Person-Centered Care approach. The community’s caregivers focus on residents’ individual needs, while the Active Living Programs allow residents to live life to their fullest capability. Your loved one can receive the exact level of care that he or she needs with the community’s options for health monitoring, medication management, assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming, and oral care.

And you’ll know your loved one is safe in the community’s comfortable apartments. Each apartment comes with safety pull-cords, and residents wear location-based pendants to provide an extra sense of security for families. The community’s grounds are also secured to provide your loved one with a safe place to enjoy the outdoors.

If you’d like to give your loved one—and yourself—a fresh start and higher quality of life in the new year, look no further than Stone Valley Assisted Living and Memory Care.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Stone Valley, contact our friendly team today

Winter Can be The Perfect Time to Relocate to Your Luxury Retirement Community

Moving can be a hassle. Even in good weather, moving is likely at the bottom of everyone’s list of favorite things. And if you add in freezing temperatures, snow or sleet, and shorter daylight hours? Well, most people would rather stay put.

But winter can actually be a great time for your loved one to relocate to their assisted living or memory care community. At Quail Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Care in Bartlett, Tennessee, they provide their new residents with their signature Easy-Move Program that makes the moving process go as smoothly as possible. That program, along with these tips, will take the stress out of moving day—even in the dead of winter.

Enlist your friends and family members

Many hands make light work. If you have local friends and family or some who are still lingering around from the holidays, enlist them to help with the packing and moving process. Most people are happy to lend a hand when a loved one is transitioning out of their home and into a retirement community. But in order to make the process as efficient and helpful as possible, be sure to coordinate and divvy up tasks between everyone who is assisting.

Take charge and assign specific tasks to each person who offers to help. If Cousin Mary has time tomorrow afternoon to lend a hand, be sure to give her something specific to help with. “Thank you so much! It would be so helpful if you packed up the clothes in the master closet.” Or, “You’re too kind! We’d really appreciate it if you could empty out the bathroom cabinets.”

And for that slightly-clumsy neighbor, you love but wouldn’t want anywhere near the china? Ask if he can bring over some lunch while the packing is going on.

Prepare for the weather

Keep an eye on the weather report, and make sure that you and your movers are on the same page about all of the moving plans. Confirm when they’ll arrive, where they’ll park, and what route they’ll be taking to your loved one’s new community. Be sure that sidewalks and driveways are shoveled and free from snow and ice so nobody slips. Finally, ensure you have a backup plan with your movers just in case your moving date needs to change due to the weather.

Think of the little things on moving day

Anticipating everyone’s needs beforehand can make your winter move much more pleasant. Keep extra towels, sheets, and blankets on hand just in case something unexpectedly needs to be dried, covered or padded during the move. A few extra pairs of gloves won’t hurt, either.

Turn off the heating system in the house so it’s not working overtime to heat the home while the doors are wide open for the movers (you’ll suddenly realize why your elders were always so adamant about not “heating up the whole neighborhood”).

Finally, surprise your movers with some hot drinks to keep them warm while they’re working—coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and cider are all great options.

Take advantage of the Easy-Move Program

The transition to senior living can be difficult when faced with the normal physical and financial obstacles caused by aging and downsizing one’s home. To help alleviate some of the stress involved with this life-altering change, Quail Ridge offers a program that lessens the strain associated with moving. Caring and dedicated staff are available to assist new residents in matters such as real estate, financial services, moving professionals, veteran assistance, and more

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Quail Ridge, contact our friendly team today

Dunwoody Pines Independent Living Community Gives 5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

The holiday season isn’t the time when most people think about their health. Most would likely do the opposite, they’re more likely to throw caution to the wind, leaving their health considerations for January’s resolutions. But the holidays can be even more enjoyable with a few simple strategies to stay healthy throughout the holiday season.

Ensure You’re Getting Adequate Sleep

The holidays are so full of events and invitations that it can be impossible to attend everything. And then there are all of the other added holiday responsibilities: shopping, wrapping, cooking, writing cards, and more. With all of the extra tasks on your to-do list, you may be tempted to stay up later or get up earlier to get everything done. But remember that you’ll be more productive, happier, and healthier with a proper amount of sleep. Ensure that you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep—the recommended 7-8 hours if you can—as consistently as possible throughout the holidays.

Enjoy Treats, but Stick to Your Dietary Restrictions

Many of our holiday traditions are centered around food. And we look forward to our favorite holiday dishes and special treats every single year. But over-indulging can lead to stomachaches, bloating, headaches, or the dreaded “food coma.” To stay as healthy as possible throughout the entire season, stick to any dietary restrictions you may have. While it can be difficult to pass up the holiday treats, keeping healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables readily available can help. If you think you’ll be tempted to over-indulge, have a small healthy meal prior to attending that holiday party.

Turn Down the Stress

It can be exhausting to be in charge of the holiday meal every year. Cleaning the house and cooking for a crowd are holiday traditions that you can feel good about passing down to the next generation. Give another family member or friend a chance to shine as host, while you bring your famous holiday dish to the gathering. And while you’re at it, teach the younger members of your group some responsibility by having them help with the dishes.

Stay Hydrated

There are plenty of festive drinks to enjoy throughout the holidays, from eggnog to hot chocolate to fancy cocktails. But before you fill your cup with something sweet, remember to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is an important part of feeling your best, and sugary drinks and cocktails just don’t do the trick. An easy way to remember to drink plenty of water is to fill up a reusable water bottle and keep it with you. You’re more likely to drink the water if it’s in front of you. If you prefer a drink with a little flavor, add a squeeze of lemon, some mint, or some sliced cucumber to your water bottle for a spa-like touch.

Rest After Holiday Travel or Visitors

When you haven’t seen your family or friends for a while, you may be tempted to pack your holiday schedule full of as many activities as possible. But trying to visit with everyone, invite everyone over, and travel all across the country or even the globe could leave you exhausted. Instead of cramming your schedule full of every possible activity, be sure to leave some time to rest after traveling or visiting with friends and family.

With just these few tools in your back pocket, you can avoid some of the common health and wellness pitfalls of the holiday season. Enjoy your favorite holiday traditions without sacrificing your health this year!

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Dunwoody Pines today, contact our friendly team.

Copper Canyon Gives Residents The Opportunity to Enjoy The Holidays With Their Friends and Family

If you have a loved one who lives in an assisted living or memory care community, you may be trying to figure out how to coordinate your holiday celebration to include the entire family. But it’s easier than you think to bring holiday joy to your loved ones. These five tips from Copper Canyon Assisted Living and Memory Care community will help you plan the perfect celebration for your loved one.

Bring Your Loved One’s Favorite Holiday Foods

A lot of our favorite holiday traditions involve food. Whether it’s Aunt Nancy’s green bean casserole or Cousin Sandy’s famous holiday cookies, one taste of a traditional family recipe can turn any get-together into a holiday party. Check with your loved one’s community to see if it is possible to bring them some holiday food or treats. The special family recipes or even your loved one’s store-bought holiday favorites will let them know you’re thinking of them. Be sure that any food you bring meets your loved one’s dietary restrictions, and try to modify any recipes to meet their needs.

Offer to Do Holiday Shopping for Them

Your loved one may not be able to leave their community on their own to do their holiday shopping. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to participate in the gift-giving! Offering to do some holiday shopping for your loved one can make them feel like they’re fully participating in the holiday. Ask if you can help them purchase gifts for their friends and family, and then bring the gifts to their community to help them wrap them up. They’ll love being able to experience the best part of the holiday season—the joy of giving.

Bring the Whole Family

The holiday season is all about spending time with family and friends. Your loved one will love seeing everyone together, especially if there are any new babies they haven’t met or growing children they haven’t seen since they sprouted up in height. Before you plan a big family visit, remember to do the following:

  • Check with your loved one’s community to ensure that you’re following any rules about visitors. Make sure you know the community’s visiting hours and limits they have on the number of visitors if any.
  • Update the visiting family and friends about your loved one’s condition before the visit. Familiarize them with any changes to your loved one’s needs, and let them know how they can make the visit as positive as possible for everyone.

Collect Gifts and Holiday Cards

Let your loved one’s friends and family know that you’re collecting gifts and holiday cards to give to them. Your loved one will enjoy seeing the cards displayed in their room and opening holiday gifts. Give everyone ideas for appropriate gifts, such as comfortable clothing, a cozy robe, favorite treats, photo albums, or recordings of favorite movies and music. Advise everyone specifically against certain gifts that would be inappropriate or dangerous for your loved one.

Celebrate with the Entire Community

Your loved one has probably made new friends in their community, and they’d love for them to be a part of your holiday celebration. Ask if you can share your family recipes, watch a holiday movie, or sing holiday songs with other residents and staff. Including your loved one’s new friends will make them feel at home and will spread the holiday joy.

While the holidays may not be exactly the same as they used to be, there are plenty of ways to involve your loved one who lives in a retirement community. Use these tips to ensure that everyone has a happy holiday season.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Copper Canyon today, contact our friendly team.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Affect More Than Just The Person Diagnosed, And Specialized Communities Can Help

When someone is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, a lot of questions arise. Family and friends likely think of their loved one’s needs first. What kind of care will the person need? Who will be responsible for making sure their loved one receives that care? Who will be manage their loved one’s finances, assets, and the logistics of memory care? Will the person stay home, or should they relocate to a memory care community?

With all of the focus on their loved one and their life changes, caregivers often forget their own needs. They may be getting less sleep, missing out on time with their children or spouse, putting their hobbies and relaxation on the back burner, and pushing through the emotional stress of seeing their loved one go through the changes associated with their condition.

Caregiver stress is particularly pronounced when caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, compared with caregivers of people without these conditions, twice as many caregivers whose loved ones have dementia or Alzheimer’s indicate substantial emotional, financial and physical difficulties. And families bear an average of 70% of the total lifetime cost of caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Over time, caregivers can suffer from extreme stress and burnout in the midst of caring for their loved ones. And if the caregiver burns out, everyone suffers; the person living with dementia or Alzheimer’s is unable to receive quality care, and the caregiver suffers the physical and emotional toll of neglecting their own well-being.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, signs of caregiver stress include denial about your loved one’s condition, anger or frustration that your loved one can no longer do things they once could, or a lack of desire to engage in hobbies or social activities. Caregiver stress can also manifest as anxiety, depression, exhaustion, irritability, sleeplessness, and inability to concentrate. Memory caregivers may also experience physical symptoms like a rapid change in weight or appetite, body aches, migraines or persistent headaches, or getting sick more often or for longer periods of time. Over time, these symptoms can lead to more serious or long-term problems.

If you or someone you know is experiencing caregiver stress or caregiver burnout or would like to avoid the possibility altogether, Specialized Memory Care Communities, such as Marshall Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care in Evans, Georgia, can help. Assisted living and memory care communities can ease caregivers’ stress while providing top-notch, person-centered care to their loved ones.

Marshall Pines is designed to be an all-inclusive, personalized care solution for residents while providing their families with peace of mind. The very architecture of the community was designed for resident safety; residents’ apartments are designed to minimize hazards such as elevation changes and potentially dangerous appliances, and the beautiful grounds encourage daily movement while remaining safe and secure.

And the community’s 24/7 staff and safety features mean that your loved one will never be alone. Professional, caring staff members are available any time day or night. Apartments come with safety pull-cords, and each resident wears a location-based pendant to give residents and their families complete peace of mind.

Marshall Pines also boasts research-backed memory care programming that residents may not be able to get at home. The community’s certified Life Enrichment Director leads engaging daily activities, weekly on-site social events, and fun cultural excursions as part of a researched-backed health and wellness program.

While caregivers may feel responsible for personally caring for their loved ones, a memory care community may be a more appealing option for everyone involved. Not only will residents receive top-of-the-line care, but family members can also avoid the stress associated with being the sole caregiver for their loved one.

If you’re ready to learn more about residency at Marshall Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care, please visit.

Customized Care in a Community Setting Fosters Independence

When your loved one starts to need specialized living assistance or memory care as they age, it can be tough to sort through the available options. You can choose from a multitude of in-home care options as well as several different memory care and assisted living facilities.

But Windsor Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Beechwood, Ohio, stands out above the rest as offering features that ensure each resident receives a personalized, Person-centered experience. The community offers a range of care options, including assisted living, transitional assisted living, and memory care. Each of these fully customized care options includes access to a variety of community features that will ensure both you and your loved one have an amazing experience.

Memory Care Life Enrichment Program

Windsor Heights offers its residents a unique Life Enrichment Program based on the six Sunshine Pillars of Wellness, which include physical engagement, spiritual support, sensory stimulation programming, social connections, intellectual discovery, and emotional expression. This six-pillar philosophy is rooted in a Montessori-style approach, which was originally developed for early childhood education. Windsor Heights has built upon this approach, modifying it to honor the age and experiences of the residents. The program provides sensory stimulation and encourages cognitive stimulation while building on existing social skills. This unique programming enables your loved one to live life to the fullest in a safe and secure environment.

Engaging Activities Calendar

The certified Life Enrichment Director at Windsor Heights leads engaging daily activities, weekly on-site social events, and fun cultural excursions as part of a researched-backed health and wellness program. Residents can choose from multiple activities each day, including physical activities like yoga and chair exercise, as well as mental activities such as Jeopardy, story sessions, and baking class. They can also participate in weekly scenic outings and unique community events each month.

24/7 Dining

Even the dining program at Windsor Heights was intentionally designed for the unique needs of the facility’s residents. The daily menu incorporates foods from the Rush University Medical Center MIND diet, which is intended to foster brain health and ongoing cognitive function. Entrees are served on colored plates to stimulate appetite, and a server greets each resident individually with multiple daily menu choices. Residents can enjoy a meal at any time of the day, and the experienced chef is happy to accommodate residents with dietary needs due to various health restrictions, such as low gluten and sugar-free diets, and much more.

Safe and Secure Location

The entirety of the Windsor Heights community was designed with your loved one’s safety in mind. Each apartment offers a safe and convenient floorplan as well as safety pull cords. Each resident also wears a location-based pendant to provide you with an extra sense of security. The community’s grounds allow residents to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment. The secured walking paths and enclosed gardens encourage a daily stroll, and residents can rest on the patio area’s comfortable benches to enjoy the beautiful views.

Experienced Staff Available Day and Night

Your loved one will never be alone at Windsor Heights. The community’s team includes a highly-trained Executive Director, licensed Director of Nursing, licensed Memory Care Director, and certified Life Enrichment Director. Each of these professionals, as well as the rest of the staff, are trained to provide customized, person-centered care to each resident, including options for health monitoring, medication management, assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming, and oral care.

To learn more about residency at Windsor Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care, please visit.

Communities Offer a Safer, More Engaging Environment than in-Home Care

Perhaps the time has come when you’ve decided to look for in-home care, assisted living, or a memory care facility for your loved one. Today’s seniors have a multitude of care options available, so it can be a challenge to sort through those options and choose the one that best suits your loved one’s needs.

One of the biggest decisions to make is whether to choose an in-home care service or to relocate your loved one to an assisted living or memory care facility. Memory care needs are unique and not addressed by all home health or senior community options. And while many people’s initial reaction may be to have their loved one stay at home as long as possible, communities may offer a safer, more engaging environment for seniors than in-home care. Here are some things to consider:

Safety

As seniors with memory care need age, the homes they have lived in for years quickly become unsuitable for their new needs. Seniors diagnosed with or experiencing the symptoms of dementia may experience confusion, memory loss, and disorientation, as well as a loss of mobility and/or coordination. The average house, therefore, presents safety risks that you and your loved one may not be aware of. Rugs, flooring and elevation changes, stairs, appliances, and even cramped bathrooms can all contribute to accidents. While modifications may be made at home to alleviate some of these risks, those modifications could be expensive or impossible to implement in certain homes.

Memory care facilities, on the other hand, are designed with these unique safety needs in mind, which keeps your loved one safe and gives you peace of mind. At Quail Ridge in Bartlett, Tennessee, Seniors’ living spaces are designed with consistent flooring with no elevation changes, accessible bathroom safety features, and safety pulls cords to keep them safe and comfortable. Residents also wear location-based pendants to provide their loved ones with peace of mind. And the community grounds are also designed to be both safe and secure as well as conducive to residents living a full, engaged life. Entrances and exits are monitored, and staff is available at all times to assist your loved one.

Memory Care-Specific Programming

While it is possible to provide excellent in-home care to a memory care patient, assisted living and memory care communities offer specially designed programming to support resident’s needs. At Quail Ridge, residents can enjoy programs specifically designed to support their well-being, such as music therapy, aromatherapy, validation techniques, health and wellness activities, and life skills stations. The community also offers a calendar of wellness-related, social, and cultural events to keep residents engaged.;

Even the dining program is designed for the particular needs of memory care residents. Quail Ridge’s daily menu incorporates foods from the Rush University Medical Center MIND diet, which fosters brain health. Entrees are served on colored plates to stimulate appetite, and a server greets each resident individually with multiple daily menu choices. The MIND diet, in conjunction with the community’s many Memory Care programs, is intended to help hold off memory issues for as long as possible.

Socialization

Due to physical and mental limitations, seniors receiving at-home care may have limited contact with others, especially as it becomes difficult for them to participate in their favorite hobbies and social activities. This separation can lead to isolation, loneliness, depression, and a general decline in health. However, senior living communities are designed to provide daily activities, mental stimulation, and social contact for all residents. Community residents living with dementia, Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory impairment benefit from increased socialization; they may experience improved brain health, a sense of belonging, a stronger sense of time and place, and improved focus.

At Quail Ridge, residents can reap these benefits by enjoying the company of their neighbors in the community, participating in a variety of activities and events, and inviting friends and family to visit in the community’s common spaces.

To learn more about the differences between home health care and memory care communities or to schedule a tour of Quail Ridge today, contact our friendly team.

Community Living Can Better Suit Memory Care Needs Than In-Home Options

Seniors today have more choices than ever when it comes to retirement living. And for those experiencing the beginning of memory challenges, and for their families, those options come with an additional set of questions: “What type of care do I actually need?” “How will my needs change as time goes on?” “Which options are the most flexible and will adapt to provide long-term care as my needs change?”

More and more, seniors are choosing community retirement living over in-home care. And memory care needs are unique and not provided for by all home health or senior community options. For memory care patients, dedicated memory care community options can better suit their needs than home care for a variety of reasons.

Community Design

As seniors’ needs change with age, the homes that they lived in during their middle age may not suit them any longer. Stairs, large floorplans, home maintenance, and lack of transportation can make their old homes unmanageable for daily living.

And for memory care patients, the average home presents safety concerns. Conditions like dementia or other memory concerns may affect a person’s spatial awareness and balance, meaning that everyday home features become much more dangerous. Everyday home design is unsuitable for memory care patients, and features such as throw rugs, kitchen appliances, differences in flooring or elevation, and showers without safety features such as handrails, could cause accidents.

And while it is possible to modify the home to limit these risks, dedicated memory care facilities, such as Ashley Gardens, are designed with these concerns in mind. Seniors’ living spaces are designed with consistent, flat flooring, accessible bathroom safety features, and safety pull cords to keep them safe and comfortable. Residents also wear location-based pendants to provide their loved ones with peace of mind. And the community grounds are also designed to be both safe and secure as well as conducive to residents living a full, engaged life.

Specialized Programming

While it is possible to provide excellent in-home care to a memory care patient, assisted living and memory care communities offer specially designed programming to support resident’s needs. At Ashley Gardens, a certified Life Enrichment Director leads to engaging daily activities, weekly on-site social events, and fun cultural excursions as part of a researched-backed health and wellness program. Residents can enjoy programs such as music therapy, aromatherapy, validation techniques, health and wellness activities, and life skills stations.

Even the dining program is designed for the particular needs of memory care residents. Ashley Garden’s daily menu incorporates foods from the Rush University Medical Center MIND diet, which fosters brain health. Entrees are served on colored plates to stimulate appetite, and a server greets each resident individually with multiple daily menu choices. The MIND diet, in conjunction with the community’s many Memory Care programs, is intended to help hold off memory issues for as long as possible.

24/7 Staff Access

At home, it may be difficult for seniors to receive a level of access to professionals similar to what they could experience at an assisted living or memory care community. At Ashley Gardens, the staff includes an Executive Director, a licensed Director of Nursing, a licensed Memory Care Director, and a certified Life Enrichment Director. Professional staff is available 24/7 to assist residents.

Socialization

Due to physical and mental limitations, seniors receiving at-home care may have limited contact with others, especially as it becomes difficult for them to participate in their favorite hobbies and social activities. However, senior living communities are designed to provide daily activities, mental stimulation, and social contact for all residents. Residents can enjoy the company of their neighbors in the community, participate in a variety of activities and events, and invite friends and family to visit in the community’s common spaces.

To learn more about the differences between home health care and memory care communities or to schedule a tour of Ashley Gardens today, contact our friendly team.

Key Differences Between Personal Care, Memory Care, and Assisted Living

Perhaps you’ve woken up and realized that it’s time. Time to seek out options that better nurture your loved one’s physical, emotional, and cognitive health in the midst of cognitive decline. If that’s you, we’re here to help.

The Haven offers specialized Memory Care services in a warm and welcoming environment. One of the most common questions we answer is, “How is a Memory Care facility different than Assisted Living?” We hope this information helps you recognize similarities and differences and ultimately make an informed decision about the care of your loved one.

Living Spaces

Traditionally, assisted living residents to live in apartments or cottages equipped with bedroom(s), bathroom, living room, and kitchen and set up much like home. Contrarily, memory care residents often choose between private rooms or shared rooms and then share common spaces within their communities. Kitchenettes are less common as they pose safety risks and increase anxiety for residents experiencing cognitive decline.

Staffing

Both assisted living and memory care communities offer 24/7 staffing. However, memory care employees receive specialized training to assist them in meeting the physical, emotional, and intellectual needs of memory-impaired residents. These employees are focused primarily in the area of memory care, while assisted living employees may be trained in multiple areas and expected to care for residents in all stages of the aging process.

Programming

Both assisted living and memory care communities offer programming that includes activities designed to promote physical, social, and spiritual wellness among residents. While memory care residents may be able to participate in some assisted living activities, the activity calendar in a memory care community caters to these residents in particular, which means they can participate in any activity they choose. Additionally, activities are selected based on the most recent and relevant research in cognitive impairment to ensure they contribute to the well-being of the resident and assist with memory retention and preventing disease progression.

Safety

The most significant differences between assisted living and memory care communities are related to resident safety. Assisted living communities are designed for residents who are largely independent; that is, they can come and go safely, prepare and cook their own meals, and even manage their own medications if they choose. Contrarily, memory care communities are designed to keep memory-impaired residents safe. Locking up dangerous chemicals, providing safety mechanisms on stoves and ovens, and preventing unmonitored wandering are just a few of the ways that safety is maintained in these specially-designed communities.

Personal care

Both assisted living and memory care communities offer assistance with common activities of daily living, like oral cares, dressing, bathing, meal preparation, medication administration, and housekeeping. There are very few differences between the personal care services available in assisted living communities and those available in memory care communities.

Setting

Research has uncovered that certain colors, furniture placements, and layouts can alleviate anxiety and improve familiarity for residents suffering from memory impairment. Memory care communities base community design and layout on recent research to promote resident wellness and comfort. This is generally not the case for assisted living communities since most residents are relatively independent and the need isn’t as strong.

Overall, there are a number of similarities between assisted living and memory care communities, but a few differences that lead many families to choose specialized memory care facilities over assisted living to promote safety and wellness. To learn more about the Haven or to schedule a tour of our building and grounds, please visit us online, give us a call, or stop by today. We’re excited to learn more about how we can partner with you for your loved one’s care.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living, August, 2019.

Recognizing Cognitive Decline in Your Friend or Family Member

Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia, affecting 5.7 million Americans today and as many as 14 million by 2050. The onset of Alzheimer’s disease is gradual, making it difficult to differentiate between the normal aging process and the disease process. We hope this information helps you monitor your loved one, work closely with his or her primary care provider, and ensure safety and enrichment despite cognitive changes.

Early or Mild Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is generally broken into three stages: mild (early), moderate, and severe (late). During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, symptoms are subtle: perhaps your loved one will demonstrate forgetfulness, asking the same question multiple times, or repeating the same story. He or she might begin losing things more often and might take longer to complete activities of daily living, like dressing, brushing their teeth, and bathing. Other common symptoms of early-stage Alzheimer’s include poor judgment (and subsequently questionable decision-making), difficulty paying bills, wandering, getting lost, anxiety, aggression, and mood changes. If you suspect your loved one may be developing Alzheimer’s disease, consult with his or her primary care provider as early as possible. Medications and lifestyle changes can help slow progression and keep your loved one safe and engaged during this stage.

Moderate Alzheimer’s

When your loved one begins to exhibit the signs of moderate Alzheimer’s, supervision and daily assistance become more necessary. It is during early and moderate Alzheimer’s that most residents enter memory care communities like Heritage Point, where their surroundings are safe and activities are customized for their needs. Signs of Alzheimer’s during this stage include:

  • confusion and memory loss that interfere with daily life
  • changes in speech, writing, reading, and math skills
  • distraction; inability to focus for long periods of time
  • difficulty organization thoughts and sentences
  • new behaviors: angry outbursts, vulgar language, impulsiveness, or agitation
  • inability to retain new information or learn new things
  • wandering and getting lost
  • difficulty recognizing family members and friends
  • inability to complete daily tasks correctly: dressing, bathing, brushing teeth, cooking
  • paranoia, delusions, or hallucinations

You may also begin to see some repetitive movements and muscle twitches during moderate Alzheimer’s. If you believe your loved one has entered the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s, consult with their primary care provider to ensure you have the resources you need to support their daily safety and enrichment. Many family members seek help from Heritage Point when 24/7 supervision becomes necessary. Remember, you need time to grieve. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease can cause tremendous pain and loss for those affected, so self-care is critical during this stage.

Late Alzheimer’s

During the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease, the body begins to shut down. Your loved one will most likely become totally dependent on others; that is, somebody will need to perform activities of daily living for them. During this stage, the ability to communicate is lost; decreased appetite and difficulty swallowing lead to unintentional weight loss, and control of the bowel and bladder is lost. Because of these changes, your loved one is at increased risk of other problems like pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and skin sores.

To learn more about the progression of Alzheimer’s disease or explore Mishawaka senior homes, visit us at Heritage Point today. We’re here for you!