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

Category Archives: Assisted living and memory care

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!

The most common differences between natural aging and Alzheimer’s disease

As your loved one ages, it’s common to notice some changes in memory and cognitive function; perhaps they struggle to recall the name of a grandchild or miss an eye appointment. But how do you know whether these changes are part of the normal aging process or an indication of something more serious, like Alzheimer’s disease?

Here, our experts answer some of the most common questions they receive about the differences between aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

Q: My mom seems to be getting more forgetful. Is this common or should I be concerned about Alzheimer’s dementia?

A: Forgetfulness often increases with age and can be very normal. Forgetting an appointment, for example, is a sign of normal aging, while forgetting how to get to the clinic or back home afterward could be a warning signal of something more serious. If you notice your mom is struggling to remember the events of last week or yesterday, doesn’t recognize close loved ones, or struggles with daily tasks like cooking or getting home from the store, seek guidance from her primary care provider. These can be signs of Alzheimer’s.

Q: I’m the primary caregiver for my uncle, and lately his behavior has changed. He often says inappropriate things and sometimes becomes combative. Is this a normal part of aging?

A: When we see somebody, who is normally mild-mannered display combative and inappropriate behaviors, we worry that something more serious is going on. In some cases, the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s – but don’t jump to conclusions. Sometimes the diagnosis is simply a urinary tract infection, which can cause behavior changes in older patients. Seeing a doctor is critical if you notice behavioral or personality changes in your loved one. Please note that caring for a loved with dementia can be very challenging, so be sure to care for yourself while you seek the treatment he needs.

Q: My dad has really withdrawn lately. He spends a lot of time alone and doesn’t engage much when I stop by. Is this a sign of dementia?

A: Many aspects of aging can contribute to sadness, withdrawal, fatigue, and disengagement. Loss of a spouse, living alone, poor nutrition, and decline in health can all increase the risk of depression. However, the signs and symptoms of depression sometimes closely mimic the signs of Alzheimer’s, so it’s important to share your concerns with a doctor to ensure your dad receives the right treatment.

Q: It seems like my mom’s physical health is declining all at once. Is it possible this is Alzheimer’s disease?

A: While early and moderate dementia produce primarily mental and emotional changes, the body shuts down when disease reaches late stage. Symptoms of moderate to severe or late-stage dementia include incontinence, loss of speech, seizures, loss of muscle control, and difficulty swallowing, among others. However, most people progress through the disease over a long period of time, so it’s unlikely that you would see physical decline first. What you describe could be caused by something else; schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor to find out for sure.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease or memory care services in the Reno area, visit our team at Stone Valley Retirement Living on Stone Valley Drive today. We’re here to help you navigate these complex and challenging years.

Windsor Heights offers cutting-edge memory care programs

The team at Windsor Heights in Beachwood sets the bar high when it comes to memory care. Specifically, it is their life’s work to ensure that those with dementia are afforded the same compassionate, luxurious retirement experience as their peers. Here’s how they do it.

First, because moving can be traumatic on those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, the community offers a multi-level care structure that promotes seamless transition between levels of care. This gives residents the opportunity to stay in the community – alongside familiar, trusted caregivers – despite changes in their physical or cognitive ability, promoting a sense of safety and security and avoiding disruption in their lives.

Apartments and common areas are designed according to Circadian Rhythm concepts, using lighting, furnishings, and decor to promote familiarity, comfort, and calmness. Although the science behind it is complex, the result is really quite simple: residents feel at home at Windsor Heights. It is our hope that when they step into our community – and especially into their suite – that they feel the same warmth and comfort they felt at home.

Staff receive specialized training, empowering them to cater their interactions to the needs of the memory-impaired residents by incorporating gentle touch and positive reassurances into every encounter. The person-centered programming extends to outdoor areas, which are secure and monitored to give residents the opportunity to explore independently if they’d like. By offering secure outdoor areas, residents never have to wait for scheduled outdoor time to enjoy the smell of fresh air or the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze. As a secondary benefit, residents remain active – which comes with a myriad of additional advantages.
Because evidence shows that participation in purposeful daily living activities can give memory care residents a sense of purpose, life skill stations replicate the chores that many of our residents remember fondly – folding towels, baking cookies, and gardening are just a few examples. The life enrichment program, offered above and beyond life skill stations, gives residents the opportunity to participate in intellectual, social, physical, and spiritual activities throughout the day. Residents choose the activities that speak to their interests and no resident is ever turned away; in fact, the schedule is designed specifically for those with memory impairment.

Finally, Windsor Heights incorporates memory care into every detail down to the nourishment your loved one receives in their care. Working within the recommendations of Rush University Medical Center and the MIND Diet, the executive chef and his culinary team provide meals and snacks designed to reduce the risk of develop Alzheimer’s by up to 53% and help those who already have the disease maintain cognitive function longer.

To learn more about memory care or schedule a tour of the luxurious Windsor Heights community, visit us online or give us a call. Our friendly staff are standing by and look forward to meeting you and learning more about your needs.

Memory Care Residents at Higher Risk of Heat Injuries

The sun burns a little hotter in Tucson than it does in most places, which means enjoying the summer sun requires a little more planning for us than it does for other folks. Here’s how we’ve been beating the heat this summer while still enjoying time outdoors.

#1 – Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Residents who are memory-impaired are at highest risk of dehydration, so staff make a concentrated effort to encourage fluid intake when it’s hot outside. One of the most effective strategies we use is offering a drink with every single encounter; we find when we offer, they often accept our invitation and enjoy a cold drink of water. We also replenish ice often to keep their water cold and palatable and offer fun, creative drinks from time to time to make hydration exciting.

#2 – Enjoy the outdoors after sundown

When it’s too hot to sit on the lanai during the day, we plan our outdoor activities around the heat. For example, an evening game of bean bag toss or some early morning birdwatching might be on the agenda instead of mid-afternoon gardening. This strategy keeps us from spending summer months cooped up inside, missing out on all the benefits nature has to offer.

#3 – Let residents choose their comfort zone

If you’ve ever shared an office, you know that “room temperature” means a little something different to everybody. Individually-controlled suites ensure that every resident can enjoy air conditioning and choose their own just-right temperature. We gauge comfort often by asking questions like, “Are you warm enough?” or “Would you like it a little cooler in here?” and then respond accordingly by adjusting the thermostat, grabbing a warm blanket, or hanging up the cardigan for a while.

#4 – Use the excuse for a sweet treat

Sweet treats are the stuff of summer and cold sweet treats can not only be reminiscent of childhood but also help residents stay cool and hydrated. We might hail an ice cream truck or order sweet treats in advance to help residents cool down and celebrate the heat the summer.

#5 – Prevent sun burn

Sun burn is a top concern during the summer months in Tucson, so we make a focused effort to protect our residents’ skin while they enjoy the outdoors. We encourage hat and sunscreen use (and help residents apply it), offered covered spaces for outdoor relaxation, and remind residents to don their sunglasses and protect their eyes. Residents are monitored for safety when outdoors, so staff intervene if they notice any safety concerns.

Memory impairment can make Tucson summer dangerous. By choosing a community designed especially for residents who at risk due to memory impairment, you provide your loved with an opportunity to enjoy retirement the way they always wanted to without risking safety and security.

To learn more about Copper Canyon, our Tucson Memory Care community, stop by today. We’d love to schedule time to show you around, introduce you to our residents, and give you a taste of our gourmet menu.

Pros of a Memory Care Facility Versus In-Home Care in Tallahassee

Seniors have over 70 options to consider when making decisions about memory care

Today’s seniors have more options than ever before when it comes to assisted living and memory care services. In fact, a quick online search of “assisted living near me” will reveal that Tallahassee alone boasts 57 agencies that offer home health in some form and over a dozen senior living communities. This leaves most seniors wondering, “What’s the difference and which option is best for me?”

Memory care needs are unique and not addressed by all home health or senior community options. Here, we’ll share some of the main advantages of choosing a memory care facility over in-home care to help you narrow down your options and make the most informed decision

  • Safety. Memory care communities are designed with your loved one’s safety in mind. Seniors diagnosed with or experiencing the symptoms of dementia are at increased risk of trips, falls, burns, and medication errors. Memory care facilities are designed with the unique safety needs of your friend or family member in mind to limit the risk of injuries and give you peace of mind. While modifications can be made at home, such as installing handrails and removing rugs, some innate safety risks can be challenging to alleviate.
  • Security. Memory care communities are secure. When targeted by burglars and other criminals, the elderly are more likely to suffer physical injury, financial loss, and psychological trauma than younger victims. Choosing a memory care community ensures controlled access to the building and 24/7 staffing for your loved one’s security and peace of mind.
  • All-inclusive pricing. While not all memory care communities in Tallahassee follow an all-inclusive model, Azalea Gardens offers this model and complete transparency for convenience in budgeting. This gives you all the information you need to predict expenses accurately from one month to the next and make projections about long-term affordability. In-home care, on the other hand, is accompanied by all of the normal fluctuations of living at home, i.e. high electric bills during peak months, home maintenance expenses, etc.
  • Quick response time. The risk of serious medical events like heart attack and stroke increase with age, which makes it more imperative than ever before to have quick and easy ways for your loved one to request help and staff nearby to respond quickly. While home health care can be staffed 24/7, the cost is often a restrictive burden for families. Additionally, those receiving health services at home generally have to pay for additional service in order to have a panic button or other alert device.
  • Socialization. The benefits of socialization for those suffering from dementia and other forms of memory impairment are many: improved brain health, a sense of belonging, a stronger connection to time and place, and enhanced focus. Seniors who receive in-home care are at higher risk of isolation and the “ripple” effects (loneliness, depression, decline, etc.), while those living in communities have ample opportunities for socialization and all of the assistance they need to participate in activities tailored to their needs

Azalea Gardens Assisted Living & Memory Care, located on Ox Bottom Road in Tallahassee, is a beautiful memory care facility designed with the well-being of your friend or family member in mind. To learn more, schedule a site visit with our compassionate team today.

Pros of a Memory Care Facility Versus In-Home Care in Evans, GA

Following a trend toward in-home care, today’s seniors are showing a preference for community living

Decades ago, we saw senior care trends shift from long-term care facilities to home health services, which allowed seniors to stay in the comfort of their homes as they age. Today, retirement, assisted the living, and memory care communities have responded to the needs of the modern senior, leading to more and more seniors foregoing in-home care for community living and all of the amenities it affords.

A quick online search for assisted living near me might leave you more overwhelmed as you find that they are many options to consider for your loved one. Here, we’ve compiled some of the primary reasons our residents and their families chose Marshall Pines Assisted Living & Memory Care over home health and other options.

Built with safety in mind

While there are lots of things you can do to make it safe at home – like installing handrails in the shower and removing throw rugs – memory care communities are designed with the risks unique to patients suffering from dementia in mind, providing the safest setting of all. Some features memory care facilities offer that are generally not available at home include:

  • Consistent flooring throughout. Those suffering from a decline in balance and mobility can trip when stepping from a hard surface to carpet or vice versa. Furthermore, dementia can impact spacial perception, leading residents to perceive changes in flooring as steps or drop-offs. This can prevent them from attempting to cross “seams” between flooring or cause them to fall when stepping across.
  • Safety features in the kitchen to prevent burners or ovens from being turned on inadvertently. Stoves and ovens are a leading cause of injury for those with memory impairment.
  • Handicapped accessible bathrooms. Providing home healthcare in cramped spaces often leads to injuries in both staff and patients. Memory care communities provide spacious, wheelchair accessible bathrooms for improved safety.
  • Door alarm system to ensure residents are accompanied outside. Residents with memory impairment are at risk of getting lost or exposure to extreme temperatures, but memory care communities are designed to keep them safe by notifying staff when they go outside. This ensures a staff member can accompany them for safety.

The benefits of community

Seniors who live at home are at higher risk of isolation, especially as it becomes difficult for them to do the things they enjoyed in the past. When you choose a community, your loved one has “neighbors” they can visit without ever leaving home, a wide variety of events and activities to choose from, and common spaces designed to accommodate friends and family who visit. When you schedule your site visit and community tour, you’ll be pleased to observe lively conversation, belly laughs, activities, and gatherings to support the social well-being of each resident.

More predictable monthly expenses

Living at home comes with variable and sometimes unpredictable monthly expenses: a high water bill after a running toilet or an unexpected furnace repair, for example. Likewise, the cost of care when living at home can fluctuate depending on needs. Many residents and their families share that one of the reasons they chose Marshall Pines was for peace of mind; they know exactly what it’s going to cost from one month to the next and that rent price includes meals, care, maintenance, activities, transportation, and more.

Specialized programming

The best memory care facilities base their floor plans, staff training programs, menu options, and activity programming on the latest research on memory impairment in seniors, ensuring that all aspects of your loved one’s experience nurture their social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and spiritual well-being.

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

For Moms with Alzheimer’s, Mother’s Day is as much about Moments as Memories

If you close your eyes for a moment (after reading this sentence, that is) you should be able to conjure up fond or even not-to-fond memories of your mother – picking you up after a fall, cheering you on at a competition, giving you some timely life-changing advice. Sadly, it wouldn’t be uncommon for your mother to eventually lose all of those same memories to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, if she hasn’t already.

According to recent studies, more than seven million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Nearly two-thirds of them are women.

Needless to say, holidays like Mother’s Day can be a challenging time for a mother living with Alzheimer’s. She may feel a sense of loss because of the changes being experienced as a result of the disease. Beloved traditions may have to be adjusted to accommodate new realities. And at the same time, many adult children and care-givers may not be certain how to celebrate a day that no longer holds any meaning for the honoree.

Yet, regardless of your mom’s particular circumstances, Mother’s Day can remain a meaningful and enjoyable occasion for you and your family. Planning will take more thought and each family’s unique circumstances will need to be taken into consideration. But chances are, Mom willl enjoy spending time with you or anyone who appreciates and pays attention to her.

Here are some tips from the Alzheimer’s Association that can ensure a Mother’s Day celebration you both will enjoy:

1. Have a Memorable Mother’s Day Brunch

You probably used to take Mom out on Mother’s Day to give her a day off from cooking. That tradition may no longer hold much importance if she lives in a Sunshine Retirement Living memory care community and has her meals made for her each day. If you do decide to go out, make sure she is comfortable with crowds and does well in a different setting than what she’s used to. If she’s agreeable to the idea, consider ordering for her, because she may not remember what her favorite foods are or what’s best for her to eat.

Either way, people with Alzheimer’s do best when following a schedule. So eat at Mom’s usual time, before she gets too hungry, and preferably in familiar surroundings. Sticking to her normal routine will help keep the day from becoming disruptive or confusing. And don’t overdo it. If necessary, plan time for breaks so she can rest in a quiet area away from noise and crowds.

If going out doesn’t seem like a good idea, most Sunshine Retirement communities will be serving special Mother’s Day brunches that you’re both sure to enjoy. Or feel free to bring the meal to her from one of her favorite restaurants. Just don’t be afraid to reminisce about favorite foods and the memories you share surrounding special meals. While you’re at the facility, why not join in one of their group activities?

2. Give Gifts that Encourages Engagement

Your mom may not expect gifts for Mother’s Day any more, but they are always welcome. Especially those that stimulate the senses, such as flowers, a soft blanket, scented lotions, or a photo of the two of you together. Photo albums, ID bracelets and comfortable clothes also make nice gifts. But often, the best gift of all could be a CD or iPod of her favorite music that she can easily play. Music has more power to stimulate positive memories than anything else. Plus, it encourages movement and dancing.

3. Reminisce about Good Times from the Past

Having a conversation with someone dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia can sometimes be difficult, which often presents a challenge on how to create a special moment. If your mother still has her long-term memory intact, as many people with dementia do, reminiscing about a past you share is a good way to connect. Consider looking at a photo album of a past trip you’ve taken together or some childhood events. Enter her world and share her reality.

If she talks about random things from the past – Elvis Presley, her brother or childhood dog, Queen Elizabeth – go along for the ride and see where the conversation goes. If she doesn’t recognize who you are, but has memories of a son or daughter, invite her to share them without explaining who you are. But if conversations aren’t going anywhere, then just find an activity you can do together successfully and enjoy the moment. Go for a walk. Do some gardening or a jigsaw puzzle together. Read a story or listen to music.

4. Celebrate the Relationship You Have Now

While watching someone you’ve loved all your life slowly slip away from you is understandably traumatic, try to acknowledge that the person who does exist is still a lovable human who needs compassion. Recognize that you still have a relationship with your mother in whatever form it may be. Nurture it and treasure every moment that you have left.

For more information and support, call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900. A trained social worker will be happy to answer your questions or concerns. Learn more about Alzheimer’s in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center at alz.org/care. For more tips on supporting a family member with Alzheimer’s, join the ALZConnected online community, and find more information about your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter services and programs.

This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living, May, 2019. Some content was provided by prnewswire.com, yourhub.denverpost.com and seniorplanningservices.com.

How to Speak with a Loved One with Dementia in a Memory Care Facility

When your loved one is suffering from dementia, you are often struggling alongside him or her, learning how to cope with role reversal and how to communicate lovingly and effectively. Changing your communication style is necessary to maintain positive communication, encourage your loved one, and prevent distress. We hope these tips are helpful as you work to adjust to the new normal of loving somebody with dementia.

Introduce yourself

Nothing hurts more than stopping by to visit somebody close to you in a memory care facility only to find that she doesn’t remember who you are. Not only is it painful, but it can lead to frustration, shame, and embarrassment for your loved one. You can avoid all of these unwanted outcomes by simply introducing yourself right when you get there and often afterward. Try a casual introduction like this: “Hi Mom. It’s me, Jane.” If you can tell she’s confused a few minutes later, you can say it kindly again: “It’s me, Jane.”

Speak slowly

Dementia makes it increasingly difficult to process complex information. When speaking with your friend or family member experiencing memory loss, speak slowly in a regular tone of voice, choosing simple words with fewer syllables. Ensure sentences are short and clear.

Avoid baby talk

Don’t confuse clear, simple communication with baby talk. Older adults can hear lower voices better than high voices, and baby talk can feel condescending to an older adult with rich life experiences, especially if he or she raised you. Treat your friend or family member like the competent, experienced adult they are by speaking your regular tone of voice.

Talk about familiar subjects

Talk about the things your loved one knows and remembers, like their childhood, home, or the occupation they enjoyed when they were younger. Dementia often affects short-term memory without impacting long-term memory, especially in earlier stages of the disease. For this reason, your friend or family member will likely take comfort in memories that happened before the disease struck, while identifying less with memories that have occurred since the diagnosis or symptoms began. He or she may not be able to recall recent events but recall memories from kindergarten or raising their own children when they were young.

Think before correcting inaccurate beliefs

If your friend or a family member has forgotten a painful memory – such as the loss of child or spouse – you may choose not to remind them if will cause them to experience the stages of grief over and over again. It’s important to know that every resident of a memory care facility experiences dementia and memory loss uniquely. In some cases, believing their spouse or child is alive but does not visit is more painful than knowing that they have passed. Use your judgment and rely on the expertise of staff to decide what to share and when.

Don’t quiz them

Acceptance is critical while you grieve the partner or parent your loved one used to be. Asking questions like, “Do you know what day it is?” or “Do you know who I am?” might help you better understand the stages of dementia your friend or family member is experiencing or gauge their level of understanding, but it can quickly lead to confusion and frustration for the person struggling to answer these basic questions. Instead, simply offer love and understanding, providing the information they need. “Today is Monday, March 5th, and it’s 53 degrees outside,” is a great example of a way you can add value.

To learn more about our compassionate Mishawaka retirement community, visit us online or in person today.

Assisted Living vs Personal Care for Seniors in Sandy Springs

A common question potential residents ask is, ” What’s the difference between assisted living and personal care? ” Here, we’ll provide clarification to help make your decision as easy as possible while you seek independent living or personal care for seniors in Sandy Springs.

In short, there are very few differences between the care provided in assisted living residences and personal care homes. In fact, the primary difference between the two is the kind of license they hold, not the kind of services or quality of services that are provided.

So, what do they have in common?

While not all communities are the same, most have these in common whether personal care or assisted living:

  • Assistance with personal cares
  • The option for private living spaces
  • Access to a full schedule of activities
  • 24/7 maintenance service
  • In-room or restaurant-style dining
  • Local transportation
  • Wellness activities like group exercise and gym equipment
  • Medication administration
  • Access to common areas for family gatherings

Additionally, both assisted living and personal care communities to offer the ability to age in place; that is, stay in the community if their needs increase. Sometimes, moving is inevitable, but both types of communities aim to keep residents for as long as possible to limit the number of moves required and the impact that results.

How are they different?

The primary difference between personal care homes and assisted living facilities is the license they hold, and which license they’re granted by the state agency depends largely on the building construction. Because there are no significant differences in the services or care provided, many professionals continue to challenge the state’s decision to classify these very similar communities differently.

Choosing between Assisted Living and Personal Care

Many people are surprised to find that because personal care and assisted living are so similar in their services and delivery of care, they have more options to explore and more opportunities to find a community that meets all of their needs. These tips can help you narrow down your options and make a choice you feel good about:

  • If you’re looking for assisted living, including personal care communities in your search
  • Don’t get caught up on technicalities; choose the community that best fits your needs
  • Look for facilities that also offer independent living as this allows for the greatest potential to enjoy the luxury of community retirement and age in place
  • Use the information available online to narrow the list down to 3-5 communities and then schedule site visits to get a better feel for the community culture
  • Prepare your questions ahead of time and use the same questions at each site visit so you can compare apples to apples

The factors that most families consider priorities in their search include the culture of the community; the friendliness and accessibility of staff and leadership; the services provided; cost; and the potential to age in place. Knowing your priorities – including your must-haves and non-negotiables – can help guide your decision and ease stress during the process.

Hammond Glen is a modern independent living and personal care community nestled in Sandy Springs. To learn more about the difference between assisted living and personal care – or to schedule a site visit with Hammond Glen – contact our friendly team today. We can’t wait to meet you!

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