Memory care is often plagued by the stigma of years gone by despite the dramatic evolution that memory care has undergone in the last decade. Today, when you choose a modern memory care facility, you can expect a full range of services designed to not only keep your loved one safe, but to help them thrive physically, mentally, and Emotionally.
Here are a few clues that make it just a little easier to know the difference between outdated and modern memory care.
While an outdated community may exclude patients with cognitive decline or memory problems from group activities, modern memory care facilities design their activities specifically for residents just like this. If you observe a group activity, you should see that the activity brings joy to its participants, they receive help and accommodations if they need them, and nobody is ever Excluded.
Just a few of the activities that can engage the resident with Alzheimer’s disease (or another form of dementia) include exercises, games, spiritual services, baking, and music.
If you ever choose to tour a community and overhear a staff member telling a resident that they just aren’t able to participate in an activity because it will be too hard for them or they might be disruptive, you are not touring a modern memory care facility.
Multisensory stimulation incorporates all of the senses and often helps people who have dementia. Many modern memory care facilities incorporate multisensory stimulation to calm and sooth residents, helping them feel relaxed and at ease. Bright colors, stark contrast, notable smells, relaxing sounds, and interesting things to touch are all components.
While outdated communities might appear sterile and hospital-like, today’s memory care communities should incorporate rich textures, aromatherapy, white noise, and a myriad of opportunities for residents to work with their hands and sense of touch like indoor gardening or seashells. Weighted blankets can also reduce anxiety and help your loved one feel safe and secure.
Though they may not be able to form their words or organize their thoughts the way they used to, physical memory is often still intact. What this means is that many times, those suffering from dementia will still fold a hand towel when you hand it to them or rock a baby (or even a doll) in their arms. For this reason, modern facilities can help residents feel important and needed by providing nostalgic experiences like baking, rocking a baby doll, fixing something, or grading a paper. Activities should be customized based on the resident’s life story – their hobbies, interests, and career.
Things to look for when touring a facility include residents at work; perhaps they’re folding towels or setting the table before dinner. These therapeutic activities are a critical component of memory care.
While the modern memory care facility is safe and secure for your loved one, it shouldn’t look like a lockdown unit. Today’s communities take advantage of innovative design choices and cutting-edge technology to reduce the risk of safety events without compromising the comfortable, home-like setting they need during this phase of their lives.
The Haven in Pittsburgh, one of the most recommended retirement communities in Pittsburgh, ticks every box: a robust, inclusive activities schedule ensures that your loved one is always able to participate – and more importantly, able to participate in a meaningful way that feels good. The community atmosphere is designed to stimulate the senses and bring back happy memories, and residents are always able to help as long as it feeds their souls.
To learn more about The Haven or schedule your tour of our community, stop by or visit our website today.
Today, when you choose a modern memory care facility, you can expect a full range of services designed to not only keep your loved one safe, but to help them thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally.
*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living, March, 2019.