Memory care is a specialist type of residential care for people who have dementia. It’s a type of care that takes a “holistic” approach to the treatment of dementia. This means that while the patient will receive medical care for their symptoms in the form of medications and regular physical check-ups, they will also have their other needs taken care of with the same level of priority.
This means that as well as taking care of medical needs, memory care facilities also look out for their residents’ physical health and their mental wellbeing.
Memory care facilities will be staffed by qualified nursing professionals who are on hand to provide medical treatment and intervention 24 hours a day.
People with dementia will generally be treated with medications that work on the chemical receptors in the brain to combat the symptoms. For example, a dementia patient may be given a medication to help with memory or judgment, or one that is designed to assist with learning. They may also be offered other medications to help with some of the symptoms that can be part of dementia, including depression, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, or agitation.
There are also therapeutic treatments that are regularly employed, such as occupational therapy to help people to perform tasks themselves, or modifying their environment to make it safer and more accessible. Structure and routine can also be a huge part of helping dementia patients.
A holistic approach
A holistic approach to memory care means providing all of the medical care that we just mentioned, as well as providing other therapies and activities designed to help with overall health and wellbeing.
For example, the memory care facility at Fort Worth senior living employs the award-winning SPARK program, which is designed to infuse their residents’ lives with purpose and joy.
They do this by enabling residents to have their independence as much as possible, as well as empowering them to build and maintain a community that gives them purpose and meaning. Residents are given the opportunity to take part in social activities, learning exercises, and community events such as monthly town halls.
Who can benefit from memory care?
People who have only just been diagnosed with dementia are unlikely to need memory care. In fact, it can be advantageous for people to stay in their home for as long as possible in order to maintain their independence; as long as they are still able to socialize and take care of themselves.
- Drastic changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or agitated.
- Confusion or disorientation, which puts their physical safety at risk. For example, dementia patients can be confused about the meaning of a red light and therefore put themselves or others at risk of a car accident.
- Decline in physical health. If a person is struggling with their mobility, is forgetting to take their medication, or is exhibiting other signs of not looking after themselves properly such as becoming thin and frail, then this is a sign that they need some help.
- Incontinence. If incontinence is becoming an issue then this can be a lot for caregivers in the home to handle. It is at this point that many people start to consider memory care.