What is Memory Care?

Memory care refers to assisted living long-term facilities. They are designed to provide care to those with serious cognitive impairment/s. If your loved ones face trouble recollecting, learning, adapting, and finding it hard to concentrate and if there are difficulties impacting their everyday life, then you might consider memory care which attends to their specific needs. Many often confuse these concerns with a simple memory loss issue, pinning it down to old age, when really it is much more than that. Conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer's disease, amnesia and others, cause progressive impairment to an individual's daily functioning abilities and these in turn demand special care and medication. This is where memory care comes in.

The overall goal of memory care is to uphold the dignity and independence of all those it serves within a safe environment. An empathetic approach to memory care in addition to staff that's well qualified and caring, ensures that needs are efficiently and thoughtfully met.

Symptoms that qualify individuals for memory care

Unlike more tangible and physically evident medical conditions, cognitive issues cannot be immediately identified. In the early days, they can be managed in safe surroundings with the help of a supportive family or community. In the long run however, extra care may need to be considered, which more often than not cannot be handled by primary caregivers alone. Here are some signs that might indicate that you need to consider seeking further help:

  • If the person requires care beyond your physical and emotional bandwidth to provide for it
  • If you feel that your home/ ecosystem does not provide ample security
  • If your loved one is unmanageable when left unsupervised
  • If special/individual care is required around the clock

What do memory care facilities provide?

Memory care providers focus on creating comfortable living conditions which include among others:

  • Accommodation of choice and comfort
  • Food and diet as prescribed by dieticians
  • Provision of therapy and fun activities in addition to treatment and care
  • Availability of a 24/7 emergency on-call nurse/doctor
  • Medical alerting and 24/7 security
  • Support groups
  • Maintenance, housekeeping and laundry
  • Personal grooming, dressing and physical assistance
  • Some also allow for pets

What are the required skills for memory care personnel?

The diagnosis and treatment of cognitive impairment can be challenging. This means that professional caretakers need to be well prepared and adequately trained to pinpoint and handle difficult situations/medical emergencies, especially since most residents require unique and dynamic care. Here are some questions you could ask of the medical professionals/staff at the memory care facility that you are considering:

  • Do they know how to administer CPR and First-Aid?
  • Is medication administered only by medical professionals or assistants to registered doctors/nurses?
  • Are they medically fit? Have they tested negative for TB, COVID-19, and other relevant conditions/diseases?
  • Do they have requisite education, training or certifications that are specific to assisting those with cognitive impairment?
  • Have they completed comprehensive orientation training geared towards memory care?

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