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Memory care is a sort of long-term care oriented for individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of progressive-degenerative dementia. Individuals who require more assistance than assisted living providers or who have advanced dementia and cannot remain at home may discover that memory care is their best long-term care option.
While nursing homes provide expert nursing care 24 hours a day, memory care facilities offer a secure, regulated environment specifically designed to keep residents safe from wandering and self-injury. Residents at memory care facilities are generally healthy, except for Alzheimer’s or dementia, but they cannot live safely in their own homes.
What Are the Services Offered at Memory Care Facilities?
The majority of memory care communities provide the same services as an assisted living facility, including the following:
- Accommodations in a semi-private or private apartment-style suite with an en suite bathroom.
- Three restaurant-style meals daily, as well as snacks and beverages throughout the day
- Services such as housekeeping, personal laundry, and linen
- Social and recreational activities such as exercise classes, organized games, Bible study groups, and escorted day trips are available every day.
- Medical alarm systems installed in-house.
- Some assistance with daily living activities includes dressing, grooming, and transferring.
Along with the services offered by the majority of assisted living homes, memory care communities provide the following:
- Daily therapeutic recreational programming for groups and individuals, such as brain games that are specifically meant to delay the onset of memory loss
- 24-hour surveillance
- Anti-wandering solutions like WanderGuard, a wireless wearable monitoring gadget that enables caretakers to monitor each resident’s precise whereabouts.
- A staff-to-resident ratio that is relatively low
- Assist with daily living activities
- Support groups for families
- Each memory care institution provides a distinct set of services. Some include advanced services such as on-site physical, occupational, and speech therapy and on-site physician care and transportation to nearby medical appointments.
What Is the Difference Between Memory Care and Other Types of Long-Term Care?
Memory care, like assisted living, is considered non-institutional care, whereas nursing facilities are deemed institutional. While memory care programs are frequently co-located with assisted living facilities, memory care units have notable variations in the atmosphere, staffing, and recreational activity. To get better services you should contact the best memory care facilities near me.
What Are the Characteristics of Memory Care Facilities?
Memory care centers resemble traditional assisted living communities or retirement homes in appearance and feel. Most memory care communities contain one or more dining rooms where residents eat and other common areas such as lounges, game rooms, fitness centers, and activity rooms. One or more covered courtyards are often present and a safe outdoor space with walking routes, resident gardens, and seats.
Residents may choose between studio, one- or two-bedroom apartments that feature barrier-free bathrooms, tiny kitchenettes, and an emergency call system that immediately connects residents to on-site caregivers.
Memory care facilities frequently incorporate increased security measures such as motion-activated lights, cameras, and alarms; delayed-egress exit doors; digital locks on exterior doors; and 24-hour on-site security personnel.
Numerous purpose-built memory care residences have curved walls to alleviate resident confusion and disorientation. Additionally, memory boxes are located outside each suite to aid in recollection. These boxes are filled with modest personal objects that assist people in identifying which room is theirs. Memory care facilities may also be designed in subdued colors and equipped with soft lighting to help residents with dementia avoid overstimulation and agitation.
Which Staffing and Certification Requirements Are Required for Memory Care Facilities?
Because memory care facilities are governed at the state level, staffing and certification standards differ across the country. By and large, most states mandate that any facility providing memory care services obtain a state-issued long-term care license. Memory care communities must pass health and safety inspections and have a designated administrator who works at least 40 hours per week on-site and is trained in long-term care to meet licensing criteria. What is a memory care facility?
Numerous states have enacted adult protection legislation requiring thorough background checks on anybody providing direct care to vulnerable adults, including caregivers in memory care institutions. Additional standard staffing and certification criteria include: All direct care employees must be certified in first aid and CPR.
Personnel who dispense drugs must be credentialed medical professionals or be directly supervised by a registered nurse.
Staff providing direct care must be tuberculosis-free (TB)
Before beginning direct care duties, staff must attend a complete orientation program that includes memory care-specific training. Annual training for staff and administrators on how to support those living with memory loss is required.
Units and Facilities for Memory Care
Memory care services are typically delivered in a standalone facility or a particular space within an assisted living community. In contrast to skilled nursing institutions, commonly known as nursing homes, memory care units are designed to resemble a regular residential setting in appearance and feel. Specific communities comprise modest cottage-style housing units clustered around a community center with recreational facilities.
Memory care units consist of private or semi-private living areas, such as studio and one-bedroom apartments, each with a wheelchair-accessible bathroom. These living spaces can be customized with family portraits, a favorite chair, and other personal belongings, and the majority of apartments come equipped with cable television and telephone service. To ensure the safety of residents, memory care apartments are ordinarily devoid of culinary appliances. However, some units include modest kitchenettes equipped with a microwave and refrigerator.
Memory care facilities also have various common areas and community spaces, such as dining and living rooms, to promote healthy socialization and prevent isolation. Residents are encouraged to participate in community-based activities rather than remaining secluded in their apartments during the day.
Amenities for Residential Memory Care
Memory care facilities are similar to assisted living and retirement homes in terms of amenities. These amenities vary by location but frequently include the following:
- A room dedicated to healing arts and crafts
- A private dining area is available for special occasions and family gatherings.
- A wholly enclosed courtyard with walkways and seating spaces
- Whirlpool for therapeutic purposes
- A tranquillity chamber with low-level lighting
- Common areas, including one or more television-equipped leisure rooms
- A gaming area
- Cable television in the bathroom
- Wi-Fi service available to the entire community
- A space for activities equipped with a piano
- Gardens for residents
- Space for visiting physicians’ offices
- Additionally, memory care amenities may include personalized memory boxes put outside each resident room to aid navigation.
- Anti-wandering systems that are not invasive, such as the Wanderguard system
- Exterior doors with a delayed egress
- Each resident is provided with a medical alert pendant. On-site security is provided 24 hours a day.
Alzheimer’s disease residential homes typically have enclosed outdoor spaces equipped with walking routes, resident gardens, and dining areas.