When a loved one begins to suffer from memory loss, confusion, dementia, or Alzheimer’s, caregivers must make difficult decisions about where to place them and how to care for them. Traditional independent living situations and assisted living scenarios may be appropriate in the beginning stages of memory loss, however, as memory loss advances, it becomes dangerous to leave the individual in an independent living scenario without significant alterations. Normal household items, such as stoves, become potentially deadly hazards, because of the very real risk that they will be left unattended. Furthermore, when confusion becomes an issue, there is a risk that the person will wander off and be unable to locate home or provide identifying information if found. Even if the person suffering from memory loss lives with another adult, it may be impossible for a single adult caretaker to meet all of the complex physical, social, and psychological needs that co-occur with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and related diseases.
Memory Care and Alzheimer’s New Jersey
At a memory care facility, the facility is designed for the safety of the patients. Nicely appointed and with apartments that can be decorated with familiar personal items, the memory care facility provides a comfortable environment for the patients. However, the rooms are also designed to prevent patients from wandering and to keep them from engaging in dangerous behaviors.
However, safety is only one component of memory care. While relatives and friends with memory loss may experience confusion and personality changes that transform them from who they once were, socialization and human contact remain critical for individuals experiencing memory impairment. At a memory care unit, residents have access to staff, including a registered nurse; assistance with daily living activities; prepared meals; recreational and common areas; secure outdoor areas; housekeeping services; laundry services; and therapeutic recreation that can meet a wide variety of needs and be tailored to different levels of impairment.
The realization that a loved one’s needs have developed to a point where they are beyond your capacity to handle them at home can be difficult for the family. There are oftentimes feelings of guilt, betrayal, and loss that can make it more difficult to make a logical decision about a loved one’s care. Visiting a skilled memory care facility can help you and your family make decisions about placement, by providing a real view of how a memory care facility works and answering questions about whether it is the right choice for your loved one.