The baby boomer generation currently comprises one of the largest demographics in the nation. Generally defined as persons born during the years immediately following World War II through the first few years of the 1960s, the members of the baby boomer generation are now nearing or have already entered the phase of life when health issues, both physical and mental, become more common.
One example of such an age-related health issue is dementia and similar conditions known to impair memory and affect cognitive function. Those suffering from memory loss and their caregivers often have questions about memory care facilities and when this type of care should be considered.
Current living situation
Many people experience memory loss issues while their body is still strong and capable. A good point of reference for determining the optimal time for entering a memory care facility often involves the living situation of the affected person.
If the person with memory loss is currently living safely and comfortably in their own home or the home of a relative, they may not require the support of a memory care facility. If, however, the person can no longer be properly supervised and cannot be left alone safely, moving to a memory care facility should be considered.
Memory care facility vs a traditional nursing home
Families who are struggling to care for a loved one suffering from cognitive decline may wonder how a memory care facility compares with a traditional nursing home environment. While both provide round-the-clock care, a memory care facility can offer much more support for memory-impaired patients beyond what is commonly available in a nursing home setting.
Memory care facilities are staffed with people who have undergone special training. In addition, memory care facilities offer activities and therapy sessions specially designed to improve the quality of life for memory loss patients. Many facilities also use building design techniques with specific decor features and color schemes to increase comfort for their residents.
Specific safety protocols are also used in memory care facilities, such as keypad entry and exit doors, enclosed grounds to prevent wandering, and security cameras to assist with patient safety.
If you are considering a residential memory care facility to provide care for a loved one, it is a good idea to visit with the administrator, learn what the facility offers, and ask for a tour of the building and grounds. During your visit, remember to also discuss insurance and payment options, visitation schedules, and how your loved one's medical care needs will be handled during their stay.