Written by Juanita Fox
More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, and millions of people provide unpaid care for loved ones with some type of dementia. Many families want to care for their aging loved ones at home and hesitate to place them in an assisted living facility. Providing that care is a difficult journey, particularly as the disease progresses and symptoms evolve. In many cases, finding a dedicated memory support community with compassionate experts to provide care for those with Alzheimer’s is the right decision for you and your loved one.
What does memory care look like? This approach to supporting Alzheimer’s patients is incredibly personal. Trained staff members build close bonds with the older adults they support. The right memory care team guides residents through their older years in a secure, nurturing environment. Understanding adult memory care can help you think through your decision and make the next steps in your journey to support your aging family member.
1. Safe and relaxing living arrangements. Even in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, people can become confused and be prone to wandering. They may lose track of time, forget where they are or try to follow old patterns of behavior, like heading to work. Older adults are also at risk of falls. Approximately 25 percent of older adults fall each year, and the risk of falling increases in adults with Alzheimer’s. Preventing wandering and falls at home may be difficult.
Memory care facilities are staffed by people who are prepared to help prevent wandering. Your loved one can live in a safe environment with those who help identify wandering triggers and patterns. The facilities are also designed to prevent falls. People with Alzheimer’s can enjoy safety and calm in these types of carefully controlled environments. And family members can feel safe knowing their loved ones are receiving the best possible care.
2. Sense of freedom. As memory and the ability to accomplish tasks are affected, people with Alzheimer’s may feel they are losing their sense of freedom. Leaving the house unattended can lead to them becoming lost or having an accident. As caregivers adjust that freedom out of necessity, people with Alzheimer’s can become withdrawn, agitated or aggressive.
While making the decision to bring your loved one to a memory care facility can be difficult, the right place can help him or her live a fulfilling life with Alzheimer’s. Memory support communities are specifically designed to keep residents with Alzheimer’s and other dementia safe while allowing them a degree of freedom. A secure community can offer an open floor plan and staff to provide necessary support. Communities can even incorporate different elements of everyday life, such as a coffee shop, gym and garden. At the right community, your loved one can explore an environment that caters to their needs.
3. One-on-one care. Quality care is the top concern for any family deciding how to proceed with choosing a memory care facility. Dedicated memory care staff understand every person with Alzheimer’s is different. While the condition has a recognizable set of symptoms and progression, everyone’s experience living with it is different. That is why memory care focuses on providing one-on-one attention and care to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Alzheimer’s is progressive and affects both cognitive and physical function. As memory declines, muscle weakness can make it difficult to maintain balance, stand, walk or go to the bathroom independently. People with Alzheimer’s may also struggle to sleep. Personalized, one-on-one care means a trained staff member can track these symptoms as they arise and evolve. With a comprehensive picture of the person’s health, memory care professionals can adjust his or her care plans as needed. When selecting a memory care facility, you want assurance that your parent, grandparent or partner is receiving the individual attention they deserve.
4. Socialization opportunities. Social activities are important for people with Alzheimer’s. A strong social support network can help anchor people with dementia to the present. When you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s at home, giving them access to safe and regular socialization can be a challenge. Exposure to new settings and people can be stressful for someone with Alzheimer’s. You also may not have the capacity to provide them with socialization outside of the home.
Memory care facilities offer a variety of ways for people with Alzheimer’s to socialize with one another and their loved ones in a safe and secure environment. This socialization opportunity can help people with Alzheimer’s build a sense of community and create routines that help them manage their symptoms. Routine can help make day-to-day life less stressful for those with Alzheimer’s and alleviate the fear and restlessness they may experience. Picture your loved one engaging with the world and people around them in a setting where they feel safe and at home.
5. Engaging activities. When providing care for a loved one at home, it may be difficult to offer opportunities for engaged living. You keep your loved one safe and meet their basic needs, like eating and hygiene. Thinking about activities beyond that may not be possible.
Memory care communities provide support to engage those with Alzheimer’s with purposeful and safe activities. The community can offer outdoor activities for residents and their families, including gardening, taking a walk and feeding the birds. Inside, people can listen to music, play games or watch a movie. These activities can help keep residents engaged in daily life. Special events can also help visiting family members cherish meaningful experiences with their loved ones.
6. Peace of mind for caregivers. Caring for a parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s can be rewarding in many ways. You spend time building a different kind of relationship, maybe even a stronger bond, with that person. While you are there for that person, you can become isolated from the other aspects and responsibilities of your life. Your desire to ensure your loved one is well cared for is strong, and you do not have to carry that responsibility alone.
Living with purpose with Alzheimer’s is possible. A memory care community can offer quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Trained staff members provide assistance whenever needed and allow people to live their lives safely and fully. Knowing that your loved one is receiving expert care and support can help give you peace of mind.
Living with purpose at Garden Spot Village Garden Spot Village offers memory care with purpose. Our 40,000-square-foot building was created to help people with Alzheimer’s live their lives fully and with dignity. We prioritize security and a sense of community. What does our active living community look like? Some of our amenities and qualities include:
Sensory gardens. Imagine stepping outside and walking through a beautiful garden. The flowers and plants growing there are vibrant and well-tended. The fresh air feels good on your skin, and the rich, warm smell of earth surrounds you. Garden Spot Village takes its name seriously. Our sensory gardens are planted to engage our residents and provide them a calm, peaceful place they can enjoy every day. The colors, smells and touch of the garden create a pleasurable experience that engages the senses.
Independent living apartments. Our memory care prioritizes independence. The staff at Garden Spot Village are intentional about giving residents the tools they need to live their life to the fullest, offering support whenever and however it is needed. Sometimes one spouse may be experiencing Alzheimer’s while the other strives to be a full-time caretaker.
We offer independent living apartments attached to memory care suites so spouses can still live together in an environment that offers the full support of professional memory care. Your parents or any other loved ones you care for can spend their golden years together with the benefit of support specifically for those with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia.
Peaceful colors and design. Our team has chosen every aspect of Garden Spot Village to put residents at ease. The color scheme of each community area and suite was carefully selected to promote an atmosphere of peacefulness. Our color scheme also offers a subtle way to help residents with dementia recognize their surroundings.
For example, each memory support suite has a different combination of door color, doorknob and mailbox to help sensory memory. In addition, the two memory support households have different color schemes. Color can be a powerful element of our surroundings, which is why every hue and visual aspect of Garden Spot Village was selected with memory care in mind.
Intentional layouts to prevent wandering and confusion. Our community buildings have interior design specifically tailored to spatial recognition needs. This keeps our residents from getting lost and helps mitigate wandering. Unique elements, like distinct doorknobs, help residents recognize key points in their environment. Your loved ones can have easily recognizable touchpoints here to help them navigate their environment confidently.
Dedicated staff. The staff at Garden Spot Village is trained to bring a personal touch to all their interactions with residents. We work to create a relationship with each member of the community that goes beyond a formal caretaker and patient relationship. These bonds can blossom into friendship.
Staff members are trained in assisting residents with basic day-to-day living requirements and take a person-centered approach to working with residents on an individual level. The amount of dedication and passion our staff members bring to their work is a point of pride, and we strive to help family members know their loved ones are in good hands. Residents are in different stages of their journeys. We know each person is an individual with a family who loves them, and we strive to provide the kind of care you want for your loved one.
Engaging activities. Part of living with purpose is having purposeful activities to enjoy every day. Garden Spot Village prioritizes engaging residents in programs that help them get moving and enjoy their lives. We offer abundant opportunities for residents to stay socially active. The central Town Square features a beauty salon, coffee shop, chapel, theater, barber shop, general store, fitness room and more. Outdoor courtyards, walking paths, and sensory gardens allow for restorative fellowship outside. Numerous social clubs keep residents engaged and connected in community.
Beautiful location. We have selected a beautiful place to build our community — New Holland, Pennsylvania. Picturesque Lancaster County offers a charming view, as well as a wide variety of attractions that make it a wonderful place to live and visit. Whenever you visit your loved ones, you will be surrounded by the beauty of the area.
Family-focused approach. Family is one of the most important things in our lives. That is why we take a family-focused approach to everything at Garden Spot Village. Our community also welcomes visitors with open arms. Whether your parents or loved ones are here, you are welcome to visit and be a part of our community. Imagine coming to spend the day with your mother or father in an environment in which he or she feels at home. You can spend valuable time together walking outside or working in the garden.
Learn more about Garden Spot Village’s memory support community. Life can be lived with joy after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The right community and the right people are there to help you and your loved one find the best that life has to offer. Dedicated memory care and a compassionate community can be very powerful. Reach out to us today to learn more about how Garden Spot Village’s retirement community can help older adults with Alzheimer’s find a safe, welcoming home.