While many elderly people experience a decrease in memory, severe dementia and Alzheimer's disease can drastically affect a person's ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Thus, a person with Alzheimer's or severe dementia often needs specialized care. If you have an elderly loved one who has Alzheimer's disease or severe dementia, you may want to find a memory care unit for him or her to live at. A memory care unit differs from a normal assisted living or nursing home facility in several ways, such as:
A memory care unit tends to be much more secure than a normal assisted living facility. This is necessary because people who have Alzheimer's disease or severe dementia are known to wander, and they can easily become lost. A memory care unit will have additional locks on doors and protocols in place to make sure that all residents are accounted for. Many memory care units have adjacent outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy, but the outdoor spaces are also secured in order to help prevent accidental wandering.
Caring for a person with Alzheimer's or severe dementia is different than caring for an elderly person without these conditions, so extra training is required. Staff members who work in memory care units typically undergo additional training in order to provide the best care possible for residents who have Alzheimer's or severe dementia. When searching for a memory care unit for your loved one, it is always a good idea to make sure that you choose one with specially trained staff. Since residents with Alzheimer's or severe dementia need more personalized care, it is also a good idea to select a memory care unit that pays close attention to staffing ratios and being properly staffed at all times.
Memory care units are carefully designed to be as comfortable as possible for residents who have Alzheimer's or severe dementia. Many memory care units have a circular layout, as these tend to be easier to navigate than floor plans that have multiple hallways and hallways that come to an end and require a person to turn one way or another. A lot of care is taken to design a memory care unit to be soothing for residents; the walls are painted a cheerful color, common rooms are equipped with comfortable furniture for residents to use, and there are usually many windows to let natural light in.