Older adults who are suffering from dementia need specialized care, either in a senior living community or as an in-home service. Receiving proper care that is customized to their exact needs will enable older adults experiencing a decline in cognitive abilities to improve their quality of life and live in full dignity and independence. Here are several differences between memory care vs. home care that you need to know of to decide on the right type of senior living option.
What Is a Memory Care Community?
Memory care communities can make up part of a senior living community with a variation of care levels or they may also be standalone communities. Memory care communities provide specialized care to residents who experience memory loss as a result of Alzheimer’s disease or any kind of dementia. Dementia care communities often provide most of the services that are offered by assisted living communities such as assistance with daily living activities, catered dining, and medication management. They also offer elective services that can be fully customized according to the needs of the residents.
Memory Care Activities and Therapy Programs
Residents of memory care communities stand to enjoy a wide variety of activities and therapy programs that are offered on site. This is one of the main benefits of memory care communities as opposed to home care. Structured memory care programs are often facilitated by highly trained and skillful employees who strive to reduce cognitive decline and support positive reminiscence in residents. Some of the programs offered in memory care communities are as follows:
- Sensory Activities: These activities encourage memories and exploring while appealing to all five senses. For instance, aromatherapy can bring back beautiful memories that have clearly been etched on a resident’s mind.
- Reminiscence Therapy: Visual or sensory cues from the past are helpful for older adults to reconnect with positive memories. Memory care communities provide residents with plenty of entertainment options that can help jog their memory with things like old magazines, vintage music, classic films, and others.
- Art Therapy: Creative expression is highly soothing and can enable residents to feel productive. Music therapy is often incorporated into art therapy to get residents in the mood when doing arts and crafts. It is common for some older adults to still retain their musical ability even after suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Visual expression such as drawing and painting are ways for older adults to express their emotions with safety through creativity.
Design Features of Memory Care Communities
Memory care communities incorporate relaxing spaces and innovative design elements that are helpful in assisting residents to reduce agitation and ease anxiety. Some of the unique design features are as follows:
- Texture-coded or color-coded walls to assist with navigation.
- Secure gardens to support nature exposure, sensory stimulation, and safe exploration.
- Safety measures like soft corners and circular hallways to support dementia wandering which can help prevent the feelings of being trapped.