Memory care is the fastest-growing sector of the senior housing market, with the number of units doubling over the past decade, according to the nonprofit National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care.
However, some memory care facilities have struggled with staffing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the quality of memory care facilities tend to vary. Therefore, it is important to consider just what type of memory care in Nashville is right for you and your loved one.
When it becomes difficult to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia at home, families must consider memory care. Memory care is a specialized form of residential, long-term care that provides intensive, specialized care for people with memory issues. Facilities that provide memory care in Nashville often feature secure environments where staff can monitor the health of residents.
In addition to standalone memory care facilities, many assisted living facilities and continuing care retirement communities maintain special memory care “neighborhoods” for patients living with dementia. Some of the unique features that characterize memory care facilities include high staff-to-resident ratios and specially designated spaces to ease residents’ anxiety.
Another option is in-home memory care in Nashville, where a professional memory caregiver visits the patient and engages with them through one-on-one activities and therapies.
Therapies for behaviors related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease—like mood changes, sleep problems, and aggression—can include a combination of treatment approaches. Some of these treatment approaches include:
Behavior management strategies. These strategies help caregivers provide the patient a more structured environment and identify triggers for problematic behaviors. These strategies are often attempted before medication.
Medications. Sleep aids, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, anticonvulsants, or antipsychotics have been found to help control the more severe symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease for some people. Of course, no medication is “one size fits all,” so knowing the safety risks of every medication is crucial.
Cognitive rehabilitation. This type of rehab enables those in the early stages of dementia maintain memory and cognitive function for as long as possible. It also teaches compensation strategies to help people with cognitive decline.
Occupational therapy helps seniors with mild to moderate dementia by teaching coping behaviors and strategies to compensate for memory loss and cognitive decline. It can also help families make the home safer for a loved one with dementia, as well as provide techniques to manage difficult behaviors.
Art or music therapy. Creative expression can be engaging and soothing. They can also help residents feel productive. Music therapy can include listening to beloved records or playing basic instruments. After all, some people living with dementia tend to retain their musical abilities even after significant cognitive decline. Meanwhile, visual expression, like painting and drawing, are ways to safely express emotion.
Touch therapy. Memory care staff are often trained in hand and arm massage techniques to increase human contact and reduce stress. Some facilities maintain contracts with licensed massage therapists who specialize in working with seniors.
Memory care offers a wide array of structured programs that aim to reduce or decelerate residents’ cognitive decline, promote positive reminiscence, and increase comfort. Such activities include:
Reminiscence therapy. Whether auditory or sensory, certain cues from the past help residents reconnect with cherished memories. Old magazines and photographs, classic films, and music from years past are vital tools in reminiscence therapy.
Sensory activities. Appealing to all five senses encourages memory and exploration. Aromatherapy tends to usher pleasant memories of holidays or youthful activities, while diverse textures evoke important dates, children, or beloved pets.
Pet therapy. Caregivers may provide pet therapy to animal lovers who can no longer care for their own animals. A well-trained cat, dog, or bird can provide lasting companionship and comfort.
When a person has decided that their loved one requires professional care for their cognitive decline, what follows is what type of care is most appropriate: residential memory care or in-home memory care. Some of the factors that must be considered when making this decision include:
Level of impairment. If your loved one is only mildly impaired, in-home care presents a strong option, as caregiving tasks and responsibilities can be tailored to meet the patient’s specific needs.
Level of social isolation. Despite a caregiver’s visits, people can grow socially isolated.
The availability of good memory care in the area. Some communities offer limited options for quality memory care, whether in-home or residential. In some cases, the handful of quality local memory care facilities are full.
Keeping these decision-making factors in mind, the benefits of in-home memory care include:
A familiar setting. While a move to a memory care facility might offer safety and comfort, it can still prove distressing for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
A hands-on approach. With only one client before them, an in-home memory care specialist can design and refine an individualized care plan that is tailored to your loved one’s unique needs and habits.
More meaningful activities. Knowledge of both the patient’s personality and the clinical aspects of dementia allows in-home memory caregivers to better serve their clients. For example, if golf is something the patient enjoyed, the caregiver might organize a trip to the local golf course for a walk.
Luxury Home Care offers in-home memory care in Nashville to those living with cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, as well as their loved ones. We provide personalized care in a secure and comfortable setting that enables seniors to live a more comfortable and happier life. Contact us today to learn more.
Reach out to our team to talk to us about elderly care services for your loved one today.