Virginia memory care supports seniors with dementia and other cognitive issues to live dignified lives filled with meaning and joy. Caring for a person with dementia requires a unique approach tailored to the needs and challenges of each senior who has it. The best Virginia memory care communities offer this personalized approach, helping seniors to achieve greater independence and a better life. Here’s what you need to know about choosing the perfect memory care community for the senior you love.
What Is Memory Care?
Memory care is a type of supportive care for people with dementia that offers help with daily activities such as grooming, eating, and bathing. Memory care communities are also secure facilities designed to reduce the risks associated with wandering and other high-risk behaviors associated with dementia.
Every memory care community is different, but the best offer services such as:
- A safe and comfortable home where your loved one can feel safe but is never left unsafe and alone.
- Activities specifically tailored to the abilities and needs of people with dementia.
- Gourmet meals designed to meet your loved one’s needs. For example, if your loved one has swallowing issues, the memory care community may offer palatable liquids and help with eating.
- Plenty of opportunities for physical activity. Physical activity can improve mental and physical health in seniors, including those with dementia.
- Caregiver support groups and resources.
Is It Time for Memory Care?
Dementia is an unpredictable illness. A person might seem OK one day, but deeply challenged the next. A rapid decline may be followed by a plateau that offers hope. So there’s no single criterion for memory care that can apply to everyone. Instead, consider talking to your loved one’s health-care team to evaluate your options and assess whether memory care might be the best choice.
Some signs that your loved one might need memory care include:
- An increase in harmful and difficult behaviors such as wandering.
- Difficulty communicating basic needs or feelings.
- Executive functioning issues that make it unsafe for your loved one to be alone.
- Aggression, anxiety, or depression. This may mean your loved one is not getting the support they need.
- Caregiver exhaustion or burnout.
- A decline in cognitive abilities that makes it difficult for your loved one to enjoy previously beloved activities and hobbies.
- Difficulties with numerous activities of daily living.
- Changes in your loved one’s eating habits, including difficulty swallowing or unusual cravings.
Things to Look for in a Virginia Memory Care Community
The best Virginia memory care communities treat your loved one as the unique and valuable individual they are, rather than just another person with dementia. Reading online reviews and touring each community can help you get a feel for the community’s culture and what you can expect. Pay careful attention to:
- The community’s reputation. Do they have positive online reviews? Do most residents seem happy?
- Staff. How much training and experience does the staff have? Do they seem to enjoy their jobs? What’s the turnover rate like?
- Food and meals. Plan to eat a meal at the community so you can sample the cuisine. Ask about any special dietary needs, especially if your loved one has trouble eating or swallowing.
- Community security. What does the community do to keep residents safe, without needlessly restricting their activities?
- Medication options. How is medication managed? What does the community do to prevent medication errors?
- Caregiver support. Will the community keep you updated on how your loved one is doing? What do they do to support caregivers?
- Programs and activities. Will your loved one have plenty to do? How much time do residents spend on meaningful activities each day? What does the community do to prevent isolation and encourage participation?
- Adjustment support. It can take time to adjust to a dementia community. What does the community do to support residents as they transition?
The Arbor Company offers Virginia memory care that keeps seniors with dementia active, happy, and healthy. We’d love to help you explore your options and show you the incredible programs we’ve built for seniors and those who love them. Give us a call to learn more!