Seniors are living for longer than they did a generation ago. Sixty-five is now considered young, and living to 100 or beyond is not unheard of. But the longer you live, the more likely it is that you will develop some type of dementia and the more important it is that you receive the right care.
What Is Dementia?
According to the Alzheimer's Association, about 5.8 million Americans who are 65 or older are living with dementia. Eighty percent of them are 75 or older. Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term for diseases and conditions characterized by a decline in memory and problem-solving skills. Alzheimer’s is just one type of dementia.
How Do I Tell If My Loved One Has Dementia?
There is no one way to determine if someone has dementia. A diagnosis entails a doctor’s analysis of the patient’s medical history and physical condition, as well as changes in their behavior, thinking, and memory. To make it even more complicated, the symptoms associated with dementia can come on slowly, and so a senior may be having problems long before they are noticed by friends and family.
How Do I Care for a Loved One with Dementia?
When a senior has a dementia diagnosis, it is important to find them the right care in a special environment, because unfortunately, their condition will only get worse.
Families often try to care for loved ones who have dementia with no outside help. This is a demanding role, one they are usually not prepared to take on. It changes their relationship with their parent from a parent/adult child relationship to a caregiver/patient relationship. Also, there will come a time when the patient’s needs become more than they can handle, which is why the best option may be to find a dementia care community.
What Is a Dementia Care Community?
Dementia care, sometimes called memory care, is different from traditional assisted living care in that it’s specifically set up to meet the needs of residents throughout every stage of dementia. Some characteristics of dementia care communities may include that:
- There’s a higher level of security. Residents with advanced dementia are housed on secure floors to prevent them from wandering off. Staff members keep an eye on them 24/7.
- The floor plans and layouts are different. This dementia-friendly design helps reduce resident confusion and prevent falls.
- Staff members are specially trained. Besides being kind, gentle, and extremely patient, caregivers receive extra training to learn the best way to approach residents with dementia.
- The activities are tailored to the needs of residents at all stages of dementia.
How Can I Find Dementia Care in Decatur, Georgia?
There are dozens of dementia care facilities operating in Decatur. Finding the right one can be challenging. First, ask your loved one’s doctor for recommendations, then go online and read reviews of facilities. Choose a few to visit.
What Should I Look for When I Visit?
- What types of activities are scheduled for residents with dementia?
- Are residents encouraged to take part in these activities?
- Are staff members friendly and engaging with residents?
- Would your loved one feel at home here?
- Would you feel comfortable here when you visit?
At Arbor Terrace of Decatur, residents congregate in sitting areas that are set up like living rooms in order to make them feel more at home. They create art, listen to music, maybe learn a few dance steps. They play games designed to help stimulate their memory and hopefully slow the progression of their dementia.
If you’d like to see what Arbor Terrace of Decatur can offer your loved one, call 404-292-5910 to schedule a tour.