Experiencing some forgetfulness is normal for all of us as we get a bit older. However, forgetfulness or confusion that routinely affects daily life can be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Thanks to increased awareness and testing, people living with dementia can be diagnosed quite early on in the disease process and become an active part of their own advocacy and future decisions.
Early diagnosis also means that different care solutions, resources, and services are required to support older adults in the early stages of the disease. At Arbor Terrace Mountainside, our Bridges neighborhood is an ideal solution.
Realities of Mild Cognitive Impairment
The Alzheimer’s Association reports that as many as 20 percent of adults 65 or older have mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This condition is considered a precursor to (if not an early stage of) Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. MCI shares certain symptoms with early stage Alzheimer’s, including forgetfulness, as well as the inability to manage household tasks such as paying bills.
Though noticing symptoms of MCI can be frightening for seniors and their loved ones, it also offers the opportunity to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician to get to the bottom of the issue. Early detection and diagnosis can offer the chance for seniors and their family members to have important conversations before the disease progresses any further.
Challenges of MCI and Early Stages of Dementia
Dementia care is not one-size-fits-all because each person living with the disease is unique. However, there are some similar challenges that occur throughout the disease process, including the early stages of it. Older adults living with MCI or in the early stages of dementia can experience:
- Feelings of isolation and depression
- Feelings of overwhelming anxiety
- Increased sense of their own forgetfulness, which leads to embarrassment
- Decreased desire to socialize with friends or family members
- Increased risk of financial mistakes or falling prey to financial scams
- Inability to concentrate or follow conversations in loud or busy environments
- Personality changes
Though people living with MCI can certainly live at home alone safely in most cases, specialized senior living communities can be a welcome relief by providing residents with chef-prepared meals, access to activities or events, and housekeeping services. Unfortunately, people living with MCI or through the early stages of dementia can also feel like there is no senior living solution tailored to their needs. They require more support than assisted living offers but not quite as much as a dementia care neighborhood would.
At Arbor Terrace Mountainside, we’ve worked hard to develop our unique Bridges neighborhood. This solution provides residents in the early stages of dementia with the perfect balance of independence, socialization, and support.
All About the Bridges Neighborhood
A blend of assisted living and dementia care, our specialized Bridges neighborhood was designed specifically for residents in the early stages of dementia. This neighborhood features meaningful connections with peers in a less-stimulating environment, as well as an emphasis on independence and quality of life. Our Bridges residents enjoy the same Arbor lifestyle they have always loved but with extra support services and resources built in throughout the day to ensure they are healthy, happy, and comfortable.
Residents benefit from services and resources such as:
- Our award-winning Dining with Dignity® program, which ensures they have a positive meal experience with any adaptations necessary
- Specially planned cognitive exercises, such as reminiscing groups designed to foster connection while slowing down memory loss
- Conversations with peers in a less-stimulating environment, offering increased concentration and connection
- Specially trained team members who practice the Arbor commitment to fostering deep connections with residents while using personalized interventions for care
- Round-the-clock staff members who are ready to provide a helping hand, encouraging word, or moment of comfort
- Dementia education for family members
Finding the right level of care doesn’t have to be difficult, and you don’t have to compromise. The Bridges neighborhood at Arbor Terrace Mountainside is just what you or your loved one is looking for.
Discover more about how to cope with a dementia diagnosis by downloading our free guide, “Living Well with Dementia,” which was co-written by Arbor residents who are living with the disease. Then, contact our community to learn more about what Bridges can offer you or your loved one.