More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease—a number the Alzheimer’s Assocation estimates might jump to 16 million by 2050. This statistic doesn’t include seniors who have other dementias.
However, stats don’t tell the human stories of families in Ponte Vedra Beach and across the country trying to provide the best dementia care for their loved ones. Seeing a parent or even a spouse affected by Alzheimer’s or another memory-related condition is heartbreaking; the decision whether to move a loved one to a senior living community is difficult, to say the least. What follow are some considerations for families in Ponte Vedra Beach trying to determine whether dementia care is the right choice for their parents:
The Benefits of Dementia Care
Many well-meaning families become caregivers to parents with dementias, and some do quite well in that role. However, others struggle—the effort requires patience and hard work, and is often fraught with emotion and guilt. Dementia care at a top-notch senior living community eases some of this burden while ensuring loved ones receive the highest level of attention from professionally trained staffers.
Families of parents with dementia often fear that quality of life diminishes with the condition. The best memory care communities strive to ensure this is simply not the case. Programs designed with dementia residents in mind help them make the most of every day. A focus on routine keeps residents from feeling too stressed out—a major concern for people with Alzheimer’s. And secure facilities ensure residents are safer than they might be living on their own or even with their families.
Another overlooked, and surprising, benefit of dementia care in Ponte Vedra Beach is cost. The price tag for a memory care community might seem steep, but living at home is often just as expensive, if not more. Costs such as home upkeep, rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, food and, especially, private care nurses add up in a hurry. Senior living communities either eliminate or factor in those costs so that families aren’t scrambling to pay multiple bills.
What to Look for in Quality Dementia Care
When investigating memory care communities, doing your homework is obviously important. A community’s website, online reviews, and an on-site visit will shape your opinion and lead you closer to this important decision. Things you should look at and for include:
- Spacious, inviting rooms: Do the actual residences feel homey—something your parent will feel comfortable and relaxed within—or more like a sterile hospital room?
- Outstanding meals: Eating can be a struggle for dementia patients, and bland, poor-quality food doesn’t help the situation. The best communities provide dignified, delicious dining options to their residents.
- Staffers trained in memory care: Caregivers trained for dementia care residents are a special breed. Not only do they bring patience and love to their job and the people they attend to, but they also offer skills (and are continually trained in new skills) specific to memory care.
- Activities and engagement: The best memory care communities treat residents as kings and queens—and royalty doesn’t simply sit around all day. Communities should offer plenty of activities, specifically designed and undertaken with dementia patients’ unique needs in mind, so that residents are engaged and living life to the fullest.
Important Amenities vs. Red Flags
Some dementia care amenities are simply too important to overlook. In fact, if a community you are considering doesn’t offer certain basic, important features, it’s a clear red flag. Some of these features include:
- Windows, patios, and courtyards: Memory care communities should be warm, bright places. If on your visit you can’t see the sun, and if there isn’t access for your loved one to the outdoors, the mood inside likely isn’t going to be much better.
- Security: Emergency alert pendants and secure doors are the norm for memory care communities today. With wandering being such a concern for seniors with dementia, any community that doesn’t emphasize security is ultimately unsafe for your parent.
- Engaged residents: On a visit, look at the residents. Are they smiling, interacting with staff and other residents? Or are they instead in a community room all staring at TV? People with dementia are able—and deserve—to lead interesting, engaged lives. The best senior care communities understand and facilitate that.
Dementia Care in Ponte Vedra Beach
The decision to move a parent into dementia care is emotionally taxing for some families, but knowing your loved one is going to a community that consistently delivers a standard of excellence makes the decision a bit easier. In Ponte Vedra Beach, such care exists: Arbor Terrace Ponte Vedra. Our community is specifically designed for dementia care, providing cutting-edge approaches to care, dining, and daily engagement while emphasizing deep connections and personalized attention. We offer two distinct levels of care:
- Discovery living: This program is designed for residents requiring moderate to full assistance with activities of daily life (ADLs).
- Bridges living: Our unique Bridges program is geared for residents needing minimal to moderate assistance with ADLs. This level of care provides just the right support and guidance for your loved one.
Come see for yourself what Arbor Terrace Ponte Vedra has to offer. Schedule a visit, and be sure to ask us plenty of questions, which we will gladly answer. We look forward to meeting you.