Our memories form much of who we are. So watching the memory of someone you love slip away can be terrifying. Memory care in Lanham, MD, offers support to people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss. In so doing, it helps preserve a sense of self, keep seniors connected to those who love them, and assure family members that their loved one is safe.
What to Expect from Memory Care in Lanham, MD
Memory care can come in the form of a specialized community or as a wing in a larger nursing community. Sometimes called a memory care neighborhood, memory care offers more intensive care than seniors get at a typical nursing home.
At a memory care community, seniors receive highly specialized care 24 hours a day. Memory care programs typically include:
- Safety measures such as inaccessible electrical outlets or a locked door to prevent wandering
- Assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom
- Opportunities for social interaction, including spending time in a common area and scheduled outings and activities
- Programs to address behavioral and emotional issues such as depression, anger, and wandering
- Support for physical health, including balanced nutrition, exercise classes, and access to medical care
- Family support programs designed to preserve relationships and promote family involvement in the life of the person with dementia
For many people with dementia, the thought of being “locked away” is terrifying. Families may worry about their loved ones whiling away their time alone and afraid. Memory care programs are designed to prevent this outcome. Memory care offers more opportunities for socialization than a person with dementia can get at home but in a safer and less stressful environment.
Caregivers overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a loved one with dementia often find that memory care immediately improves their relationship with their loved one. The move to memory care allows caregivers to return to being family members, without the stress and guilt that tends to accompany caring for a loved one. Family support programs offer further assistance in the form of education, support, and fellowship.
The defining characteristic of quality memory care programs is an improved quality of life.
When Is It Time for Memory Care?
Lanham, MD, is a quiet town nestled along the Potomac. As a suburb of Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, VA, it’s also a commuter town. This means that families caring for an ailing senior face significant time constraints. They may spend hours fighting traffic and then return home exhausted to a parent in need of care.
Much of what makes Lanham appealing to residents and tourists may also endanger seniors with failing memories. As dementia progresses, some seniors begin wandering. Busy highways and a potentially dangerous river present serious hazards to seniors who are alone during the day.
The moment when memory care becomes the best option varies for each family. The primary benefit of memory care in Lanham, MD, is that it empowers your loved one to again enjoy his or her life while remaining safe. So when you feel you can no longer care for your loved one or that he or she needs extra support to live a comfortable life, it’s time to consider memory care.
How to Choose a Memory Care Community
To ensure you choose the right memory care community, begin your search before you or your loved one needs more intensive care. Making a decision under the gun may mean a rushed decision into a lower-quality community. The following tips can help you choose high-quality memory care in Lanham, MD:
Involve Your Loved One
Even if your loved one is resistant to memory care or incapable of fully understanding the change, involve him or her in the search as much as possible. Take him or her on community visits and consider his or her feelings and preferences. For instance, a lifelong fitness enthusiast will probably be much happier in a memory care community that offers regular exercise classes or access to the great outdoors.
For many family caregivers, the stress of fighting DC metro traffic in and around Lanham is a major factor in the stress of caregiving. So when you begin your search for a memory care community, consider how easily you can travel to the community to visit your loved one. A community close to your home or office may offer more opportunities for a continued relationship.
Visit the Community
Visiting a memory care community is the best way to get a feel for community life. You should be able to tour each room, to eat a meal at the community, and to inspect common areas. The best memory care communities are proud of the life they offer and are eager to share it with visitors. Pay careful attention to the following:
- Staff involvement: Are staff members cheerfully interacting with residents?
- Safety: Do the surroundings seem safe? Are residents supervised? Are there any potential hazards, such as exposed electrical wires?
- Smell: Does the community smell clean?
- Activity level: Are residents just sitting around or wandering? Or are they doing art projects, participating in classes, walking in groups, or socializing?
Pay careful attention to the residents. Are they clean and well-dressed? Do they seem anxious and uncomfortable, or are they at ease? Even the best community cannot control all symptoms of dementia. Proper management, however, reduces anxiety and aggression, ensures that residents are healthy and safe, and promotes a satisfying life. Consider if your loved one would fit in among this group—and if you want him or her to.
You can learn a lot about a community with a few questions. Pay attention not only to the answers but to how the staff answers. Do staff members seem annoyed, or do they seem pleased to share more information? Are they cheerful and forthcoming with details, or are they curt and reserved?
Some good questions to begin the discussion are:
- What activities are available and to which residents?
- What steps do you take to resolve behavioral issues?
- Do residents participate in any community activities in Lanham?
- What steps does the community take to foster independence while keeping residents safe?
- Are there any limitations on care? Is it possible that a resident might have to move to a different community?
- How does the community handle conflicts between residents?
- How does the community support family members?
- How does the community communicate with the family about a resident?
- Are there visitor policies or visitation hours?
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio? Can this change, or is the ratio guaranteed?
- What training do staff members have, and are there medical personnel on staff?
- Are meals nutritious and palatable? Can you accommodate special nutritional needs?
- How does the community manage residents’ psychological and emotional needs?
- What is the specific price for each level of care?
- How does the community keep residents safe at night?
- What steps does the community take to handle emergencies, such as natural disasters, medical emergencies, or resident safety concerns?
Arbor Terrace Senior Living offers compassionate, quality memory care to seniors in Lanham, MD. We know dementia can be challenging, but we see it as an opportunity for growth. Our residents lead safe, fulfilling, enriched lives. We work with families to ease the transition and address questions and concerns. We can’t wait to learn how we can help you or your loved one. Give us a call today!