Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
As we grow older, some memory loss is normal as result of physical changes in the aging brain. Some older adults, however, may suffer a level of memory loss that damages their most cherished memories and makes the world a confusing and frightening place. And many may even find ways to hide or compensate for their cognitive decline for years or decades.
Dementia is a broad term for a set of symptoms that result in impaired thinking and memory. Alzheimer's disease is a common type of dementia, but there are several others (including Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease). Symptoms of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgment
- Personality changes
- Problems with balance and coordination
Different forms of dementia progress in different ways. The experience of dementia is different for everyone, and that experience can change day to day, or even hour to hour. For seniors and their loved ones alike, dementia can be difficult to understand and accept. Enlivant is here to help you learn more about caring for seniors with dementia.
When to Consider Memory Care
It can be incredibly challenging to determine when it’s time to move a loved one into a memory care community. Adapted from the Alzheimer’s Association, the following questions can help you consider whether your loved one could benefit from living in one of Enlivant’s memory care communities:
- Is your loved one becoming unsafe in his or her current home?
- Is the health of your loved one at risk?
- Are you loved one’s needs beyond your physical abilities as a caregiver?
- Are you becoming a stressed, irritable, or impatient caregiver?
- Are you neglecting work responsibilities, your family, or yourself?
- Would the structure and social interaction in a memory care environment benefit your loved one?
If you answered “yes” to several of these questions, we encourage you to learn more about Enlivant’s memory care communities. We’re here to help you assess your situation, and to decide if your loved one requires the specialized attention of our memory care community.
If it is time, we’ll help you make the move as seamless as possible. With your help, we can create an individualized living space that reflects your loved one’s life story. Together, we can help them feel at home in their new home.
If you answered no to a majority of the questions, but would like to learn more about our other communities, please visit our Senior Living Options page.
Enlivant’s Memory Care Community
While dementia results from changes in the brain, the illness can eventually affect every part of a person’s physical, social, and emotional wellness. At Enlivant, we provide a person-centered approach to specialized memory care that recognizes individual needs and is designed to support the safety and well being of your loved one as well as give you piece of mind.
We understand that when your loved one suffers from dementia, they need special care. Through our close-knit communities, we get to know our residents and their family members as individuals and find personal ways to make connections. Our daily programming is built around each resident with a flexible schedule and includes activities that provide meaning and purpose while promoting independence.
Compassionate, Specialized Care
As dementia progresses it affects a person’s physical, social and emotional wellness, and eventually it requires round-the-clock supervision. Our comprehensive approach to memory care includes caregivers who are trained to meet the unique needs of individuals with progressive memory loss. This includes personal care and assistance with:
- Care for moderate to severe dementia
- Coordination for activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, ambulation
- Consistent observation of resident healthcare needs
- Care for behaviors such as wandering or exit-seeking
- Coordination of doctor’s appointments and restorative programs with physical, occupational, or speech therapists
- Responsiveness to emergency situations
Certified for Excellence
A caring heart is one part of the equation. The other is expertise. To provide optimal care, Enlivant’s memory care employees receive monthly training and are certified in the CARES® Dementia Training. Studies show employees trained specifically in dementia care can provide better quality of life.
Supportive, Safe, and Comforting Environment
A community Designed for Living
From the warm, home-like décor to the beautiful, courtyards, our memory care community provides thoughtfully designed personal and communal spaces, designed to create a positive sensory experience, a sense of freedom and belonging, and better outcomes for our residents. Private and semi-private apartments offer a place for quiet, rest, and personal care while shared spaces indoors and outdoors provide room to gather, socialize, share meals, and exercise.
Memory boxes at each resident’s door display personal photos, newspaper clippings, and objects that reflect their most precious memories. Music and aromatherapy bring cherished sounds and scents to the community.
Dining for Health and Social Benefits
Forgetting to eat and drink can lead to nutrient deficiencies and dehydration, which can make dementia symptoms worse. Our meals are specially prepared to fit the dietary needs of our residents, and mealtimes give everyone in the community the chance to enjoy food and company. We make the dining experience easy and enjoyable, and offer ample snacks and drinks throughout the community at other times of the day. Shared meals bring people together, and it is no different in our memory care communities.
Structure with Flexibility
Daily schedules offer a comforting and predictable routine. In the evenings, staff and residents meet for friendship and comforting activities designed to proactively address late-day restlessness and confusion. We understand that each day varies, however, and our schedules are adapted to meet the needs of our residents.
Safety and Security
The safety and well-being of our community is a top priority. Our memory care communities offer secured outdoor spaces and enhanced security measures like key-padded access and alarm doors enhance security, as well as personalized plan of care and ongoing assessments that address the ever-changing cognitive and physical capabilities of each memory care resident.
We Build Personal Connections
Knowing all we can about our residents—including family history, careers, hobbies, and values—helps us connect in a genuine and caring way. It also allows us to design programming and activities that combine personal meaning with a purpose: to rekindle a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction while helping residents reminisce and maintain their hobbies and interests.
Family Involvement and Support
When your loved one joins our neighborhood, we welcome you and other friends and family members to visit any day and join in activities with loved ones, as well as attend our monthly family meetings.