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King Farm Blog

IKF Blog
Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2020

7 answers to commonly asked memory care questions

If you’ve been caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you likely have questions about what will happen as the illness progresses. Many families find that memory support communities, a specialized type of care, can be the best next step once the needs of the person exceed the kind of care you can provide at home.

As you begin to search available options for your loved one, you may find it helpful to discover the answers to some of the more common inquiries that families have:

1. How do you know when a loved one may need a memory care community?

Everyone’s Alzheimer’s journey is unique so there are no set rules or timelines when someone may need more intensive care. But as the disease progresses, communication also becomes more difficult, presenting an increased challenge. And as the behavioral and physical changes increase, often more help is needed.

Some typical behaviors of the later stages of Alzheimer’s can include:

  • Aggression and anger

  • Anxiety and agitation

  • Emotional distress

  • Physical or verbal outbursts

  • Restless wandering

  • Hallucinations

  • Delusions

  • Sleep issues

2. Wouldn’t my loved one receive better care at home than in a memory community?

Most people will continue to live at home after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, benefitting from the familiarity, care and love they receive. But remember, memory care communities are not in competition with home care. They are there to step in when the family finds they can no longer provide the kind of care that their loved one needs.

As Alzheimer’s is a progressive illness, the level of care the person will need also increases. Families may find they can’t adequately respond or keep their loved ones safe once anxiety or aggressive behavior begins. The right memory care community will ensure continuing compassionate care with a well-trained staff, as well as an environment specifically designed for those with cognitive issues.

3. What will happen to my loved one’s quality of life after moving into a memory care community?

Those who move into a memory community often begin to realize a higher quality of life. Why? Here are two of the advantages:

  1. Your home may have become a source of confusion and a security issue for someone who wanders. Memory care communities are designed to provide a safe and comforting environment to help center the person.

  2. A well-trained staff will be able to help your loved one engage in daily activities that recognize the skill level of the individuals while encouraging them to participate and remain active.

4. Is it possible for someone with Alzheimer’s to still live an engaged and connected life?

Yes. It’s important not to assume that life can no longer be meaningful for those with dementia. Learn what you can do to help them remain engaged. Begin by ensuring that they are involved in discussions and decision-making. Encourage them to remain in control of what they can and to be independent as long as possible.

As the illness progresses, you’ll need to make adjustments to match up with their abilities, but don’t assume that they no longer want to be a part of the world around them. They may now communicate their likes and desires differently but look for activities that they can still be a part of.

5. Can those with behavior issues live in a memory care community?

Dementia causes changes in behavior. These can range from your loved one no longer recognizing who you are to becoming suspicious or angry. Memory care communities are trained and equipped to respond to these behaviors in a caring and effective way.

When you are visiting memory support communities, make sure to ask these questions:

  • How does the staff respond to aggressive behavior?

  • What type of training does the staff receive to deal with difficult behaviors?

  • Is the policy of the community to be proactive or reactive to behaviors?

  • Will they work with the resident to address possible triggers and responses?

6. Can you be a long-distance caregiver for a parent with Alzheimer’s?

Yes, but you’ll need to make arrangements so someone is physically able to check in with your parent in the early stages, and ensure that someone is there 24/7 as the disease progresses and they shouldn’t be left alone.

Many families turn to memory care communities if they don’t live nearby or are unable to be physically involved in the care. The number one priority for those living with Alzheimer’s is their safety. If their home is in a community, they will not only be kept secure but the families will know that they’re being cared for by a compassionate team, trained in the best practices.

7. Is interaction or seeing friends meaningful to those with Alzheimer’s?

Very much. Even when a person can no longer communicate with words or in a way that they used to, everyone needs human contact and connection. It’s sad when friends or family stop visiting the person because it makes them uncomfortable and they mistakenly believe that the person won’t notice or that it won’t matter.

Even if your loved one no longer recognizes who you are, the experience of having a visit from someone can still be meaningful. If you need ideas, try these:

  • Looking through old photographs

  • Listening to music, especially their old favorites

  • Watching a funny television show or video

  • Sitting quietly while holding their hand

Ingleside at King Farm Memory Support Assisted Living

We’re here to answer all of the questions you may have about memory care communities and the kind of life experience that your loved one will receive. It can be a hard decision to no longer continue care at home but this is not a reflection on the love of the family but the progressive demands of the disease.

Our activities and programs are specially designed to help your loved one continue to be engaged in life for as long as possible. We are also here for the families and can be a great resource for education and understanding about dementia. Our well-trained and compassionate staff, along with our programs and beautiful living spaces will help to make your loved one and your family feel at home.

Call (240) 455-4582 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.


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