When a senior in the family has dementia, it’s important to give careful consideration to how you can meet their needs now and into the future. Primary care doctors often suggest adult children explore memory support programs well before it is necessary to utilize one.
Many times, both the terminology and the benefits associated with memory support are unfamiliar. While most family members realize these programs offer security and peace of mind, there is even more to be gained. Primarily, memory support improves quality of life for an adult with dementia.
What Is Memory Support?
Memory support is offered in personal care, assisted living, and skilled nursing communities. It is designed to meet the unique needs of people who have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. From a thoughtfully planned environment to specially trained caregivers, these programs focus on the individual needs of residents.
In memory support programs, those experiencing memory loss benefit from assistance with activities of daily living any time of day or night. These daily self-care tasks usually include eating meals, bathing, dressing, taking medication, and more. While the support provided in a memory care program is the same as that provided in traditional assisted living and personal care communities, it is performed in a secure environment.
Benefits of Memory Support
Here are a few of the benefits of memory support for adults with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia:
- Specialized Caregivers
Caregivers who work with older adults who have memory impairment receive special training to learn the best practices for communicating with and assisting this population. For example, dementia caregivers learn how to spot potential problems and intervene early. They are also trained to de-escalate situations and manage tough behaviors, such as wandering and aggression.
- Purposeful Daily Activity
Life enrichment activities are an important part of the day in a memory care program. They help residents feel empowered and successful. This purpose can provide a much-needed boost to self-esteem. Daily programs might include art workshops, cooking, music therapy, nature walks, gardening, low-impact physical fitness, and craft projects.
- Individualized Plan of Care
Because dementia impacts every person differently, it’s essential that each resident have an individualized plan of care that meets their unique needs. By addressing a senior’s specific struggles, their quality of life can be improved.
- Dedicated Dining
Mealtimes can be a challenge for a senior who has dementia. This can lead to poor nutrition and weight loss. For example, vision changes caused by dementia might make it difficult to distinguish food from the plate. A loss of hand-eye coordination can make it hard to manipulate utensils. Another common mealtime challenge is keeping an older adult’s attention focused on eating amidst a noisy dining space. Memory support programs know how to work around these issues and create a mealtime experience that supports success.
- Family Support
Memory support helps the entire family cope with the emotional issues caused by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These progressive conditions can leave adult children and other family members feeling sad and helpless. By offering on-site support groups, memory care programs can provide an opportunity to connect with others who understand. That peer-to-peer support can be invaluable to family members.
Memory Support at PSL Communities
With locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and Delaware, Presbyterian Senior Living (PSL) has memory support programs in a variety of community settings. View all of our communities offering memory support to find a program near you!