A vital part of being a dementia caregiver is to be on the lookout for signs that your parent or senior loved one needs a higher level of care.
Being educated on the types of care available and how to assess your loved one’s needs will help ensure proper care and safety issues are met long term. Read our guide on the various levels and types of dementia care available, so that you know how to find the right memory care community when the time comes.
Some common types of memory care include:
An adult day center offers a person with dementia a safe, structured environment to be in during the day, when the primary caregiver is at work, or taking a much-needed break for self-care.
Adult day centers offer activities, direct supervision, socialization and more. People with dementia are offered an opportunity to interact socially with others (an important activity for brain health), participate in programs and receive a healthy lunch and snack (at some adult day centers).
An adult day center is a perfect solution for caregivers who work part time or full time during the day. Most adult day centers are open from 7-10 hours each day and many offer daily pick up and drop off services. Others may provide care during the evenings or on weekends.
In-home dementia and memory care services are provided in a house instead of a structured care facility. These services can include around the clock caregiving, housekeeping, licensed nursing care, personal care or respite care.
In-home care oftentimes allows the person with dementia to maintain a high level of comfort and dignity. It can also be a good choice for caregivers, who can care for their loved one in the comfort and privacy of their own home.
Common types of in-home care services include:
Residential care takes place in a community environment, designed for those who need access to emergency care and/or medical supervision, 24/7. This type of care is usually for those who have a higher level of medical needs than those in an in-home care environment.
It’s important to note that there are several types of residential memory care communities, designed to meet a continuum of needs by providing various levels of care.
Types of residential care include:
Respite care is care given by paid professionals or volunteers. Respite care can involve a person coming into the home to provide direct care to someone with dementia, or a respite care provider may perform numerous other duties, such as driving a person with dementia to medical appointments, household chores and more. Oftentimes respite care is provided by family members and friends.
Here are some common memory care community services offered to residents living with dementia:
Most adult day centers and memory care communities offer some type of dementia activities. It may be art projects, a group reading, a physical activity or more.
Some memory care communities offer special services to help with negative behaviors associated with dementia (such as combativeness, hallucinations and wandering).
Coping with dementia is not always easy. Some memory care communities may offer this type of supportive care for individuals with dementia and their family members. Social workers often arrange for this care and set up medical appointments, transportation needs and more.
Health services include any type of medical treatment, such as blood pressure checks, insulin shots, medications and wound care. Some memory care communities have staff on site that can provide health services and some do not.
Most, but not all, memory care communities offer hot meals. Many memory care communities have apartments with kitchens and the residents are independent enough to make their own meals. Others can take advantage of hot meals on site and may opt for a combination of one or two hot meals per day, then make one meal themselves — again, depending on the level of independence of the resident. Memory care communities that offer the highest level of care generally provide meals and snacks throughout the day.
Many memory care communities have an occupational, physical or speech therapist onsite or on-call.
This involves assistance with ADLs and more. Each memory care community offers different types of personal care. Some may even have a salon on site. Others contract with outside professionals, such as home health care agencies, to offer residents a wider range of services.
Here are some steps to follow to identify the right level of care and memory care community for your parent or senior loved one with dementia:
How did you find the right memory care community for yourself, a parent or senior loved one? We’d like to hear your stories and any suggestions you may have in the comments below.