How Memory Care Improves the Quality of Life for Dementia Patients

Although we can detect warning signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia much earlier now than ever before, we are still working on new ways to improve the quality of life for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia and the friends and family members who are caring for them.

Family caregivers can become overwhelmed and depressed and neglect their own care in order to take care of a loved one with dementia.

If a loved one with dementia doesn’t get the level of care and support they need, they are at risk of physical, mental, and cognitive decline as well as accidents, wandering, and injuries.

Hiring an in-home caregiver who specializes in dementia care can offer you the respite you need as a family caregiver, while also ensuring your loved one remains safe, happy, and healthy.

Keep reading to learn more about how in-home memory care can improve the quality of life for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

What Is Memory Care?

Memory care is a highly individualized and specialized support system for patients who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Memory care can be adjusted or adapted to meet the patient’s specific needs, overall health, and lifestyle.

It can also be adjusted to accommodate the level of family support available and the patient’s changing abilities and day-to-day mood. An in-home memory care specialist receives extensive training in overcoming the daily challenges faced by patients experiencing memory issues and cognitive decline due to dementia. Memory care services can include:

  • Assistance with daily living activities like bathing, grooming, toileting, dressing, and mobility
  • Help with meal preparation and eating
  • Medication management
  • Light housekeeping services
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Assistance coordinating visits from friends and family
  • Health monitoring
  • Guidance and assistance with physical therapy or daily exercise
  • Companionship and conversation
  • Guided activities and games that support memory and cognitive function
  • Encouragement and assistance in participating in activities and hobbies like knitting, scrapbooking, and reading

What Are the Differences Between Assisted Living and Memory Care?

An assisted living facility offers housing, meals, and help with the activities of daily living. However, it does not necessarily offer robust or flexible support for patients who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Memory care facilities or in-home memory care services are specially designed to accommodate the changing needs of patients who are experiencing decline in cognitive function, difficulty with memory, and changes in personality and behavior associated with an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.

Memory care staff are trained to provide the support, guidance, and assistance needed to cope with cognitive decline or memory loss.

In general, an assisted living memory care facility will have a larger staff that is more specialized, a more secure facility with a greater focus on safety and controlled access, specially-designed common areas and walkways that are clearly defined and easy to navigate, and a range of activities and therapies designed to slow cognitive decline and improve physical and mental health.

Who Needs Dementia Care Services?

Your loved one can benefit from memory care services if they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia in any stage.

Even people who are in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia can benefit from the added support and structure of memory care.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s and is experiencing any of these complications, you should consider in-home care from a memory care specialist:

  • Increased wandering
  • Trouble doing laundry or keeping up with housework
  • Decline in personal grooming and physical appearance
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty walking around or getting into and out of bed or to and from the bathroom
  • Increased forgetfulness, particularly around meal time and medications
  • Symptoms of sundowning or increased agitation or anxiety at specific periods of the day
  • Inability to bathe, dress, or groom themselves
  • Depression, isolation, or disinterest in their hobbies
  • Anger or emotional outbursts that are hard to manage

How Does Memory Care Improve Quality of Life?

Memory care services are carefully personalized to each patient’s specific needs and abilities. Hiring an in-home care specialist or senior care specialist who has been trained in memory care can significantly improve your loved one’s quality of life.

A memory care specialist can also offer respite for family caregivers and give them the time they need to take care of their own physical and mental health needs and decompress. The biggest ways that memory care will improve your loved one’s quality of life are:

  • Slowing the progression of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
  • Offering enhanced safety and security
  • Reducing the risk of wandering, falls, accidents, and injuries
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and improving nutrition
  • Avoiding missed doses of medication or medication misuse or overuse
  • Providing companionship, conversation, and mental and emotional stimulation
  • Reducing the risk of isolation, depression, and anxiety
  • Monitoring physical and mental health and communicating with your loved one’s healthcare team to improve their care
  • Assistance and encouragement in participation in activities and hobbies your loved one enjoys
  • Improved access to healthcare services and medical appointments
  • Improved physical health and more opportunities to exercise safely
  • Social connection
  • Stay in the comfort of their own home while remaining safe

How Do You Find Memory Care Services?

If you think your loved one could benefit from memory care services, you can ask their physician to refer you to an in-home care aide that specializes in dementia care.

You can also ask friends and family for recommendations or take advantage of the elder care resources provided by your county health department or nonprofit agencies like the Pima Council on Aging.

Should You Choose In-Home Alzheimer’s Care or Dementia Care?

In-home care services allow your loved one to remain in the comfort of their own home and get the specialized care, support, and resources they need.

If your loved one is in the earlier stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, a sudden transition into an assisted living facility may cause a rapid decline in their mental and physical health.

Your loved one may be happier and more comfortable staying in their own home for as long as possible.

Hiring an in-home care aide who specializes in memory care will ensure your loved one stays safe and has access to specialized cognitive care without going through the stress and anxiety associated with having to suddenly move out of their home on top of experiencing cognitive and memory problems.

When Should You Consider Assisted Living Memory Care?

If your loved one’s memory problems or dementia has progressed to the point where they need around the clock care or 24/7 attention, you should consider assisted living placement. An assisted living memory care facility can offer your loved one constant supervision and companionship and access to medical care around the clock.

If your loved one has physical or mental health issues on top of dementia or Alzheimer’s, you may not be able to care for them yourself, even with the help of an in-home caregiver.

Helping them transition into an assisted living facility will give them the best opportunity to stay safe and get the care and support they need.

Planning for the Cost of Memory Care Services

The cost of memory care services will depend on the level of care your loved one needs and whether you choose in-home care services or a memory care assisted living facility.

In-home care services can cost up to $5,000 per month, while assisted living facilities may cost between $6,000-$10,000 per month depending on the facility and the level of care your loved one needs. Medicare may cover some of the costs associated with memory care.

Private insurance may cover memory care costs for people under the age of 65. Your loved one can also use retirement savings and personal savings to pay for care.

Certain government programs like Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, veteran’s benefits, and Medicaid can be used for portions of memory care costs.

Schedule a Consultation for In-Home Memory Care

If you think it’s time for your loved one to get in-home memory care in Southern Arizona, our team at Placita In Home Care can help. We offer professional, compassionate in-home dementia care services in Tucson and the Phoenix Metro areas.

Our experienced elder care specialists offer assistance with the tasks of daily living, mobility assistance, transportation to medical appointments and community activities, and socialization and companionship.

We also offer free assisted living placement services if it’s time to consider a transition into an assisted living memory care facility. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.