Looking Ahead: What We Can Expect To Happen In Memory Care
As the Baby Boomers continue to age memory care services continue to evolve. Thanks to the wealth of current research we know more about the aging brain than ever before. As assisted living facilities, like Ashford, implement the findings memory care offerings are expected to evolve.
Cultivating A Culture of Brain Health
One of the exciting things to come out of some of this new research is ways to keep the mind stimulated and active. The research has coined the term ‘brain fitness’ to describe what it means to keep the mind sharp. Seniors benefit positively from brain fitness activities. Assisted living facilities have begun to incorporate brain fitness activities into the daily schedule of residents. Brain fitness activities include puzzles in all their varieties, strategy games such as cards or chess, or board games. However, brain fitness also includes good nutrition, proper hydration, physical activity, and appropriate rest. Not only do these activities help the mind to stay stimulated, they help seniors avoid the depression which can often accompany them as their health declines.
Assessing And Reducing The Risk
It used to be believed that dementia just happened as a result of advancing age and there was not much we could to slow it or avoid it all together. However, we now know better. Current research is showing Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented with early intervention of other diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Research is also showing the impact diet has on brain health. Diets rich in Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) and antioxidants and those which avoid systemic inflammation causing foods like sugar and unhealthy fats like trans fat increase brain health. As the emphasis of diet on health becomes more popular, assisted living facilities may need to adjust their dietary services to include more brain-befitting foods.
A Whole New Field
With the growing senior population, specialization in memory care is becoming more common place. For example, it is now possible to become a certified dementia care practitioner. The needs of memory care patients are specific so the medical field is responding by offering certification. Assisted living centers should be hiring those with this additional knowledge for their memory care units if they intend on remaining competitive in the marketplace.
When Less Is More
Another blooming trend in memory care is the use of smaller communities of 10-15 beds apart from the larger assisted living facilities. The specialization within the industry is a driving force to this trend. Memory care patients often receive more individualized assisted living services in the smaller setting. They benefit from the more home-like atmosphere as well as the, generally, higher staff-to-patient ratio involved in smaller facilities.
As innovation in assisted living moves forward, assisted living facilities are responding. Here at Ashford our memory care unit is only 16 beds to provide the best memory care services we can to our residents. Our specialized unit remains on-trend to bring the highest quality memory care to Utah.