Just as the human body ages, so does the mind. But dealing with mental degeneration tends to be a more complicated and emotional process than simply repairing a bad knee with surgery — for both the afflicted and his or her loved ones.
Life After Your Loved One’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
After receiving a diagnosis from a certified medical professional, many caretakers are left wondering, “What now?
First things first — knowledge is power. Speaking with your loved one’s medical team is key to understanding what stage of cognitive loss they are experiencing. They will often make recommendations for professional care at a specialized memory care center.
Accepting You Can’t Do It Alone
Many well-meaning relatives take on the task of caring for someone with dementia without a realistic understanding of what a time-consuming and extremely difficult job it can be. And while we all like to think that we can give the most tender, loving care to our loved ones, sometimes professional expertise is best.
Finding The Right Care Center Fit
Ensuring that your loved one is given the best care starts with meeting with several care centers. Seek out facilities that focus specifically on memory care. Some of the things that set these centers apart from a typical assisted living environment include a building layout that minimizes tenant injury. Wandering, which often leads to falling, is one of the main sources of danger for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The right floor plan can make a huge difference. It only takes one momentary mental lapse to create a possibly life-threatening accident.
Memory care centers often have a higher staff-to-tenant ratio in order to provide a high level of interaction and supervision. They also include all the regular amenities found at assisted living centers including medication assistance, meal prep, bathing and dressing assistance, social engagement and more.
Beyond safety measures, take into account the mood and feel of the center. Quality of life is affected by things as simple as cheerful decor, great lighting and room for personalization within each resident unit.
Above all, remember that providing your loved one with professional care is not neglect, it is the right thing to do!