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Why Do Senior’s Communities Have Memory Care Units?

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A female nurse assisting a memory care patient with a puzzle

Senior communities offer a wealth of benefits for people entering their golden years. But not all of us age equally. Seniors require different levels of care and intervention based on varying degrees of independence and mental health.

Assisted living communities are a great way to keep seniors active and engaged as they age. But residents with memory challenges require more. A designated memory care unit addresses specific needs for your beloved family member with memory issues.

Merryvale Assisted Living in Covington provides all the amenities for a healthy lifestyle. You can tour our memory care unit for a hands-on understanding of how we help residents with memory loss live comfortably and happily. 

What is a Memory Care Unit?

A memory care unit is a specialized unit within an assisted living community that offers enhanced support for residents with memory loss challenges. The attention that each resident receives is amplified compared to a traditional assisted living space. Memory care units help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia address their disadvantages with professional care.

If a person you love is showing cognitive decline, they do not need to suffer daily. A memory care unit is a facility equipped with the resources and staff to make a person with memory loss feel as comfortable as possible. These living spaces are designed with features that make day-to-day function easiest, such as contrasting colors and clearly labeled entries. 

In a memory care unit, the resident is guided through daily routines but preserves some independence. Regardless of the developmental challenges, every resident is always treated with compassion, integrity, and respect.

Recognizing Memory Loss Challenges

The Alzheimer’s Association states that more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease today. Other forms of dementia continue to affect seniors. Adjusting to a world without fully functioning cognitive abilities can be scary and stressful.

Alzheimer’s and dementia affect a person’s thinking, memory, and behavior. Unfortunately, this can develop into a debilitating condition. Memory loss can interfere with Activities of Daily Living (ALDs) that are essential for independent living. 

If you believe that someone you love requires assisted living in a memory care unit you can contact our care team for information and advice.

A female nurse laughing with a male memory care patient

Benefits of a Memory Care Unit

Memory care units seek to provide the most comfortable living possible for those who suffer from memory loss. Improving the quality of life of seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia is a priority for the memory care unit at Merryvale Assisted Living in Covington..

The ways that a memory care unit makes living with memory loss easier on the resident and their family. As Alzheimer’s and dementia progress, it often becomes more difficult to manage the needs of a senior. Advanced training and specific environmental features become necessary. 

The benefits of a memory care unit are numerous. And the positive impact it has on your loved one’s quality of life cannot be measured. Let’s discuss what sets a memory care unit apart.

Specially Trained Staff

The people that care for residents with memory challenges are specially trained to interact successfully. Support staff in a memory care unit are educated with Dementia Care Training and Certification. They understand what challenges await a person with memory loss and how to best help them manage their day.

Memory care unit staff are dedicated to fulfilling the emotional, mental, and physical needs of a resident. Like the rest of our assisted living community, the memory care unit provides 24/7 support and licensed nurses to address any health concerns immediately.

A Monitored Healthy Diet

Residents in traditional assisted living care will be provided meal times and a nutritious meal plan but may not be monitored for every meal. Residents in the memory care units are escorted to mealtimes and enjoy their meals at intimate dining tables that promote interaction with their peers.

A regulated diet provides valuable nutrients to a person with dementia and helps ensure that they are eating regularly. Mealtimes are an ideal setting for conversation and connection with other residents in a stress-free environment. Meals are never forgotten in the memory care unit.

Coordinated Activities

Residents stay stimulated in a memory care unit! While there’s always a balance of independence and support, residents are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities throughout the week. Memory care residents are guided through engaging activities without being overwhelmed.

Studies have shown that staying social during our senior years has several mental and physical benefits. This includes a positive impact on dementia and memory loss.

Activities are scheduled with routine in mind. A daily planner and predictable routines help reduce stress and anxiety for residents with memory loss. Expectations become normalized for both the senior and the staff. This applies to both ALDs and interactions with other community members.

Secure Living Spaces

People with dementia and Alzheimer’s tend to wander. About 6 in 10 people with memory loss will wander off at some point. Wandering is when a person is walking aimlessly, without remembering where they are going or what environment they are in. 

Wandering can be very dangerous. Seniors with memory limitations can get lost or put themselves at risk of physical harm. And this can be very stressful for a senior. 

Memory care units are equipped to protect residents from wandering. These areas are more secure than the general assisted living community. Room and common area layouts are designed to cater to people with cognitive conditions. Outdoor environments are contained and residents are joined by a staff member when leaving the community. 

Healthy Senior Living

While there is not yet a cure for memory loss, there are ways we can help our beloved seniors enjoy their golden years. Memory care units seek to accomplish this goal with a custom living space within an assisted living community. Specially trained staff help residents with cognitive challenges live their best life.

The memory care unit at Merryvale Assisted Living in Covington nurtures seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia with expert care and carefully designed programs. Schedule a tour of our community to help decide if someone close to you is ready to transition to assisted living.

Written by Merryvale

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