Memory care is the best form of care for seniors with dementia. Memory care communities cater to the changing needs of people experiencing progressive degeneration of cognitive abilities, such as memory and decision-making. These communities provide easy access to a team of memory care professionals who offer coordinated care to people with dementia. Memory care facilities use experienced caregivers to assist residents in accomplishing activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, dressing and eating. Nurses and physicians are integral members of memory care teams since they ensure residents keep up with their medication and handle any medical issues that crop up with the progression of dementia.

The attentive, nonmedical interventions provided at a memory care facility make it the best option for seniors with dementia compared to the care provided in assisted living and nursing homes. Some of the services offered at a memory care facility include activities to boost the senior’s cognitive abilities. Experienced memory staff leads each senior through a series of scheduled exercises to reinforce the skills they still have and help them develop coping mechanisms to compensate for those they’ve lost.

Safety in Memory Care

The memory loss that comes with dementia and other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, often makes seniors lose the ability to recognize landmarks, which puts them at risk of wandering off and getting lost. Memory care facilities employ various safety measures to reduce a senior’s chances of going missing. Mixed-care facilities usually provide memory care in separate housing, which could be a whole floor or building dedicated to memory care or a separate compound for residents with dementia. Such protective measures are usually carefully integrated within the community to ensure seniors with dementia don’t feel restricted or suffocated, which can be detrimental to their health and affect their willingness to accept the care provided.

Memory care facilities also have more stringent rules for visitation, which lowers the chances of a resident with dementia accidentally leaving with visitors. Good memory care homes utilize a high staff-to-client ratio to ensure each person with dementia is under constant supervision from a caregiver. Technology is also critical to memory care. Seniors can wear necklaces and bracelets equipped with GPS trackers that make them easy to locate if they wander.

Memory Activities for Dementia Care

While the memory activities provided in memory care facilities don’t stop the progression of dementia, they can slow the progression of symptoms and keep seniors independent for longer. Experienced memory care staff usually curates activities to accommodate each resident’s needs depending on their stage of dementia. The staff also creates a timetable of daily memory activities to make it easier for seniors to adapt to a routine and retain what they learn.

Activities such as board games, puzzles, bingo and trivia are used in dementia care since they’re often familiar to many seniors and stimulate their cognitive abilities. Simple phone and video games are also becoming popular in memory care since they’re fun and help seniors concentrate on a task for longer. Seniors may participate in daily exercises, with memory experts using dance lessons or sports to enhance muscle memory and help seniors remain healthy. Artistic activities, such as piano lessons, painting sessions and crafting, are also valuable for stimulating seniors’ memories, helping them learn new skills and feel more accomplished.