Assisted living or Memory Care: What Does My Loved One Need?

Author

Stacy's Helping Hand

Posted on

Sep 28, 2022

Book/Edition

Colorado - Denver Metro

Across the Denver metro area there are a variety of senior living care options. Each provides a range of options all providing varying levels of support- independent living, assisted, memory care, or skilled nursing. A simple google search of “assisted living communities in Denver” can bring a range of results. A Senior Care Advisor can assist you in untangling the results and understanding what each option entails.

For many, a trigger to senior living comes from difficulty living at home independently. Because of this, when families are exploring senior care, they are often looking at either assisted living or memory care neighborhoods.

ADLS & IADLS: Understanding Your Loved One’s Needs

First, it’s helpful to understand the terms Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). These terms are generally used to describe the care that can be provided within senior care residences, and the criteria to help gauge where a resident would receive the most appropriate support. When it comes to ADLs and IADLs for individuals with memory loss, it may not be that they can’t do these tasks, but rather they don’t remember to do them without prompting.

Activities of Daily Living include basic self-care activities, shown below:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Transferring
  • Toileting
  • Continence
  • Overall Hygiene

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living are tasks that require more advanced planning but help to manage the home and personal needs.

  • Laundry
  • Medication Management
  • Errands
  • Cooking
  • Bill Paying
  • Using the phone (or other ways to communicate and call for help! )

Assisted Living Facilities: What They Do and Don’t Do

Assisted living facilities are large residences with around 100+ residents. Assisted living residences offer assistance with all the ADLs and IADLs listed above. They have resident aides who can provide light assistance with these tasks. Resident aides are often referred to as caregivers or care partners. They may have experience as home health aides or certified nursing assistants. The ratio of residents to staff is usually low, with around 1 staff member to 8 residents (on average).

Assisted living residences generally offer medication assistance, laundry services and transportation to local appointments. The assisted living also offers engaging activities throughout the day; including local excursions at times. These programs are encouraged, but optional. It is generally up to the resident to determine how many activities they attend, and which ones. Residents also have the independence to come and go as they please, as long as they are signing out of the building.

Generally, residents in assisted living may have physical challenges, or mild cognitive impairments. Despite their memory loss, they are likely able to navigate their daily activities with minimal cueing and support. Assisted living residences are great for offering support for your loved one, while retaining independence.

Assisted Living Homes

Assisted living homes are a unique care option to Colorado. This type of residence is usually licensed to have 8-12 residents- significantly smaller than the larger assisted living facilities described above.

Since it is a home setting there are naturally more eyes on, individuals with higher physical needs or cognitive impairments may receive the support they need without the dementia specific care found in a memory care neighborhood. Staff can provide more attention to and likely develop a closer relationship with your loved one, helping them to know best ways to support them. In many cases, a person living with a cognitive impairment may avoid a memory care unit due to the benefits of more eyes on.

Due to their smaller size, they often have a more “homey” atmosphere. Engagement can be tailored to the unique interests of the current residents. Assisted living homes can be a great fit for someone who needs a higher level of supervision and support.

Memory Care Communities: A Special Approach

In addition to assisted living residences, the Denver area has a variety of memory care neighborhoods. These neighborhoods average 25 residents. Memory care communities may be neighborhoods within an assisted living, or a stand-alone community. Memory care communities provide a higher level of support for their residents with cognitive impairments. They also offer the same assistance with ADLs and IADLs. However, their support is often in the form of cueing and reminders, rather than the physical assistance that residents in assisted living may require. The staff is required to have more intense training in supporting people with memory loss in order to learn best approaches to care for this population. For example, staff should be well versed in providing support for someone who may not be aware that they need any assistance.

The activities in memory care communities are geared towards people living with cognitive impairments. There is more encouragement for residents to participate in programming as it allows for residents to have increased structure- something that is critical for people living with a cognitive impairment. While there may be scheduled excursions and family members can take their loved one’s out, memory care neighborhoods are secured in order to decrease the chance of wandering and becoming lost.

The goal of a memory care neighborhood is to provide each resident with the support they need to perform at their best and emphasize their strengths to increase independence. If your loved one is experiencing memory loss and benefits from significant encouragement, a memory care neighborhood within assisted living may be the best fit.

Finding the Appropriate Residence

It’s not always clear cut which is the appropriate level of care for your loved one– assisted living or memory care. Some individual residences may have their own criteria to determine which level of care an individual is best fit for. Senior care advisors are the key to finding the best fit and being your advocate throughout the searching process. Let Stacy’s Helping Hands help you to find the best fit. From Castle Rock to Aurora, all across Denver, we can help you navigate your choices and support you in making a decision.

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Visits to Memory Care

While many people focus on holiday visits, your loved one in assisted living or memory care should enjoy spending time with their family and friends all year round. No one wants to feel alone or forgotten. Visiting a senior loved one who resides in memory care can be complicated, however especially when mental and cognitive challenges are resulting in unpredictable behavior. These visitations, while often difficult, are an important part of taking care of someone with memory loss or dementia. In this article, we help families prepare for and enjoy their memory care visits, providing concrete advice for those who fear that dementia is harming their relationship.Advice for Dementia Care Patient VisitsDevelop Empathy for Their ExperienceWhen a family member experiencing dementia begins to act out with aggression, it is usually related to their medical diagnosis. Dementia can adversely impact behavior, mood, and sense of reality, often causing anger or fear. Loved ones should not consider these episodes as personal attacks instead, illogical reactions are likely symptoms of their declining brain function. By understanding that these reactions are associated with the disease, family members can set their expectations before visiting, and prepare to respond with compassion. Educating oneself about the progression of dementia helps to provide valuable insight into what they are experiencing.Expect a Range of Emotions Preparing mentally for memory care visits can positively impact those interactions with your loved one that you dread. Some days will be better than others, that is an undeniable fact. On a good day, your loved one may be smiling and loving. On a difficult day, however, they may be so confused that they do not even recognize their loved ones. Before visits, mentally prepare for all possibilities.Establish a Familiar and Comforting RoutineCreating a routine can provide much-needed calm in the storm that a dementia patient finds themselves in. Begin with a familiar greeting and develop a consistent routine for your visits. Whether sharing photos, strolling through the garden, or watching reruns of an old TV show, familiar routines can significantly reduce anxiety and offer a sense of shared interests. If you notice a positive reaction to a specific word, action, or activity, be sure to use it often.Integrate Compassion into Your Conversations Effective communication with a family member with dementia requires patience. Approach each conversation with a calm, measured tone, using clear and easy-to-understand language. If they cant find the right words or become frustrated,  dont correct them, just smile and continue the conversation. Non-verbal actions like a gentle hand on the shoulder can communicate affection when words are difficult.Manage Challenging Moments Its important to stay calm if the situation becomes too challenging, as arguing or fighting can escalate fear and anxiety for your loved one. Try to gently change the focus of the conversation, or introduce a more soothing activity. If your family members become overly agitated, acknowledge their emotions and provide them with some space. The personnel at the memory care community are invaluable partners in these situations, as they have the required experience and knowledge required to address their needs and behaviors. Remember, the objective is always to establish a feeling of safety and support, even during visits.My Care Finders helps families find the right assisted living or memory care facility for their loved ones needs and requirements. Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and assess your needs. Our professional team is trained to work with families of those with dementia, and we are prepared to help you and your family cultivate and maintain loving relationships.

How Elderly Care Makes Daily Living Comfortable

Seniors who might need assistance with their activities of daily living (ADLs) are benefited greatly by staying at assisted living facilities or having trusted caregivers. ADLs cover the essential tasks necessary for maintaining a comfortable and healthy daily life. These include the following:BathingBathing helps in maintaining personal hygiene and also improves ones sense of well-being in general. Seniors who may have mobility issues or require assistance due to medical conditions can benefit significantly from the support offered by our senior care in Minnesota. With our assistance, they will feel fresh every day and prevent infections or skin problems.DressingAnother daily activity that seniors frequently require assistance with is dressing. People with physical difficulties or cognitive problems benefit from having trusted caregivers. With this help, seniors may express their unique personalities via their wardrobe choices while preserving their sense of self-worth and sense of fashion.EatingMaintaining proper nutrition is essential for the health and well-being of seniors. Some elderly may require assistance with eating due to difficulties with swallowing or using utensils. At our assisted living facility in Burnsville, Minnesota, we ensure that residents receive balanced and nutritious meals.These elderly care services can be provided at the seniors home or in assisted living facilities. The aim should be providing comfort and support for seniors. At our home care, we make sure that the assistance we provide addresses the needs of our residents.At Cardenas Friendship Homes, we assist our residents with their activities of daily living while still encouraging their independence. Our residents enjoy happy lives in a secure and comfortable setting with our waivered care services.  Call us today at 612-616-7105

Benefits of Customized Living in Elderly Care Homes

Customized living in elderly care homes offers a personalized approach to senior care, tailoring services to meet the unique needs and preferences of each resident. As a provider of senior care in Minnesota, we have enlisted the benefits of embracing customized living in these compassionate environments:Tailored Care PlansCustomized living allows for individualized care plans that take into account the specific health, mobility, and cognitive needs of each resident. This personalized approach ensures that seniors receive the right level of assistance and support, promoting their overall well-being.Enhanced Quality of LifeBy tailoring services to residents preferences, elderly care homes create an environment that feels like home. Whether its choosing, daily activities, meal preferences, or the level of social engagement, customized living empowers seniors to maintain a sense of independence, fostering a higher quality of life.Flexibility and AdaptabilityAs the needs of seniors evolve, so too can their care plans. Customized living, including waivered care services, allows flexibility in adjusting services and support levels. This adaptability ensures that residents receive the appropriate care as their health conditions or preferences change over time.Holistic WellnessBeyond addressing physical health, customized living considers the holistic wellness of residents, including their emotional, social, and mental well-being. By crafting leisure activities, social interactions, and wellness programs to individual preferences, elderly care homes contribute to a more comprehensive and fulfilling lifestyle for seniors.If you are seeking an assisted living facility in Burnsville, Minnesota, that offers customized living, Cardenas Friendship Homes is here for you! Contact us to learn more about the services we offer!  Call us today at 612-616-7105.

Local Services By This Author

Stacy's Helping Hand

Memory Care 1040 South Gaylord Street, Denver, Colorado, 80209

Let us help you find the best care and housing option for your loved one - Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing. As Senior Care Advisors with over 12 years experience, we know the level of care each community or small home provides, their reputation and cost. We will help determine your loved ones physical care needs and what will be the best fit for them socially. As a neutral party, we tour the communities/homes with you and help you ask the right questions. We stay with you as your liaison, sounding board, and advocate for 3 months after you move in.  Read our 5 Star reviews on Google and Yelp!

Stacy's Helping Hand

Housing Placement & Resource Specialists 1040 South Gaylord Street, Denver, Colorado, 80209

Let us help you find the best care and housing option for your loved one - Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing. As Senior Care Advisors with over 12 years experience, we know the level of care each community or small home provides, their reputation and cost. We will help determine your loved ones physical care needs and what will be the best fit for them socially. As a neutral party, we tour the communities/homes with you and help you ask the right questions. We stay with you as your liaison, sounding board, and advocate for 3 months after you move in.  Read our 5 Star reviews on Google and Yelp!

Stacy's Helping Hand

Assisted Living 1040 South Gaylord Street, Denver, Colorado, 80209

Let us help you find the best care and housing option for your loved one - Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing. As Senior Care Advisors with over 12 years experience, we know the level of care each community or small home provides, their reputation and cost. We will help determine your loved ones physical care needs and what will be the best fit for them socially. As a neutral party, we tour the communities/homes with you and help you ask the right questions. We stay with you as your liaison, sounding board, and advocate for 3 months after you move in.  Read our 5 Star reviews on Google and Yelp!