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The Basics of Memory Care

Persons with memory impairment require special care, safety, and supervision. As the disease progresses, care needs can increase and residents need for reminders are provided. Most of these residences are specially designed to help cue the residents.

For example, memory boxes filled with old photos are placed near the door to help guide residents to their rooms and to allow the staff to learn more about the residents’ history. The space is designed to help them live as independently as possible. There are visual tools that help – such as lights that automatically turn on when you enter the bathroom, or a darker wall against a white sink to give better depth perception. 

Anxiety and irritability are taken into consideration in the calming colors and familiar furnishings. Those with the disease can become disoriented to time & place or experience decreased judgment. Many things from the past are around that are familiar and comforting and a well-trained staff knows how to incorporate these tools when the residents are starting to get anxious or confused.

The staff has been trained to deal specifically with the disease and involve residents in enjoyable daily activities and ones at which they can feel successful. Structure and routine are important and need to be built into daily activities. Adequate staffing is essential.

Sometimes dementia can cause someone to wander, so any place that does have this type of care is secure.

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Things to Consider

Memory care is similar to assisted living, but it is optimized to better suit adults with progressive cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other memory problems. You may see memory care also referred to as Alzheimer’s care or dementia care.

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