If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, and you’re considering an assisted living community, then it’s important that you choose one that is designed to promote the best possible quality of life. Some of the things that are key to maintaining the quality of life for people with dementia are maintaining their independence, providing opportunities for socializing, prioritizing their happiness and of course ensuring their safety and providing care that has been tailored for memory.
People with dementia can still lead fulfilling lives, provided that they are in an environment that allows them to maintain their independence and self-reliance for as long as possible. It’s important to choose a memory care community that empowers its residents to do as much for themselves as possible so that they can maintain the sense of independence that gives meaning to life.
A good memory care community will have qualified staff on hand to assist should the residents need it, but they shouldn’t be doing things for residents that they could be doing for themselves. A good example of this is allowing residents to choose what they would like to eat from a varied and healthy menu, rather than dictating what they can have.
Socialising is important for everyone, and not just for people living with dementia. We all need to feel connected to other people in order to feel that our lives have meaning.
It’s important to find a memory care community that actively works to facilitate its residents maintaining an active social life. According to the Alzheimer’s society, staying active and involved in a community can help people with Alzheimer’s to:
- Raise or maintain their sense of self-esteem, and at the same time help to keep from feeling anxious or depressed.
- Help to maintain certain skills for longer.
- Give you an outlet to express your feelings.
- Provide an opportunity to share your experiences with people who can either provide support or who have similar interests to your own.
As people age, it can become difficult to maintain a sense of community, and this aspect is one of the most powerful things that assisted living communities has to offer.
Specialised memory care
It’s important that your memory care community has a staff of people who are specialists in their field, as this allows them to make safe judgments and provide the care that allows people with Alzheimer’s to maintain their independence for as long as possible.
Brightview Senior Living in Bethesda has used its expertise to devise the ‘Mind and Music’ program, which uses the documented link between music and memory to create a social event for residents that helps with their memory at the same time.
Finally, when you are choosing a memory care community, it’s important that you think about choosing a community that has been designed to maintain quality of life for its residents, most importantly to promote joy and the opportunity to find happiness.
Joy is one of the most important factors in dementia care and it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Follow these points to make a shrewd assessment of any care community you consider.