We all want our families to live long, comfortable lives.
When you find out a loved one is being faced with the reality of dementia? You can feel like you’ve completely failed. How can you juggle a full-time job, taking care of your children and looking after a family member in need of a lot of support? Instead of delaying the conversation on the need for assisted living, learn more about memory care services and how they enhance an individual’s life. Providing around-the-clock medical care and a supportive community, offering your family the ability to transition to an assisted living home is offering them a chance to thrive.
What is a memory care home and how, exactly, does it promote a high quality of life for millions of people in the country?
The discussion of memory care facilities and what they have to offer both individuals facing the onset of age and their family members is a difficult one. It’s also a conversation that’s being had more often. This is because the United States is seeing a significant shift in its aging population. In two or three decades a solid 20% of the American population will be either at or past retirement age (with the average age of retirement at 63). Data provided back in 2010 also found over half of assisted living residents are over the age of 85. Where does your loved one fit in the picture?
Not all individuals require the same attention. Some need around-the-clock care to help them with day-to-day activities, such as bathing or washing. Others only need a little assistance as they move throughout their daily life, such as remembering to take medication and being given support while traveling. The average resident in an assisted living facility is a woman over the age of 85, who is generally mobile but in need of help with two or three daily living activities. It’s estimated 40% of assisted living facilities provide skilled care for their residents.
For individuals faced with the onset of dementia, finding the right location can seem completely out of reach. Alzheimer’s disease, and similar forms of dementia, are one of the leading causes of death in the country. It also cannot be cured, prevented or slowed down. It can, however, have its symptoms managed with the aid of skilled staff and a caring community. Memory care facilities are expressly designed with the purpose of helping people living with dementia lead fulfilling, active and healthy lifestyles.
A common fear for many is becoming a burden on the family, whether financially or emotionally. Another fear is moving to memory nursing homes and feeling isolated from those they love. This fear, however, is very much unfounded. Assisted living facilities consistently show high rates of happiness from their residents, with one survey about retirement finding nearly half of respondents stating retirement to be even better than they expected. A 2008 study also found seniors with the highest level of social integration experiencing a memory decline at half the rate of the most socially integrated.
By the time 2010 arrived the amount of beds available in assisted living facilities reached an impressive one and a half million, up over 15% from the one million available back in 2007. More and more families are becoming aware of the function of memory care homes and how they enhance, rather than inhibit, the next stage in their loved one’s life. When you have fears of a parent hurting themselves in an otherwise comfortable home or becoming lost on the way to the car, assisted living can make sure you always have a community to turn to. To date there are over 22,000 assisted living and residential care communities to choose from.
This isn’t a decision you have to make overnight. Talk with your family about the emotional, physical and social benefits of transitioning to a memory care home.