Senior Living Care Blog

Memory Care and Assisted Living

Posted by Joe Gilmore on Feb 19, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Over the past few decades, assisted-living facilities with memory care have become a popular long-term care option for senior citizens. Estimates from a few years ago suggest that about one million older adults currently reside in assisted-living facilities, while others put that number closer to 1.6 million. Assisted living has been described as a type of long-term care that “blurs the distinction between nursing homes and community care and reduces the chasm between receiving long-term care in one’s own home and in an ‘institution’.”


Assisted living has become a more popular care option for older adults with dementia as well. According to some reports, as many as 68 percent of assisted living facilities have dementia. Dementia is a not a specific disease but rather a group of symptoms related to memory loss, decline in cognitive functioning, and self management. Many people with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease struggle living independently and need the help of a caregiver or living facility.


While family caregivers are generally the ones to tend to their loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, these types of memory problems can take a major toll on caregivers and can even lead to increased health risks for them. The symptoms that are commonly associated with dementia can make providing care for them difficult. With that said, living facilities can be the answer for a loved one who is dealing with dementia or other memory-related issues.



Memory Care

As mentioned before, assisted-living facilities have been on the rise over the last 20 years. According to one study, the number of state-licensed assisted-living facilities has grown from 16,000 in 1995 to more than 39,000 in 2010, with these facilities housing as many as one million people, however, the number may be even higher.


As the supply and demand for assisted-living facilities has grown, so has the number of facilities that offer special care for dementia-specific patients. Residencies and assisted-living communities that specialize in dementia services offer features like safety accommodations for these types of residents.


About 80 percent of the people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia's are receiving care in their homes. And, generally, caregivers of people with dementia will provide care for a longer duration than caregivers with other types of conditions. This can prove to be problematic for some caregivers, whose jobs are already stressful without the addition of memory-related issues.


For caregivers, giving a loved one proper memory care can be difficult and can take a toll on their own personal health. Caregivers already have a difficult job, and many struggle with something called Caregiver Stress, a problem characterized by social isolation, depression, poor health, and more. A caregiver may not be able to give a senior the care that they require at all hours of the day. There is also evidence that shows family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are at a greater risk of anxiety, depression, and other problems than caregivers of people with other conditions.


Meanwhile, there are many communities that can provide the type of memory care that older individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia require.


Care For Veterans

According to the 2012 U.S. Census, there are over 12.4 million veterans aged 65 or older. These veterans served in conflicts around the world such as World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and even the Gulf War. For our veterans that have served the country, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides care for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia through their health care services. Depending on needs, these services can include home-based care, respite care, nursing home, and more.



Common Problems with Dementia

A older woman holder her hands in her lap

According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, someone in the world develops dementia every three seconds and there were an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2015. There are a number of other types of dementia besides Alzheimer’s such as frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia. The way that these diseases come about is the main distinction between them, but the symptoms associated with the problems are generally the consistent.


As mentioned before, dementia causes problems that are related to mental function such as emotional behavior, language, memory, perception, thinking and judgement. Some common symptoms that people with dementia will deal with include:

  • Changes in sleep patterns, normally waking up at night
  • Having hallucinations
  • Exhibiting violent behavior
  • Trouble reading and writing
  • Poor judgement and inability to recognize danger
  • Social isolation
  • Difficulty with day-to-day life

These problems can obviously make it difficult for someone with dementia to live independently, generally requiring the aid of a caregiver. However, as mentioned before, caregivers can also have problems giving people suffering from dementia the proper care that they need, especially for the length of time it requires. Because of this, it is sometimes best to enlist professional help through an assisted-living facility or some other type of care program.



In Conclusion

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are serious problems that require a high level of care. There are a number of symptoms associated with dementia, including problems sleeping, hallucinations, and violent behavior. A majority of dementia-affected individuals get the help of a family caregiver to help deal with their symptoms. However, dementia can take a major toll on caregivers and can even lead to a higher risk of problems like depression and anxiety. With that said, assisted-living communities and other treatment programs can provide people suffering from dementia with the care that they need.


At Landmark Recovery, we offer memory care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Along with memory care, our trained professionals can give our resident the care that they deserve later in life. Along with medical care, our facilities participate in a number of social events and activities to keep residents happy as they continue this chapter in their life. If you would like more information about our facilities or would like a complimentary walk through, please reach out to our admissions staff today.


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Topics: Memory Care

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