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IntergenerationalGardenClub

Right now in the United States more than five million Americans have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s according to the Alzheimer’s Association. If you are reading this article, it’s likely that somebody in your family (perhaps an aging parent, spouse, or sibling) has dementia, or perhaps you have received this diagnosis yourself.

While many seniors with dementia can live at home comfortably with the care of family members during the early stages of the disease, care becomes more and more difficult as the disease progresses. You may now be at the point when you can no longer handle the care needs of your loved one.

As you begin to look at professional care options, you will likely come across two main choices:

  • Assisted living facilities
  • Memory care facilities (also known as Special Care Units, or SCUs)

Which option is better for your loved one? We think that anyone suffering from dementia would be the most comfortable and safest in a facility that specializes in memory care. We’ll discuss the reasons why, but first, let’s just briefly look at the differences between assisted living facilities and memory care facilities.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities provide housing, meals, and activities for seniors who are active but who can no longer live independently. Maybe they need help dressing in the morning, have mobility challenges, or need assistance with diabetes care. Assisted living facilities provide care and oversight while also giving residents privacy and a level of freedom and autonomy. In many cases, the seniors live in private or semi-private rooms within a community that provides group meals and activities.

Assisted living facilities provide more freedom than nursing homes and more oversight than independent senior communities. They are exploding with popularity all across the United States! Some assisted living facilities also provide a special unit or wing devoted to memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

Memory Care Facilities

Basically, a memory care facility is an assisted living facility that specializes in caring for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Rather than dedicating a specific unit or wing of the facility to dementia care, the entire facility is focused in this one area. Typically, all residents of a memory care facility suffer from some form of dementia and all staff members are specially trained to deal compassionately with all the symptoms of dementia.

Like an assisted living facility, a memory care facility provides meals, entertainment, activities, and supervision of residents. Residents live in home-like environments in private or semi-private rooms.

The Benefits of Memory Care Facilities

An assisted living facility isn’t necessarily a bad choice for someone with dementia, especially if the facility has a dementia unit. However, we believe a dementia care facility is the best option. This type of facility has been designed specifically for the needs of dementia patients, and the staff is specially trained to deal with the many challenges that dementia presents, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Confusion and paranoia
  • Wandering
  • Poor decision making
  • Aggressive or uninhibited behavior
  • Mobility and coordination issues
  • Incontinence
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Need for intensive support in later stages of the disease

A dementia care facility, like Sunshine Care in Poway, California, is designed to……..
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