A memory care nursing home is something that many elderly people dread – but a memory care nursing home can be more beneficial than it is frightening and a memory care nursing home is often a good alternative to family care for the seventy percent of elderly people in the United States who will eventually require full time care.
A memory care nursing home can provide the specialized care that unpaid caretakers such as family and other loved ones can not provide. Even with unpaid care workers throughout the United States contributing nearly twenty billion hours of care in 2016 alone, it is often not enough and everyone ends up exhausted, stressed out, and unhappy. Unpaid care workers are not equipped to deal with the problems that their charges may face in the way that a memory care facility will be.
A memory care nursing home is particularly ideal for those elderly people who are suffering from dementia, most commonly Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, dementia and particularly Alzheimer’s disease are all too common among the elderly population in the United States and often progress to the point that only a specialized care facility such as a memory care nursing home is fully equipped to deal with their needs. A memory care nursing facility may even be necessary for younger adults, as as many as two hundred thousand people in the United States are living with early onset Alzheimer’s.
A memory care nursing home is preferable in many cases because it is able to provide the level of care that someone with a deteriorating mental condition so often needs. For instance, in your typical assisted living facility, close to fifty percent of all residents require help with as many as three day to day tasks, such as bathing, showering, and eating. Though some residents will require less help and will be given a much greater independence and free rein of the facilities, many patients require even more help and now rely on the full time care that the assisted living facility provides.
Assisted living facilities are often ideal for the peace of mind of the patients themselves. Many patients have a great fear of becoming a burden to their loved ones as they progress further and further into dementia, Alzheimer’s related or otherwise. Unfortunately, for the fifteen million unpaid care workers in the United States alone, this is too often a reality. It’s no ones fault – no one can prevent getting Alzheimer’s – but it all too often becomes an unhealthy situation for both the caregivers and the loved ones that they care for. For the more than five million people in the United States who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and for the even more who have been diagnosed with another form of dementia, moving to an assisted living facility or a memory care nursing home can seem hugely daunting. After all, it’s a massive life change, one that often means leaving the home where they spent the majority of their lives. It’s a sad change too, saying goodbye to the freedom that they once had.
But even though it’s most certainly a difficult change, it’s hugely important to recognize that moving to a memory care nursing home is often within the best interests for everyone involved. For instance, it is easier to maintain a strong, loving relationship between parent and child. When the child does not have to become the caregiver after a dementia diagnosis and out of the necessity, it is less likely that resentment will be harbored. And the dementia patient will be able to receive the quality of care that they deserve from trained professionals instead of an untrained and unskilled family member. This level of care will even foster continued independence, as there is no longer any worry of what will happen to the dementia patient if left on their own.
Moving to a memory care facility can be a huge change for all parties involved but that change is often ultimately a positive one. It’s a hard decision to make, but it is a choice that is often better for everyone involved in the long run.