Growing older is a natural part of life, and becoming a senior citizen, such as those aged 65 and over, means a general rise in health needs, and senior citizens are often burdened with one or more chronic conditions, whether physical or neurological. When a senior citizen is going through a difficult condition such as dementia, he or she will have need for assisted living, whether at their own residence or at one of many memory care facilities across the United States. Dementia treatment at an assisted living home can help any patient maintain his or her safety and dignity of everyday life, and can also provide them with companionship and a sense of belonging, which may in fact slow down the effects of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. General statistics are available to show what kinds of health conditions today’s senior citizens need, and how often they may need to relocate to memory care facilities. What can someone expect from memory care facilities? Will they even need to go?
The Elderly and Dementia
Senior citizens are those in the United States aged 65 and over, and they often have increased medical care needs. In fact, nearly 70% of senior citizens will need long-term care at some point in their lives, and they are often aware that they may burden their younger family members; nearly 55% of those surveyed said that long-term care for them could burden their families and is something they fear most. Today, there are many millions of Americans over the age of 65, and a smaller but growing number who are over 85, and they often need care for various chronic conditions. They may even be suffering more than one condition at a time.
Dementia such as Alzheimer’s is a common chronic condition that seniors may face. Today, around 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and most of them are over the age 65. Only a small minority of Alzheimer’s patients are those with early-onset Alzheimer’s, and all these patients may need care, whether they find it at at one of memory care facilities or with retirement care or assisted living in their own private residence. This disease, once it presents itself, cannot be fully cured, and it cannot be prevented, either. However, there are some proven methods for slowing down its advance and limiting its impact on a senior citizen’s life, and memory care facilities and assisted care professionals at the home can help a patient maintain their safety, dignity, and happiness.
Care for the Alzheimer’s Patient
The two main routes for Alzheimer’s care are either relocating the patient to memory care facilities or at-home treatment. At-home treatment may be the best option if the patient’s needs are limited or if no one can afford to send them to a facility. In this case, the patient may have family members and medical professionals visit regularly for checkups, companionship, and assistance with everyday life, from grocery shopping to caring for pets to housework or work in the lawn and garden. The home can be made safe and practical, such as clearing away tripping hazards (Alzheimer’s causes clumsiness), as well as locking away hazards such as knives, scissors, and flame-producing items for the same reason. If the patient goes outside for a walk or minor errands, he or she should carry a photo ID name tag in case they get lost or hurt and cannot return home under their own power. Someone can find them and help them get home safely.
Memory care facilities may be a strong option if the patient’s case is advanced and home care involves too many risks, and here, the patient can enjoy a strong social life with the other patients and also have access to 24-hour care by professionals. This may also be the best option if the patient’s own residence is very remote or otherwise difficult or inconvenient to visit regularly. Memory care facilities may also be the best option if the Alzheimer’s patient has another health issue such as diabetes, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack or stroke, or anything else that could potentially become life-threatening. A good memory care facility should have the equipment, medicine, and trained staff to take care of such issues as well.