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Memory care is a special kind of care provided to those with varying degrees of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here are the most recent articles on this topic from Avalon Memory Care.

Helping A Loved One Transition to Memory Care: Keeping in Touch

When your loved one is making the move to memory care, it’s easy to think of moving day as the finish line. But while that day is a goal you’re working towards, remember that the day itself isn’t really an “ending.” In fact, you can look at Moving Day as the beginning of a new phase for you and your loved one. Change can be hard for any of us, and that goes double with a loved one who has a memory disease such as Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Research shows that it can take 90 days or longer for your loved one to become adjusted in their new home. Having a plan for helping your loved one – and you – become gradually more comfortable with their new reality will help ease the transition and make home feel like, well, “home” as soon as possible. Tip #1: Make regular visits. Throughout the first few weeks, your loved one will be trying to adjust to their new routine, new schedule and new location. Having familiar faces around them will help reassure them, provide a sense of stability and help them feel calmer and more confident. But this can be a delicate dance, because visiting too much (or at the wrong time) can be just as detrimental as not visiting enough. You’ll want to connect with the staff members to determine when your loved one is at their best and when good times to visit will be. Tip #2: Understand – and expect – there will be bad days. Just when you think everything is great and your loved one has adjusted, there will be something that changes. Your loved one doesn’t like any of their [...]

By |2019-07-05T11:19:42-05:00July 5th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

The Different Types of Dementia Treated at Avalon Memory Care

When you hear the word “dementia,” what do you automatically think of? For most people, the phrase “Alzheimer’s disease” most often springs to mind. To someone whose life hasn’t been affected by neurocognitive disease, the words “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” may be used interchangeably. But though these two words are similar, they have very different meanings. “Dementia” is a blanket term for a group of neurocognitive disorders. It’s not a disease in and of itself: it’s a group of symptoms that are caused by other conditions. Generally, they manifest in similar ways: they’re progressive, generally are characterized by memory loss and behavior changes and often result in death. It’s important to note that because these diseases attack the brain, memory is only one aspect that is affected. Depending on where the disease spreads, individuals can lose physical abilities and undergo mental and emotional changes. While Alzheimer’s disease is a dementia (and the most common form of dementia), it is not the only form of dementia. Currently, the medical community recognizes 13 different kinds of dementia. Here are the five main types of dementia that make up nearly all of cases: Alzheimer's disease. This form of dementia makes up 60-80% of dementia cases. It’s characterized by memory loss, particularly short-term memory loss, poor judgement, disruptive behaviors like anger and agitation and eventual loss of physical abilities. Researchers are not sure yet why or how people develop Alzheimer’s disease. Vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is caused by something going awry in the circulatory system that affects the flow of blood to the brain. This can be caused by a stroke, coronary artery disease, or any other cardiovascular symptoms that narrow the blood vessels. Symptoms of vascular dementia will be [...]

By |2019-06-21T11:02:04-05:00June 21st, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Hello, Edinburg! Avalon Memory Care Opens our Newest Location in Hidalgo County, TX

Fun, food, friends and fellowship were on the agenda on May 28, 2019 as Avalon Memory Care held a ribbon cutting ceremony for our new community in Edinburg, TX. Community members, partners, stakeholders and Avalon staff joined together to celebrate the new building and show off the state-of-the-art building to the public. “We’re excited to bring our signature memory care programming to the Edinburg community,” says Dr. Maurice McDonald of Avalon Memory Care. “Our goal is to help individuals living with dementia and other cognitive impairments to have self-esteem, dignity and the support they need to live a life full of daily joy and happiness.” “We are looking forward to bringing an improved quality of life in a comfortable home setting for Edinburg seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other cognitive impairments,” says Rita McDonald, RN. “It is our privilege to provide the best memory care for your loved one and provide family members more opportunities to make meaningful moments and spend time together.” The new Avalon Memory Care facility has sixteen semi-private and private rooms, a community dining room, a secure outdoor courtyard, comfortable common areas and many more amenities. The community is designed to feel like home and provides 24-hour care for our residents with a strict focus on the overall safety, well-being and best possible quality of life. For more information about our signature memory care programming, or to learn more about our new location in Edinburg, TX, please contact us at 888-522-1918.

By |2019-06-18T10:05:11-05:00June 18th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Helping A Loved One Transition to Memory Care: Making Moving Day a Positive Experience

In our first Transitions blog, we discussed how to help prepare for your loved one’s move to memory care. In this month’s blog, we have suggestions for how to make the big day – moving day – as stress-free and positive as possible. You’ve planned and prepared, and now it’s finally here – the day you move your loved one to their new home in a memory care community. This can be the most anxiety-inducing and emotionally fraught part of the process for you, simply because there may be no telling how your loved one will react. First of all, take a deep breath – you’re not alone in this. The memory care community you’ve chosen has extensive experience in helping move residents in, and the staff and leadership will be a supportive presence you can lean on to help ease the transition. Here are a few suggestions for how you can help make the move a little easier and keep you, your loved one and other family members calm and feeling supported. Directly before moving day Take some time off. Moving day can be a long, exhausting process. Make it a little easier for yourself by taking the time off from work so you can be present for your loved one without having to worry about deadlines or client meetings. You may want to stay at the community for the entire day to help your loved one acclimate, or you may wish to have several short visits throughout the day. Arrange for some support. During the move, it’s best to have at least two people present so that someone can attend to your loved one at all times. If you have a family member who can join [...]

By |2019-06-07T13:00:20-05:00June 7th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Visiting a Loved One in the Latter Stages of Alzheimer’s

If your loved one is in the later stages of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, it can be difficult to know how to interact with them during a visit. He or she may not remember who you are, or may not be able to communicate with you as they did in the past. However, these visits are incredibly important to your loved one, even if the way you interact has changed. It’s still possible to have meaningful, joyful moments together. Here are a few tips on how to make your visit a positive one. Rely on body language. People with Alzheimer’s may not always understand your words, but they are incredibly sensitive to your facial expressions, tone of voice and non-verbal communications. So go ahead and tell them stories about their grandchildren, your work or how their favorite sports team is doing. While you’re doing that, smile at them and make eye contact. Lean in and show your interest in them and their reactions. Sit next to them and hold their hand. You’ll find that your happiness may quickly be mirrored by your loved one. Use touch to show you care. Something we all need, from tiny babies to those in old age, is the warmth and comfort of human touch. As dementia progresses, your loved one may not be able to express his or her needs or understand what’s going on around them. But one thing they certainly can understand is touch. Even simply sitting next to your loved one and holding her hand can be incredibly meaningful – even if she doesn’t always demonstrate how much it means to her. During your visits, take time to give your loved one gentle touches, like a [...]

By |2019-05-24T10:18:16-05:00May 24th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Helping A Loved One Transition To Memory Care: Beginning the Transition

Because dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease are progressive, there will come a time when your loved one requires around-the-clock care. Many families choose to move their loved one to a memory care community for the peace of mind and compassionate, professional care it offers. However, the transition from “home” to a “memory care community” can be difficult and fraught with emotions, especially for a loved one who doesn’t always understand what’s going on. In this series of blog posts, we will walk you through how best to help your loved one transition to their new home in a memory care community. While there’s no sure-fire way to make things completely smooth and easy, these tips will help ease the transition and keep both you and your loved one happy, content and as stress-free as possible. What To Do Before The Move So you’ve found the perfect memory care community for your loved one. You know the old saying, “measure twice, cut once?” It simply means that good preparation is the key to making things go the way you want. And as you already know, preparing is essential when it comes to anything related to your loved one with dementia. Once you’ve decided the new place for your loved one, it’s time to start making it “home.” Prior to moving in, visit the community several times at different times of the day. Have your loved one join in events and meals so the setting starts becoming familiar. If the community has a guest apartment for rent, see if you can have your loved one stay overnight at least once – that way, the community hopefully won’t be scary and unfamiliar when it’s time to move. These [...]

By |2019-05-10T10:47:39-05:00May 10th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

A Closer Look At Memory Care

What do we mean when we talk about “memory care?” Much like the word dementia – which is used as an overarching term to talk about cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease – memory care encompasses many therapies, assistance and other forms of care. Dementia is a progressive disease, and individuals in the early stages will require less attention and care than someone in the mid-to late-stages. In the early stages, seniors may only need a little assistance to live independently, such as someone to remind them to take their pills or assist with chores or small tasks of daily life. Eventually, however, the senior will require attentive care around-the-clock in order to provide a high quality of life. This can be incredibly difficult for family caregivers to manage, which is why so many families turn to communities like Avalon Memory Care to provide peace of mind and caring assistance. The Goals of Memory Care The primary goals of memory care for individuals with dementia are to help slow the progression of the disease, to provide a safe environment for the senior to live in, and to enable the senior with dementia to live a purposeful, and enjoyable life. Here are some of the ways memory care communities are designed to accomplish this: A safe, secure environment Individuals with dementia are at risk for wandering, falls and other accidents or injuries. In a memory care community, residents have all the comforts of home alongside a secured system that keeps them from wandering away from the property. Memory care also is designed to meet the accessibility needs of residents, so there are wheelchair ramps, grip bars, emergency call systems and other features that help loved ones with dementia [...]

By |2019-04-26T09:22:23-05:00April 26th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Meaningful Connections Part Four: Understanding Your Options For Care

Cognitive diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can develop gradually, which means that, for a time at least, your loved one can still live independently with minimal care. However, it will reach a point when professional memory care is needed – but that exact “time” is hard to pinpoint and is different for each individual. If your loved one seems to be functioning well, it may be hard to decide to move him or her. But experts say that by mid-stage of the disease, 24/7 care and supervision is usually needed in order to keep your loved one safe. Here are some questions to ask to determine if a move to memory care might be the right decision: Is my loved one unsafe at home? Have there been incidents of wandering, falling or other concerning signs? Is Mom or Dad starting to forget things like locking the door or turning off the stove? Is their health at risk? As dementia progresses, there are very real physical issues that arise. Is your loved one showing signs of paranoia, aggression, dehydration, or incontinence? Is the task of caring for my loved one too much? Have the needs of your loved one progressed to the point where being a caregiver is a full-time job? Is your loved one becoming completely dependent on you for eating, dressing, bathing and other tasks of daily living? Are you becoming burned out as a caregiver? Would my loved one benefit from professional care and social interaction? Would your loved one benefit from the activities, care and opportunities available at a community designed for the unique needs of individuals with dementia?   Deciding On the Right Care Option If you have decided [...]

By |2019-04-19T11:09:06-05:00April 19th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

What Our Residents Love About Avalon Memory Care

We understand how important it is to take care of those who have cared for us. That’s why when it comes time for someone to provide high quality care for your loved one with dementia, Avalon Memory Care is honored to be entrusted with the task. Although we know that nothing can ever truly replace living in their family home, we strive each and every day to make sure that our memory care communities feels like “coming home” to both seniors and their loved ones. Over the years, we have heard many positive things from our residents and their families about living at Avalon Memory Care. Here are just a few of the reasons why they love the support, care and assistance that Avalon Memory Care offers. We provide beautiful, serene surroundings designed to benefit the needs of our residents. Our memory care communities have been designed specifically to address the unique needs of individuals with dementia. We believe everyone should be surrounded by comfort and beauty, so every aspect of our buildings are created to ensure comfort and instill confidence. Our buildings feature easy-to-navigate hallways, visual cues and assistance at every step of the way. Residents can explore confidently without the risk of wandering, thanks to our secure entrances and exits – even enclosed patios and backyards! Our ultimate goal is to provide memory care residents the opportunity to live as independently as possible while receiving the assistance they need. We offer all the comforts of home. In addition to the beautiful and peaceful surroundings, our residents love our memory care homes because they truly do offer all the comforts of home. Residents live in the comfort and privacy of their own rooms in [...]

By |2019-04-12T09:05:12-05:00April 12th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Meaningful Connections Part Three: Empathy Is The Key

In this month’s Meaningful Connections blog, we share some ideas for using empathy and emotional intelligence to reach through the barriers of dementia and create meaningful interactions between you and your loved one. There are lots of subtle nuances that go into a meaningful conversation. Beyond just the words that are being spoken, we rely on non-verbal cues and our own personal experiences with the person in order to gain insight and meaning to what's being said (or what’s not being said). When you’re trying to connect with a loved one with dementia, sometimes conversation can be challenging and downright perplexing. Because of the way the disease progresses, your loved one’s communication style may become illogical and nonlinear, meaning you will have to read into their actions and motivations in order to understand what’s going on in their mind. Here are several ways you can use your emotional intelligence to push past difficulties and engage your loved one in a meaningful, fulfilling way. Recognize repetition as an invitation to explore. It’s common for a person with dementia to do or say something over and over, like a question or a word or even an activity. Taken on the surface, this can be incredibly frustrating for the other individual, especially if you’ve answered the same question over and over again. Instead of focusing on the action of the repetition, use your emotional understanding to look past the words and explore what the person is feeling or trying to say. Look for a reason Is your loved one trying to communicate something, or does repetition happen in certain surroundings or time of day? What may be causing this reaction? Focus on the emotion, not the behavior. Think [...]

By |2019-04-05T08:58:50-05:00April 5th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments