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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: 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

Socializing and Engagement: An Important Part of Memory Care

Human beings thrive on emotional connection. We are social beings, and are naturally drawn to each other to experience joy, sorrow, interest, excitement and every emotion you can think of. That need for socialization doesn’t go away as we age – in fact, it only increases in importance. For individuals living with a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease, staying socially engaged can actually help improve their quality of life.  Socialization – being with friends or loved ones, being involved in activities that are interesting to you or using your brain to solve a problem or perform a function – boosts your mood, improves your cognitive function and reduces stress. For memory care patients, being social and engaged reduces boredom, depression and disturbing behaviors as well as providing a sense of purpose and happiness. Here are four reasons why consistent engagement and socialization play such an important role in memory care: It improves brain health. Studies show that people in the early stages of dementia who have a broad social network have better cognitive function and a slower decline than those who are socially isolated. It provides a sense of belonging. Having a purpose is incredibly important to all of us, no matter how young or old we are. By interacting with others, we gain a feeling of belonging. Pair that with an exercise or activity that’s interesting or important to you, and your sense of self-worth increases. It can help enhance and maintain focus. When the brain is active and challenged, it becomes easier for older individuals to focus on tasks. This can help memory patients remain as independent as possible. It strengthens the connection to the present. Individuals with dementia often live in [...]

By |2019-03-29T08:49:56-05:00March 29th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Meaningful Connections Part Two: A Knack for Meaningful Conversations

In our first Meaningful Connections blog, we discussed tips for beginning a conversation with a loved on who has dementia. In this month’s blog, we have some ideas for making your conversations meaningful, engaging and fulfilling for both you and your loved one. As you know, a meaningful conversation is more than just exchanging words with one another. Connection occurs when we recognize each other as individual people, building upon existing relationships and shared interests and giving each other the opportunity to provide something to the other, whether it’s advice, assistance or even something as simple as a reason to laugh! Making meaningful conversation when a loved one has dementia can seem difficult at first because what seems logical to you will not always make logical sense to them. However, by looking at the conversation from different angles and searching for positive ways to interact, you and your loved one can successfully communicate and have fun, too! Make personal connections. Does your mom collect antique thimbles? Or perhaps your dad was an avid woodworker? Bring some objects of meaning with you during a visit, and have your loved one talk about their importance. While short-term memory is one of the first things to go, dementia patients can often clearly remember their past. Ask them to tell a story about their childhood, or go through a photo album and talk about the memories behind each photo. Use humor. Sharing a joke is a form of communication in and of itself, and a sense of humor is always appreciated no matter how old or young we are. Whether you’re watching a comedy or favorite TV show, or simply giggling together over something you did or said, laughing [...]

By |2019-03-22T08:50:38-05:00March 22nd, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

The Importance of Positive Environments For Memory Care Residents

Having a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease is disorienting, confusing and even frightening for the individual experiencing it. That’s why environments play such an important role in memory care treatment. A calming positive and soothing environment can play a significant role in a patient’s overall well-being and quality of life. Due to the nature of these cognitive diseases, creating a positive environment isn’t as easy as simply playing quiet music or minimizing distractions (although that can help greatly). Here is a closer view at how positive environments can be formed for memory care residents, and how they can help your loved one feel more confident and happy. What impact does environment have on seniors with memory issues? Due to the degenerative nature of dementias like Alzheimer’s, environments that were once familiar can suddenly become foreign. If there’s a lot of noise or distractions, it can be overwhelming. Things like shadows or even rugs can seem like empty holes in the floor or look like nightmarish figures. And when a person with memory issues becomes agitated, everything starts to become embroiled in a vicious cycle, leading to agitation and disruptive behaviors. A person with Alzheimer’s may wander if he or she doesn’t feel safe in the environment, or they may become physically aggressive. How can I create a positive environment for my loved one with dementia? If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, the most important thing is to have a familiar routine that he or she can understand and follow so they can feel like they’re at “home.” Here are some ways you can organize your home and routine in order to help your loved one: Clear your home of clutter and [...]

By |2019-03-15T09:21:25-05:00March 15th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Meaningful Connections Part One: Beginning Your Best Connection

When your loved one has dementia, it can be difficult to know how to talk to them. It can become frustrating, difficult or even sad to see the person we know and love struggle to find words or become more and more withdrawn. While dementia means you may not be able to communicate with your loved one as you did before, take heart – it is still possible to have meaningful moments and fulfilling connections. While communicating with a person who has dementia can take practice, it’s a skill we can all learn with patience and understanding. By learning how to communicate meaningfully with your loved one, you’ll be able to strengthen and maintain the relationship you have while improving the quality of both your lives. Over the next several months, we will provide tips and advice for communicating with your loved one in our Meaningful Connections series of blogs. This month, we focus on setting the stage for meaningful interactions and how to initiate a conversation with a loved one who has dementia. Set realistic expectations. Understand that not every interaction with your loved one will go well. People with dementia have good days and bad days, just like all of us, and while sometimes they can be as sharp as a tack, there are other days when they may be too agitated or confused to carry on a conversation. Remember that spending time together is what’s most important – not what you do or what you talk about. Minimize distractions and be present. It’s hard for individuals with dementia to focus on more than one thing at a time. Before you begin any conversation, turn off the television or radio, shut the door if it’s [...]

By |2019-03-08T10:59:33-05:00March 8th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Dedicated Memory Care Community vs. Assisted Living Community

When your loved one is diagnosed with a memory impairment such as Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia you know you will eventually need to find a community for them to call home. With both memory care and assisted living communities as options it can be confusing, what is the difference? Assisted Living Assisted Living communities tend to be designed to be larger in size to maximize the return on the construction investment.  However, larger communities are often more challenging for individuals with memory impairments. These types of communities can be confusing and over stimulating.  Typically assisted living offers assistance with medications, bathing, dressing, meals, and housekeeping.  The staff often have only a few hours of memory care training if any.  The majority of residents just need assistance with their activities of daily living. Memory Care Memory Care Communities such as Avalon Memory Care are specialized.  The communities are  deliberately designed to be smaller in size and exclusively with memory care in mind.  Each community often has shared living areas and offer family style dining options.  The teams at memory care communities receive specialized training and works each and every day with individuals with memory issues.  Programing and actives are also designed for those with dementia and other types of memory loss.  Often these communities are able to minimize medications because they better understand their resident. For over 25 years, Avalon has specialized in only memory services and prides itself on its individualized programing.  Our team understands each person is unique and our goal is to provide meaningful living each and every day. Making the best decision for your loved one’s future can at times be daunting.  We are here to help and answer your [...]

By |2018-11-19T14:00:48-05:00November 19th, 2018|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments