Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Care Options

An older adult with glasses on sitting on a couch and looking out the window with a serious expression.

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When a loved one has Alzheimer’s, it can help to learn more about the condition and how it affects them. This way, you can support them, help them feel fulfilled, and get them appropriate care to help them thrive.

Alzheimer’s is a complex neurodegenerative condition, and it affects every aspect of a person’s life. When symptoms become severe, and your loved one needs more support than you can give, it’s time to consider a move to memory care.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that usually begins to develop around the age of 65. It’s the most common form of dementia and accounts for most cases of the condition. Alzheimer’s—and most other forms of dementia—causes brain cells to begin to degenerate and die.

This eventually leads to issues with memory, thinking, decision-making, and behavior. In the earlier stages, adults living with Alzheimer’s may be able to continue living at home, only needing minor help with their day-to-day lives. But as the condition progresses, symptoms usually become much worse. People experiencing any form of cognitive decline or memory impairment often need a more advanced level of care.

There’s currently no known cure for this condition, making it essential to learn how to recognize the signs it’s beginning to develop.

Signs That a Loved One May Have Alzheimer’s

When Alzheimer’s begins to develop, it might be difficult to notice the signs. It typically starts with occasional forgetfulness or a bit of confusion here and there. It can be hard to tell whether your loved one is simply having an age-related moment of forgetfulness or if something more concerning is afoot.

So try to keep an eye out for:

  • Forgetfulness that’s starting to disrupt their daily life, like forgetting important events, dates, or meetings
  • Difficulty with problem-solving
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Wandering and getting lost
  • An increase in irritability and anxiety
  • Behavioral changes
  • Communication difficulties

If you notice these signs in your loved one, seek medical advice from a healthcare professional.

What Is Memory Care?

When older adults are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they’ll likely eventually need a higher level of care than can be arranged at home. That’s when memory care communities become excellent options.

Memory care is a specialized form of care designed specifically to meet the unique needs of people living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other forms of memory impairment. It provides your loved one with a safe and supportive environment where they can be surrounded by a team of trained caregivers.

Unlike other forms of senior living, the teams working in memory care communities are trained to handle the unique complications caused by Alzheimer’s. There are plenty of licensed healthcare professionals on-site to help with clinical care and trained therapists to help encourage a supportive environment.

How Does Memory Care Help?

All of the services offered in memory care communities are designed to promote cognitive function, provide a safe home, and bring joy to the lives of every community member.

Memory care provides a structured environment designed to reduce confusion or agitation by using:

  • Clear signage in every hallway
  • Color-coded cues to make it easier to navigate the environment
  • Carefully designed layouts

But these communities don’t just follow a strict set of rules to restrict your loved one’s movements. Their independence and autonomy are still strongly supported. Memory care aims to focus on what your loved one can do, not what they can’t.

Plus, there are plenty of activities, classes, and programs to keep things entertaining and exciting. Whether it’s a music night, an art class, or anything creative, memory care is full of interesting things to do to keep your loved one happy and entertained.

An older adult in a senior living community sitting on a couch, smiling and having a conversation with a caregiver.

Is Memory Care Right for My Loved One?

When thinking about memory care, it’s important to know that this is a deeply personal decision. You’ll need to consider what your loved one needs, what they want, and what kind of support they require to live happy and healthy.

If they’re constantly experiencing symptoms of any type of memory impairment or have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, our memory care community, Juniper Village at Monroeville, may be able to help. So contact our community today! We’d love to show you and your loved one around their future home.

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