How to Discover the Joys of Senior Living

Senior living facilities offer a vibrant community with awaiting opportunities and support.

Dear Residents,  

If you have recently joined a senior living community in the Allentown area, welcome! Senior living communities offer a vibrant community with awaiting opportunities and support. With a multitude of benefits available to the potential friendships you can make, and the activities offered, you will find the fulfillment you’ve been searching for. In this blog post, we will focus on the benefits of senior living and making the most of this chapter. Creating new memories and exploring your options will create opportunities to thrive, let’s dive in. 

Participate in Enriching Activities and Programs

The activities offered encourage friendship between residents, and overall fun. The importance of participating in activities can be overlooked, taking part in social interaction creates meaningful connections. No matter who you are, as you get older, cognitive stimulation is necessary to help keep your mind as sharp as possible. Having an activity to look forward to will help create some structure to your experience, and a positive outlook. Not only are activities good for your mental health, but also physical. Exercise programs of all levels will help maintain your strength and flexibility. Communities have activities because it enhances resident’s quality of life. Choose to participate! 

Some activities they may offer: Trivia, Cards, morning stretch, movies, off campus trips, bingo, live music, crafts, and games. You can participate in all of these and more if you choose! 

Take Advantage of the Wide Range of Amenities Available 

The amenities at senior living communities are specifically designed for you, your needs, and your interests. You can enjoy helpful and entertaining amenities all in your community and a safe environment. These amenities can help to contribute to a better quality of life, and opportunities for socialization, relaxation, and feeling a connection to where you are living. At a senior living community, taking advantage of the amenities offered to you brings an opportunity to you that you might not have if you weren’t here. Most senior living communities cater to a wide variety of individuals and their interests.  

Some amenities they may offer: Ice cream parlor, beauty salon and barber shop, library, outdoor patios, a computer room with high-speed internet, a walking path, and free WI-FI access.  

Enhance Your Quality of Life with Senior Living Services

Services are crucial in senior living communities because they provide the support and care you as a resident may need. Some communities may offer 24/7 nursing, so there is no fear of waiting for help to arrive. They can provide professional on-site assistance to care for you to improve your overall quality of life. Housekeeping services offer a clean and safe environment, forget the burden of household chores and discover a piece of mind knowing your room and the community is regularly cleaned. Some senior living communities offer scheduled medical transportation which gives you access to your healthcare needs in a safe manner. Get to your medical appointments, diagnostic tests, specialists and other healthcare services easily.  

Enjoy Delicious Homestyle Dining

Communities may offer multiple meal selections and options for you to choose from. An experienced culinary team prepares healthy meals for you to enjoy and a comfortable ambiance. Something to look out for in a senior living community or when deciding to join one, is if they offer a certified dietician and individual dietary needs are reviewed for each individual dining plan (diabetic, no added salt, mechanical soft, dairy free, etc.). Some senior living communities offer private indoor dining rooms, residents can invite their families for special occasions to celebrate or get together. This may be different from “home” but homestyle dining offers daily social interaction, fresh meals, and a comfortable place to gather and enjoy. 

Be a Part of a Vibrant Community

In senior living, you have the opportunity to meet people with similar interests or backgrounds, there’s a wide range of residents and everyone is welcome! You have the chance to create special friendships, create new stories and converse about old ones, and gain a sense of belonging. Senior living communities bring joy, comfort, and excitement for the future. Having a maintenance-free lifestyle opens other doors for your well-being and your senior living journey. 

Senior living offers an abundance of ways to find joy in this new chapter. From enriching activities and a range of amenities to services offered and homestyle dining, being a part of a community creates a fulfilling lifestyle. Creating meaningful connections and embracing these new opportunities will lead to a worry-free environment and newfound happiness. We encourage you to find joy in the opportunities ahead and excitedly embrace what awaits in senior living.  

Memory Care Facility

How to Find the Best in Allentown, NY:
If Your Loved One is Having Early Signs of Dementia

According to the World Health Organization, more than 55 million people (about twice the population of Texas) worldwide are living with dementia. If your loved one has started showing signs of dementia and you are looking for a memory care facility in Allentown to provide them with proper and safe care, we’d like to help you in your search. Choosing a memory care facility can affect your loved one’s quality of life and overall well-being. In this blog, we will discuss making informed decisions, and how to find the best memory care facility for your loved one through proper research. 

What are the signs of early dementia? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, early dementia signs include problems with: 

  • Short-term memory. 
  • Keeping track of a purse or wallet. 
  • Paying bills. 
  • Planning and preparing meals. 
  • Remembering appointments. 
  • Traveling out of the neighborhood. 

Conditions usually start slow and progress as time goes on. Contact a doctor if you or your loved one are having difficulties with any of these signs.  

Location 

When choosing a location, your loved one being comfortable is most important. Is it a new area? Is it the same town they’ve lived in for years? It all depends on your loved ones or your preferences to find the best location to choose. According to The Ridge Senior Living, when choosing a location, the most important factors include how close the family is, the ability of the location to meet your loved ones needs, the surrounding area, and the facilities nearby. Begin your search with facilities near your loved one, it may be best for them to stay within an area they are familiar with and attach memories. 

Ratings and Reviews 

When researching memory care facilities for your loved one, it’s important to research ratings and reviews from family members of current residents. According to A Place for Mom, look for thoughtful reviews and how they compare to ratings, sometimes reviews can be biased or inaccurate, but it’s important to take the time to look and evaluate all the information in front of you. Certain specifics to look for when looking at reviews on websites are the amount, if it’s a family member, specific details, reoccurring topics, and verification of the review. If you find something negative, don’t be afraid to ask the facility more on that topic and evaluate their response when you go on a tour.  

Book a Tour 

Taking a tour of the potential memory care facility your loved one will be at is crucial. This is your time to assess the environment and cleanliness of the facility, if it gives off a positive ambiance. While on a tour, you will meet some staff who would be in charge of your loved one’s care and needs. You want to look for compassionate and kind employees who will put your loved one’s needs first. You have the opportunity to interact with staff and get a feel for their level of training and demeanor. During your tour, keep an eye out for safety precautions the facility takes, like secure entryways and staff to resident ratios. Many facilities offer levels of care or specialized care plans, you can learn more on your tour asking questions about their programs offered and how they evaluate residents with dementia.  

Remember, it is not you in memory care, consider your loved one’s comfortability in this facility and ask yourself if this is the best environment for them. 

Staff 

When it comes to memory care, the staff is extremely important to your loved one’s experience. Working in memory care takes passion, patience, and grace. Something to look out for at a memory care facility is if the staff are Certified Dementia Practitioners. They have a special knowledge and training in dementia care, and the various stages and challenges. They are trained in giving personalized care to each resident based on your loved one’s specific and unique needs. When dementia progresses, Certified Dementia Practitioners have the knowledge on how to manage behavior and use redirection techniques to create a supportive environment. Remember to ask on your tour if any of the facility’s staff are Certified Dementia Practitioners.  

Security and Safety 

What’s more important than safety? Many memory care units are designed for people living with dementia to do it safely and for families to feel comfortable their loved ones are in a protected environment. You want your loved one to be able to move around freely and not be in a confined space, which is why doing the proper research and asking the important questions is necessary. When residents can move freely and safely, it can help to reduce anxiety and confusion. That feeling of independence is important for them to hold on to, as A Place for Mom stated, “sheltered freedom.” Things to look for in a facility that promotes safety: 

  • Open floor plans 
  • Secure outdoor spaces 
  • Video monitors 
  • Wander Guard 
  • Locked doors 
  • Bed monitoring systems 

Cost and Financials 

As you begin your search for a memory care facility, you will notice the range in prices and how different needs could affect the overall cost of living. According to A Place for Mom, the national median of a memory care facility costs $5,800 a month in the United States. This can all be affected by location. It can be hard to grasp the amount of money memory care can be, let’s discuss what could be included in the price…24/7 care, bathing/dressing/grooming, housekeeping services, protocol systems, medication management, transportation, activities, amenities, and dining. Some memory care facilities offer all-inclusive pricing, paying only a monthly fee, regardless of which level of care is needed. 

When it comes to affording memory care, there are options. Insurance, savings and assets, veterans’ benefits, Medicaid, family support, state and local programs, nonprofit organizations, reverse mortgage, and life insurance conversions.  

Activities and Amenities 

When doing your research, look out for activity calendars that offer stimulating programs for residents, especially in memory care. Most facilities offer fun and engaging activities for all residents and some specifically are tailored towards residents with dementia. Having amenities like patios, hair salons, a library, WI-FI and more helps your loved one feel at home and able to independently still make choices. Activities help your loved one stay active and build a sense of daily structure, which can improve their mood.  

Trust Your Gut Feeling 

When deciding or researching a memory care facility, trusting your intuition is an important factor to consider. Ask yourself if it feels right for your loved one and create a pros and cons list. When you tour a memory care facility, you may feel an emotional connection to that facility, or you may not. The atmosphere of the facility can either bring you comfort or warning signs, ask yourself: 

 Is it a warm environment?  

Does it seem well-maintained?  

Is the staff engaging and compassionate? 

Are their safety measures being implemented? 

Do they offer daily stimulating activities? 

Your gut is a powerful tool, this is an important time to use it and trust it. Your loved one needs proper care with a patient care team ready to create a fulfilling life for them. If you are struggling with your loved one’s diagnosis and need to talk to someone, The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America offers Alzheimer’s and Dementia support groups. You can also research in your local town the support groups that are offered.  

You and your loved one are not alone in this search, there are many resources and opportunities to create a beautiful life. Take the time to do the proper research and consider the right care your loved one needs.  

Navigating Memory Care:

A Comprehensive Planning Guide for Families

Watching someone you love experience memory loss and confusion can be emotionally challenging. You’ve come to the decision memory care is the best form of support your loved one needs and will offer them the best quality of life. In this blog, we will dive into what steps are next, giving you the knowledge and resources to make the essential choices for your loved one. We all want our loved ones to receive compassionate care and the correct amount of attention, so let’s get started. 

#1 Research Memory Care Communities  

After deciding, an easy first step to research is typing in memory care facilities in you or your loved one’s area. Click around and spend some time on the websites that appear. When researching in the designated area, take the time to focus on pricing. Some facilities offer a monthly fee or “all-inclusive”, while others offer prices based on the level of care your loved one needs. Pricing can have a significant impact where you choose, but other factors like amenities, services, location and reviews also play a role.  

When it comes to amenities, it’s important facilities offer assistance with daily activities. Daily activities include bathing, dressing, and medication management. Activities with cognitive stimulation and social engagement will be vital to your loved one’s overall well-being and cognitive function. Locate the top facilities within budget that you believe will promote the best sense of belonging and a reduced feeling of isolation. 

#2 Take a Tour 

It’s important to see the facilities in person rather than on their website. Observe your visit closely. Pay attention to whether the staff are friendly and helpful, if the residents look happy, and if it feels comfortable. Explore the kind of activities going on, art therapy, puzzles, music, are some of the stimulating activities memory care facilities should be offering. On this tour, it’s important to be able to ask questions and come prepared. Evaluate the safety and security measures being followed, handrails, well-lit rooms, and secure outdoor areas. The “fun stuff” on a tour is important, keep tabs if the amenities match what they advertise on their website, if they are up to standard as well as checking to see if their nurses are Certified Dementia Practitioners. 

When touring a facility, ask questions regarding the staff to resident ratio to evaluate if proper personalized care will be provided. This is your time to express any concerns, ask questions, and see the physical environment for yourself. 

#3 Evaluate Financial Planning and Support 

To understand and be up to date, you’ll need to explore funding options. Consulting with a financial advisor to look at your loved one’s financial situation can help you determine the best payment options. Familiarize yourself with the different costs like meals, accommodations, and specialized programs. Create a budget if needed, and plan for any future needs for your loved one as the disease progresses.  

Evaluate your loved one’s financial situation; their income, savings, and assets. You can explore funding options to help with the cost of memory care, like Medicaid. If you plan on creating a budget, take into account any ongoing costs for your loved one, medical and personal, to make sure you or your loved one does not have any financial strain in the future. Joining a support group can help you learn from other’s experiences and get advice from others in similar situations. 

#4 Discuss a Care Plan in Advance 

It’s important to develop a care plan which is individually based on your loved one’s specific needs. This disease will eventually take away their ability to make cognizant decisions when it comes to health. It’s important to lay out from the beginning what the necessary steps are to take as this disease continues to progress. Creating a will in advance will allow your loved one’s assets and belongings to be distributed how they specified before the turn of the diagnosis. Choosing a power of attorney, AKA “proxy”, should be someone close and able to make proper medical decisions. Check out more about financial planning when choosing memory care. 

Include family members and healthcare professionals when creating and deciding on your loved one’s treatment. Discussing treatment options with doctors and geriatric specialists can help lead you to make the proper decisions about care options, for treatment, medication, and symptom management. Remember to consider your loved one’s preferences so you can make decisions tailored to them and their needs. One of the most important reminders with a loved one in memory care is regularly review and update the plan. If your loved one’s condition has changed, it may be time to reevaluate the care plan and treatment options.  

#5 Plan and Prepare for the Transition 

As your loved one moves into memory care, here are three main things to remember: 

-Change the mailing address to your loved one’s new address. 

-Cancel any cable and Wi-Fi subscriptions. 

-Update addresses on cards and accounts. 

Being prepared will make the transition much smoother and more efficient. Prepare for the emotional transition as well, openly communicate with your loved one on their needs and preferences. For example, validate their emotions, take part in activities with them, create a personalized living space to keep your loved one comfortable, seek support for yourself if you need, and stay positive! Click here for more information on packing for memory care. 

When preparing for the transition of your loved one into a memory care facility, make sure to share all relevant information with the facility staff. Letting the staff know their medical history, needs, and daily routines will help to ensure a proper transition because it will be a big change for them. From then on, actively staying engaged with your loved one, staff, and the facility will help you to stay up to date on their well-being and any changes.
 

Deciding memory care is the best form of care for your loved one, is not easy. But, by taking the proactive steps needed, you can help ensure your loved one has the best possible care and life. This transition can bring many mixed emotions to you, your family and your loved one. Remind yourself you are making a decision to prioritize your loved one’s health, safety, comfort and well-being. Stay on top of your and the facilities communication and always openly address concerns. Embrace this new chapter. You are not alone in this ride, seek help and assistance where needed, spend time with your loved one, visit them for events, connect with their stories and remember to always celebrate small victories.   

Book a tour here to see if we’re the right fit for your loved one.  

When is Personal Care the Right Choice?

Five signs to look for when trying to decide if
personal care is right for your loved one.

Personal care is a big step, and knowing when it is the right choice for your loved one can be difficult. But it’s a choice that can offer a better quality of life for yourself as a caregiver and more comfort and safety for your loved one. Let’s discuss a few important signs to look for in daily life that illustrate how personal care could benefit your loved one. 

1) Daily Activities are Hard 

Activities like laundry, dishes, cleaning the house, exercise, and bathing can become difficult for loved ones, especially those who have limited mobility, health or cognitive issues. According to the Chicago Tribune, over 35 percent of people over age 65 fall in their homes once a year, increasing to 50 percent for those aged 75 and above. Falling, especially if your loved one lives alone, can be severe. While it can be challenging for loved ones to accept the reality of being unable to take care of their home, caregivers must recognize these difficulties to provide help. If you are a family member of a loved one who lives alone, check in on them to see how they manage their day-to-day lives. 

Personal Care Offers Help for Everyday Needs 

At a senior living facility, residents have access to all the benefits of independent living, but with help available for laundry, cleaning, and bathing services, to name a few. In addition, there are skilled, licensed nurses to care for residents in a safe environment—where falls and other accidents can be prevented, “Far too often families wait until an ‘event’ occurs before they have their loved one move into assisted living,” says Chrissy Smith, Area Operations Director and Administrator at Forest Hill Heights. “Families should consider not waiting for a hospital or rehabilitation stay but instead once they note a decline to move sooner than later so that the potential resident can truly enjoy the amenities offered by assisted living.”  

2) Getting the Proper Nutrition is Difficult 

Receiving proper nutrition at any age is a necessity for overall health. According to Feeding America, seniors who are food insecure are more likely to have a higher risk for chronic health conditions and mental health conditions like depression. Not eating enough, not eating the right number of necessary foods, or eating the wrong foods can affect anyone physically and mentally. Bone fragility, weak immune system, risk of hospitalization, and poor healing are some side effects of poor nutrition. 

Personal Care Offers Homestyle Dining and Medication Management  

Dining at a senior living facility allows residents to maintain a proper diet with nutritious meals featuring plenty of options. Smith says, “Many medications require being taken around mealtimes with food. By managing the medications around those mealtimes, taken at the correct dosage, we can see improvement within the health of new residents.” Chef-prepared meals create a proper balance of nutrients, including fresh ingredients and dishes approved by certified dieticians. Menus allow for choice, and many facilities offer an additional menu of daily favorites. Accommodations can also be made for dietary restrictions like no added salt, diabetic, gluten-free, mechanical soft, and others. 

3) A Lack of Socialization 

Staying social and active through hobbies, friends, and activities is essential. But when people live alone, not being able to move around or drive somewhere can prevent them from enjoying and living their life. The National Institute on Aging describes how research has linked social isolation to health issues like heart disease, obesity, and cognitive decline. “Someone who is developing increasing issues with their activities of daily living, they also may be starting to isolate socially,” says Dr. David Dunn, Forest Hill Heights Medical Director. Everyone needs some socialization to spark their cognitive functions, build relationships, and enjoy life. 

Personal Care Has Activities for Residents to Enjoy Everyday  

At a senior living facility, residents have the option to be around people, but also have their alone time. Senior living facilities have activity calendars with stimulating activities including trivia, bingo, dancing, movies, happy hours, card games, walks, stretches, and music classes. Being around people with similar interests and situations allows for friendship and a better quality of life.  

4) Their Physician Recommends Personal Care

If you have yet to ask your loved one’s physician whether or not they think a senior living facility could provide a better quality of life, now is the time. Getting a doctor’s opinion can help a caregiver or a loved one understand that personal care may be the better and safer option. As a caregiver, it may relieve the stress you feel providing daily care and worrying about their safety and well-being. In addition, doctors can help provide medical reasons why it is a safer environment for your loved one. 

Personal Care is Staffed by Highly Trained Professionals 

When information and advice come from a personal doctor, it can bring comfort because your loved one trusts them. The nurses and doctors in senior living facilities are highly trained professionals who can make your loved one feel that same amount of safety and comfort. With years of experience and dedication to the well-being of residents, they are professionals who practice passion. Whether it’s certificates in long-term care administration, certified dementia practitioners, becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, or developing individualized care plans for each resident, the entire care team’s skill and dedication remains focused on residents’ safety and comfort.  

5) As a Caregiver, You’re Struggling 

Hiring a caregiver can be expensive, and because of this many families help each other out. It can be a constant worry, but you don’t want to upset your loved one by bringing up the topic of senior living. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, caregivers spend on average 13 days (about 2 weeks) per month on shopping, food, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and medication administration. Colleen Roy, Administrator of Orchard Heights urges caregivers to give themselves the benefit of time in this decision “Please don’t wait until you’re in a crisis to make a decision for your loved one. Give yourself the gift of time, so you are comfortable and able to find the right fit.”  

Personal Care Has Caregivers in Every Department  

In a senior living facility, caregivers can be found in every department. Caring people specialize in different aspects of providing care in dining to activities, and transportation, maintenance, laundry, and housekeeping services, with licensed nurses available 24/7. There are always caregivers helping residents lead happy and productive lives and, most importantly, with independence and dignity. 

 

Choosing personal care is a hard decision to make but it’s a choice that can improve your loved one’s health, social life, and overall quality of life—and allow caregivers and loved ones the time to spend together in more meaningful moments. 

If you think we are the right fit for a loved one or friend, book a tour here. We would love to meet you.

Gratitude Improves Attitude

Practicing gratitude helps strengthen relationships, improves memory, and builds self-esteem.

Gratitude Improves Attitude

Life often seems to move fast. First, you blink, and you wonder where the time has gone. Then, you reflect, and it feels like you haven’t taken enough time to appreciate the little things in life. The definition of gratitude, according to Merriam-Webster, is the state of being grateful: THANKFULNESS.

A common misconception of gratitude is that people only practice it during good times, like getting a promotion or a new car. But everyone should practice gratitude daily; it has proven effects of increasing happiness and can help lessen depression (NAMI, The Impact of Gratitude on Mental Health).

In fact, it’s easy to practice gratitude; just a few simple strategies can change your outlook on life. And, if you can learn to show appreciation in good and bad times, you will be grateful throughout all aspects of your life.

 

Write it Down

Grab a notebook or piece of paper, even a napkin will do, and write three things you are grateful for each day. Try not to overthink this. It can be as specific or broad as you’d like, from family and friends to the delicious pancakes you had for breakfast to your favorite sweater.

When writing down what you are grateful for, remember there is no wrong answer, and it should be personal. Writing things down will help you connect with what you are thankful for. Then, be sure to take a minute and reflect on it. For example, your loved one is in assisted living, and they’re happy because they don’t feel as lonely anymore.

 

Say Thank You At Least Once a Day

Many of us say thank you quite a bit in our everyday lives. Such as when someone holds the door for you, you’ve finished ordering at a drive-thru, or you give “the wave” to someone in traffic who lets you through. But have you ever taken the time to really think about what that thank you means? Why are you saying thank you?

Understanding the why not only helps you know what the thank you is for but also helps the other person feel good about what they did for you. For example, a friend calls you without knowing you are struggling with something. You say, “I have been feeling lonely lately, and your call just made my day. I appreciate you and thank you”. You can make someone else’s day while bringing gratitude into your life. Thank you is a beautiful way to elevate your spirit and someone else’s.

Reminder Signs

Visual representations of what you want to accomplish will help you succeed when practicing gratitude. It can be little like a coffee mug that says, “Filled with Gratitude” or a sign in your office or bedroom reminding you to “Be Grateful.” Or maybe it’s a post-it on your mirror that says, “Be Thankful Today.”

These “visual cues” can help you to remember to practice gratitude. Because we all know when we are busy, it’s easy to forget. So, when you read the phrase or see the sign, take time to stop and focus on how it pertains to the specific moment or event in your life.

 

The Art of Gratitude

Practicing gratitude helps strengthen relationships, improves memory, and builds self-esteem. Try to incorporate gratitude daily and see how it can change your perspective, mood, or outlook. Feeling, showing, or expressing gratitude for the things and people in your life can make a difference. Choose gratitude.

If you think we are the right fit for a loved one or friend, book a tour here. We would love to meet you.

Memory Care Facility in Allentown, PA

The purpose of memory care facilities is to provide a safe and healthy environment for residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of memory impairment.

How To Find the Best Memory Care Facility in the Allentown, PA Area

Alzheimer’s effects more than 6 million Americans, and that number is expected to only rise. It is uncertain, there’s no way of telling how this disease will develop over time for your loved one because of its unpredictable ways. It can progress rapidly or painfully slow, early, mid, and late-stage Alzheimer’s is the cycle this disease follows.

Alzheimer’s and dementia require around the clock care, caregivers are a lot of times family, and it can be a burden on them to dedicate themselves to taking care of their loved one alone. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 11 million Americans are caregivers for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, unpaid.

Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of memory impairment can affect people’s and families lives drastically. To ensure your loved one gets the help they need, look out for early warning signs of cognitive impairment. When it does come time to make a care plan, turning to memory care will help in the process of planning.

The purpose of memory care facilities is to provide a safe and healthy environment for residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of memory impairment. Receiving a diagnosis like Alzheimer’s requires your loved one to live in a safe environment with trained professionals. Choosing memory care can be one of the best options to receive top tier and individualized care.

There are approximately 30,000 assisted living facilities with memory care units included in them, making it important for you or your loved one to find which works best.

It can be difficult to narrow down a memory care facility that’s right for your loved one. The most important part when selecting a memory care facility is making sure it checks all the boxes. When choosing a community, take time to research and discover what these facilities have to offer.

Use the following guide to assist in the decision for the best memory care facility.

Look for Management and Experience in Memory Care

Reputation

Having a good reputation in the community is important to the facility and potential residents and families. The best way to judge a reputation is by experiencing it, it’s easy to make quick judgements so we recommend reading reviews, reaching out to residents or families in the area, and scheduling a tour.

Licensing and Inspections

The state regulates assisted living communities by putting in place protocols, procedures, and sometimes with unannounced visits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), regulate nursing homes with evaluations posted on their website but not assisted living communities. Each state regulates assisted living facilities in place of the federal government. Each state is different and usually is monitored by the state’s health department or social services. To learn more, click here.

Longevity and Certification of Staff

Having experienced and well-trained staff is crucial to a properly run facility. The staff who have been there for years know the residents well, are very familiar with the facility and are experienced. When assisting residents, you or your loved one want a staff member who knows what they are doing. This isn’t to say younger, newer staff are not qualified, but staff with higher longevity have more experience working in this environment. It’s important to note if the staff are Certified Dementia Practitioner’s, having staff who understands and is trained in the disease is incredibly valuable to you and your loved one.

Look for a Friendly Atmosphere and Environment in a Memory Care Unit

Facility

Having a clean facility is important in choosing the right space. The ambience is a big factor to consider when touring, does it feel comfortable, or does it feel off-putting? Is the facility like the pictures online or is it completely different looking, many facilities do this to get customers in the door but it’s deceiving. In the facility, pay attention to whether the staff is warm and friendly or if they seem like they don’t want to be there. Keep in mind picturing yourself or your loved one walking through the halls or sitting having dinner with residents, it’s important to feel comfortable.

Staff

When choosing a memory care facility, the staff is arguably one of the most important aspects of making a decision. The staff are going to be the ones taking care of your loved one. They will be responsible for administering medicine, helping with mobility, running engaging activities, and caring for your loved one’s overall safety. Keep in mind if staff looks well-groomed and if they seem to care about their positions in facilities as they are responsible for residents. People who work in memory care should be passionate in this line of work, find people you and your loved one connect with and feel comfortable around.

Look for Quality Services and Amenities of Memory Care

Care

Can you and your loved one’s needs be met? Will the nurses and staff cater to your loved one for their specific required needs? These are questions to think about before making the final decision about where to go. 24/7 nursing is important to have when aging, someone to always be there in case of emergency. Look into how care is administered and how it is determined to cater to your loved one. Ask questions on the tour, reach out to the director, and read all the information the facility will provide in detail.

Transportation

Having transportation to be able to take your loved one to appointments is needed to transport them safely instead of having to get family or friends during the day to come and do it. This is an important amenity to families of loved ones and residents.

Outside Space

As humans, everyone needs fresh air. Having a path to walk on or somewhere to be able to sit and get fresh air is important, especially living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s easy to become cooped up a lot of the time, and not want to socialize or come out of the room because it seems scary. Going outside and moving will help any feelings of isolation or sadness. Look for some vitamin D!

Some facilities offer many different types of amenities like an ice cream parlor, barber shop, hair salon, library and more!

Look for Safety Features Offered in the Memory Care Unit

Security

Living in a memory care facility, there should be a certain level of security for residents and staff. If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, having security implementations such as Wander Guard will help monitor them. If a resident tries to leave the building alone or starts wandering, it’s a simple way to help avoid accidents and to keep your loved one safe.

Call System

Having a call system in place will help with the safety of your loved one. Residents can notify nurses if they are not feeling well or have fallen, it’s a system that helps staff be aware of issues in the building since they can’t be everywhere at once. The call system is a feature that helps bring families peace of mind because they know their loved ones are in constant care, which is better than at home.

Ask for Their Recreational Activities Calendar of Memory Care

Interest

Many facilities offer a wide variety of social and recreational activities for residents, with a lot of diversity to cater to different interests. When researching facilities, focus on activities that interest your loved one and seems fun. At a memory care facility, there are more options than at home, but it’s still important to find activities your loved one will enjoy. Facilities that offer a variety will be helpful in creating a wonderful atmosphere. From indoors to outdoors to exercise classes and karaoke, many facilities offer a lot of options for residents to socialize.

Family

With the hundreds of activities assisted living facilities can put together, important activities also include family involvement as well as the community. Having a facility that enriches and encourages families to come and visit their loved ones is important to help maintain close bonds. Holiday parties with family, birthdays, and get togethers can help residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia stay connected.

Look for Memory Care Quality Food Service

Dietary Needs

Most people have different needs or specific restrictions when it comes to their diet, especially as they age. It can be recommended by your doctor if suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, an allergy, or a personal choice. Making sure a facility offers special dietary services is an important feature. While looking, it’s important to also research if the menu is approved by a dietitian.

Visitors

Look into whether residents can have visitors and what that cost would be. Some residents might not be able to leave the facility because they are not able, so it’s important to see if the facility allows family members to have private parties or gatherings.

Ask Questions About Contacts and Fees

When on a tour or speaking with the facility employees ask questions like the following:

➢ Are there community entrance fees?

➢ Are there any extra costs?

➢ Can you age in place?

➢ How often do rates increase?

Some facilities charge these fees, and some do not. Each facility will work differently for everyone based on their financial situation and each facility offers different services to residents. Find what’s best for you and your loved one!

This checklist is meant to help get you or your loved one’s mind to begin thinking about important aspects to consider when discussing moving into memory care. There are many attributes that pertain to where you or your loved one make the choice. It’s important to do the research and investigate certain features that would help make the decision easier. It can be difficult to narrow down the right place, especially with cost being a large factor. Use resources to help in this decision and trust the process!

Being in a facility dedicated to helping your loved one live a full life is the purpose of memory care. They will receive 24-hour care, a safe environment for them to live their lives in, activities to keep up stimulation and socialization, and peace of mind for families that a loved one is in a safe space designed for them and their diagnosis.

Let’s further discuss key points on why memory care could be the right choice for you and your loved one:

Reason 1:- 24/7 Nursing

Having licensed nursing professionals on-site at all times will provide comfort for you and your loved one when in memory care. It gives you, your loved one, and family members peace of mind knowing medical professionals are always readily available day through night. With Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can be hard to communicate when not feeling well, or something is wrong. Professional nurses who are trained in memory care can communicate with you or your loved one safely and more efficiently.

As families accept the reality of their loved ones being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the idea of taking care of them can be overwhelming. Family members usually don’t have the skills or tools necessary to properly take care of their loved one. Memory care helps release that burden of feeling like someone needs to put their life on hold. There are nurses who work at these facilities dedicating their lives to patients  like your loved one. Memory care facility nurses train to become strong communicators and advocators for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. With 24/7 nurses, you and your loved one will gain a sense of safety.

 

Memory care facility 24/7 nurses on-site

Reason 2: – Having a 24/7 Activities Calendar

When living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, stimulating the mind and body is essential to creating a better-quality life. It’s easy for Alzheimer’s or dementia patients to become isolated and overwhelmed very easily, curated activities for cognitive function can help your loved one live a better quality of life. The reason behind 24/7 activities is to intrigue every type of resident, which could be late in the afternoon or at 3 in the morning. The purpose is to have the opportunity for interaction for residents available regardless of the time. Some residents are night owls, others early birds, both have the chance to do what they want and when.

With Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, every single day is different. It’s hard to know how they will react to something or what kind of mood that day will bring.  Having an activities schedule robust enough that it is intriguing but not overwhelming is important to the proper care. Memory care facilities create an active environment with skilled nurses to help guide your loved one to a better quality of life while living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Memory care facility 24/7 activities schedule

Reason 3: – Amenities Available

Memory care facilities offer opportunities one would not receive at home. Your loved one would be able to have different “perks” right down the hall unlike at home. Memory care facilities and their amenities can help to uncomplicate life, doing so by offering a sense of freedom while still being cared for. Let’s say your loved one really likes to get out of the house and explore different things like going to the barber shop or the nail salon. Memory care facilities offer amenities like those to bring a sense of normalcy to residents and gives them the independence to explore right there.

 emory care facility amenities, hair salon

Reason 4: – Healthy Dining Program

At memory care facilities, it is very important to residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Usually, dementia friendly meals are served to keep residents physically and mentally healthy as much as possible. When suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s easy to forget to eat, not remember if you did already, or become too overwhelmed. A balanced diet is important because your loved one can’t be responsible for taking care of themselves alone anymore.

Memory care facilities help monitor and create balanced meals for residents. They also give the option to not dine alone and create conversation daily while being fueled with the proper nutrition.

Memory care facility dietician approved meal

Reason 5: – Making it Feel Close to Home

Memory care facilities don’t have to feel like an uncomfortable place. The staff and volunteers have a wonderful gift of making it feel close to home. When moving into a memory care facility, make sure to bring similar furniture, or items that make your loved one feel at home. It’s possible they won’t remember home much, but items from the past will help to keep the connection.

At a memory care facility, they also focus on celebrating residents as well as holidays. Families can visit and there’s something to do every single day. Residents can live a better quality of life than if they were home, your loved one can meet people and have friends to socialize with while getting the assistance and care needed.

Memory care facility residents feel at home

Reason 6: – Safety Protocols 

The most important aspect of a memory care facility is the safety they offer. Nurses, security, and overall care can ensure your loved one’s safety. When living at home, it can be difficult to live a good quality life. Unless you or your loved one has home care, there needs to be a solution to help in dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Memory care facilities will offer constant care and a community for you or your loved one to be a part of, safely.

Memory care facility Wander Guard bracelet for safety

In Conclusion

When diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, having a plan is important to creating the best quality of life possible for your loved one. Memory care will help keep them stimulated, safe and sociable. As hard as it may be to come to terms with a difficult diagnosis, it’s always possible to create a path in which it’s not as scary. Memory care facilities will take you and your loved one in with open arms.

Allentown is a nice town with many coffee shops, restaurants, and parks. It is named in the top 200 of “Best Cities for Young Professionals in America” according to Niche.

Take the information here and process all the opportunities memory care can give to you and a loved one. It can help to transform someone’s quality of life, while dealing with an incurable disease. There are so many opportunities for residents with the activities and amenities offered through memory care. Memory care is to help you and your loved one live a better life.

Book a tour here to see if we’re the right fit.

Is Your Loved One Having Problems Retrieving Names or Words?

You’re sitting at the dinner table with your family members when suddenly your grandpa calls you the wrong name. At first you just brush it off, but then you notice he seems to call everyone the wrong name and look genuinely confused when somebody corrects him. This could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease which negatively affects cognitive function. Adults 65 and older are typically more at-risk for developing Alzheimer’s and unfortunately, the disease only worsens as time goes on. If you’re worried that your loved one may have Alzheimer’s, there are 10 early signs and symptoms to look out for.

Early Sign

Early Signs To Look For

10 early signs and symptoms to look out for

Memory Loss

If your loved one is often forgetting important dates, repeatedly asking the same questions, relying more on family members to handle things they used to handle themselves, and forgetting information as soon as they’ve learned it; this could be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Occasionally forgetting names or appointments but remembering later is considered normal.

Difficulty Problem-Solving & Planning

When it comes to numbers, a person living with early Alzheimer’s may have trouble concentrating and managing finances, resulting in taking much longer to complete tasks than usual.

Difficulty Completing Simple Tasks

e.g., Driving in a familiar location can suddenly become unfamiliar.

Confusion with Time or Place

Your loved one may not remember what day of the week it is or have any recollection of where they are. This worsens with disease progression to the point where it can become dangerous to leave your love one unattended for extensive periods of time. Forgetting what day it is occasionally is normal, but people suffering from Alzheimer’s will become completely unaware of time.

Vision Problems or Difficulty Determining Space

Driving becomes severely difficult when a person’s vision and sense of space is negatively affected by Alzheimer’s. Vision problems tend to occur with age and should be monitored regularly.

Impaired Speech or Writing

Holding verbal or written conversations becomes challenging. Sometimes the wrong words are used to describe an object, vocabulary is not as strong, and repetition occurs often.

Losing Items

A common step people follow when they lose something is retracing their steps in hopes of locating the lost item. However, a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease will be unable to retrace their steps and may even accuse other people of stealing their lost items.

Poor Judgement

This often relates to decisions regarding finances and personal hygiene.

Social/Work Withdrawal

Socializing becomes more difficult, resulting in withdrawal from hobbies and social activities.

Personality/Mood Changes

A person suffering from Alzheimer’s may become more confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, anxious, or easily upset with others.

Stages of Alzheimer’s

There are three stages of Alzheimer’s: mild, moderate, and severe. It’s important to note how symptoms can often overlap making it more difficult to identify which stage is prevalent.

Mild
• Difficulty performing tasks in social/work settings, remembering names and/or words, and staying organized/planning
• Losing common objects often
• Forgetting material that was just read

Moderate
• Forgetting personal history, significant events, personal information such as address, phone number, etc.
• Shift in sleep patterns
• Wandering
• Exhibiting compulsive behaviors and personality changes
• Withdrawing from social/work activities
• Difficulty controlling bladder
• Requiring assistance with daily functions such as getting dressed

Severe
• Loss of awareness
• Mobility is severely affected (e.g., walking, sitting, swallowing, talking, etc.)
• Requires 24/7 care

What’s Your Next Step

If your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help immediately for a proper diagnosis. In the event the diagnosis is dementia, Alzheimer’s, or memory impairment, assisted living and memory care could be beneficial. Facilities equipped with 24/7 nursing care, individualized care plans, in-house Geriatricians, and plenty of cognitive stimulation through a 24/7 activities calendar will ensure peace and comfort for your loved one in a safe homelike environment.

Assisted living can be a difficult topic to discuss with family members, and we are here to help in any way possible. If you think your loved one could benefit from our memory care services or other care options, please contact us for more information. To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, please visit the Alzheimer’s Association at https://www.alz.org/