Seniors and family caregivers have often perceived assisted living or skilled care as a ‘last resort,’ but in 2023, this is far from reality. In fact, the right community can positively transform every aspect of a senior’s retirement. Memory care and senior living communities have the best combination of physical, social, spiritual, and emotional care in the modern age.
If your loved one struggles with issues like reduced mobility, a chronic health condition, or cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, choosing the right senior care community could lead to marked improvements in their health, happiness, and overall quality of life.
What Unique Challenges Do Seniors With Dementia Face?
While it’s common for seniors to face problems like reduced mobility and social isolation as they get older, those with neurocognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s disease typically face additional challenges. Symptoms like memory loss, sudden mood changes, and confusion can make activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, cooking, and running errands even more difficult.
Dementia can also present physical and emotional difficulties for family caregivers. For instance, conditions like Alzheimer’s disease may cause a loved one to exhibit challenging behavior changes like increased aggression or frustration. These behaviors and the unexpressed needs that cause them are difficult to witness, and providing practical care alone may not be in the best interest of a loved one.
What Do Families Look For In Residential Assisted Living?
Every senior is a unique individual with their preferred lifestyle and habits. Still, there are a few common qualities seniors, and their family caregivers look for in assisted living. If you’re starting your search for the perfect community, consider how your choices can offer quality care, more effortless living, and opportunities for positive social connection.
Every individual with Alzheimer’s disease is affected by their condition differently. Some seniors experience distressing symptoms like sundowning (increased agitation or distress in the early evenings), wandering, depression, or anxiety. Seniors living with dementia require specialist, individualized care that can meet their personal needs.
In a residential assisted living community with a specialized memory care program, each resident has a personal care plan based on a thorough assessment of their unique needs. Moreover, staff members are trained to offer the right kind of support for seniors with dementia. Professional caregivers should be well-equipped to provide comfort and practical support and alleviate emotional distress correctly.
When a senior is diagnosed with dementia, living a fulfilling life can become fraught with challenges. Seniors with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease commonly experience symptoms including memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, confusion, and difficulties in recognizing people and places. When combined with the usual challenges of aging (like reduced mobility, incontinence, and chronic health conditions like diabetes or arthritis), day-to-day life can become much more challenging to manage.
A senior’s ability to complete vital ADLs is carefully assessed in residential assisted living. ADLs are typically split into two subtypes: basic ADLs and instrumental ADLs. Basic ADLs are the daily tasks a senior needs to be able to complete to stay physically healthy. In other words, if they could not successfully execute basic ADLs, their well-being would rapidly and drastically decline.
Basic ADLs include:
- -Ambulating (moving around safely)
- -Using the toilet
- -Bathing or showering
- -Personal care (cutting nails, brushing hair, dressing, etc.)
While basic ADLs are essential, they are not the only things seniors need to be able to do to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Instrumental ADLs are more complex tasks that allow seniors to live well-rounded lives and maintain good mental and physical health.
Instrumental ADLs include:
- -Sourcing transportation when needed
- -Housekeeping and home maintenance
- -Managing personal finances
- -Communicating effectively
In senior care, your loved one’s abilities in various ADL domains will be carefully assessed to create a tailored care plan. This strategically planned care should allow every senior in the community to receive the right level of support while maintaining as much of their valued independence as possible. Using their care plan (which is regularly reviewed and updated to address changing needs), professionally trained and compassionate caregivers will deliver the proper targeted care.
Opportunities to Connect
Social connection is more important as we get older, but staying connected to others often becomes much more difficult for aging seniors. Without a work community and faced with challenges like grief, impaired mobility, cognitive decline, reduced confidence, and lack of transportation, seniors in retirement may find it difficult to stay socially active.
In senior living, residents can access a vibrant social community without leaving the comfort and safety of home. Equipped with the support of trained caregivers and a wealth of events and organized activities to enjoy on-site, seniors can rediscover their social life with ease and confidence.
We always recommend starting the search for a memory care community in Metairie early. This way, your loved one can take the time to choose a new home that feels just right for them without feeling pressured or rushed. To organize a tour of our warm, deeply caring, and social community, give us a call or send an inquiry today.