When dementia affects someone you love, it also affects you. That's why our memory care services extend to the families and friends of our residents. We can help you learn more about the illness, how to engage with a loved one, and where to turn for support. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not memory care is right for your loved one.
Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Some memory loss is a normal result of physical changes in the aging brain. In fact, many older adults find ways to hide or compensate for cognitive decline for years or decades. Others suffer a level of memory loss that destroys their most cherished memories and makes the world a confusing, frightening place.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a set of symptoms that result in impaired thinking and memory. Alzheimer's disease is a common type of dementia, but there are several others (including Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease).
Symptoms of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgment
- Personality changes
- Problems with balance and coordination
Different forms of dementia progress in different ways. The experience of dementia is different for everyone, and that experience can change day to day, hour to hour.
When is Memory Care or Assisted Living Appropriate?
It can be incredibly difficult to determine when it’s time to move a loved one into a memory care community. However, as memory problems progress, it may be necessary for your loved one to have 24-hour supervision in order to remain safe.
The questions below (adapted from the Alzheimer’s Association) can help you determine if your loved one could benefit from Alzheimer’s care in one of Enlivant’s memory care communities:
- Is your loved one becoming unsafe in his or her current home?
- Is the health of your loved one at risk?
- Are your loved one’s needs beyond your physical abilities as a caregiver?
- Are you becoming a stressed, irritable, or impatient caregiver?
- Are you neglecting work responsibilities, your family, or yourself?
- Would the structure and social interaction in a memory care environment benefit your loved one?
If you answered “yes” to several of these questions, we encourage you to learn more about Enlivant’s memory care communities.
If you answered no to a majority of the questions, please visit our assisted living page.
Why Enlivant Is the Right Choice for a Memory Care Community
Dementia results from changes in the brain, but eventually affects every part of a person’s physical, social, and emotional wellness. When your loved one suffers from dementia, they need special care.
At Enlivant, we provide a person-centered approach to memory care that recognizes individual needs and is designed to support the wellbeing of your loved one. In our close-knit communities we get to know our residents and their family members as individuals and find personal, meaningful ways to connect with them. Our daily programming is built around each resident with a flexible schedule and activities that provide meaning and purpose while promoting independence, as long as possible.
Enlivant communities that offer Memory Care:
- Big Springs Place in Cedartown, GA
- Cherryvale Place in Rockford, IL
- Dalton Place in Dalton, GA
- Deane Hill Place in Knoxville, TN
- Dorset Place in Oklahoma City, OK
- Dover Place in Dover, DE
- Forest Hills Place in Cleveland Heights, OH
- Greenwood Place in Marietta, GA
- Hunters Crossing Place in Gainesville, FL
- Kesslerwood Place in Indianapolis, IN
- Lanier Place in Cumming, GA
- Milford Place in Milford, DE
- Northstar Place in Kennesaw, GA
- Park Creek Place in North Wales, PA
- Pinicon Place in Anamosa, IA
- Richland Place in Greensboro, NC
- Ridgeview Place in Spokane Valley, WA
- Rock Run Place in Joliet, IL
- Sandy Springs Place in Atlanta, GA
- Seven Hills Place in Rome, GA
- Ten Oaks Place in Lawton, OK
- Trail Creek Place in Michigan City, IN
- Willow Lake Place in Indianapolis, IN
- Wyncote Place in Wyncote, PA
We Deliver Compassionate Care
Strong Leadership and Dementia Expertise
Our Director of Care Services, a licensed nurse, oversees all care provided in our communities, and partners with our Director of Memory Care to discover each resident’s needs and develop a personalized plan of care. Guided by the mentorship of these two leaders, our Resident Care Partners work to carry out these plans, including medication management and assistance with bathing, grooming, and dining.
Empathy for the Experience of Dementia
Our training helps us view the behaviors commonly associated with dementia, like wandering, as understandable reactions to a person’s environment. We try to prevent stress and confusion by engaging our residents in a reassuring manner. When signs of distress emerge, we work to uncover and resolve any underlying issues, like hunger, thirst, or tiredness. When there are patterns of anxiety or confusion, we can adjust each person’s schedule to offer tailored activities like music, exercise, or relaxation.
We Create a Supportive Environment
A Comforting Neighborhood
Our memory care community provides personal and communal spaces. Private and semi-private apartments offer a place for quiet, rest, and personal care. Shared spaces indoors and outdoors provide room to gather, socialize, share meals, exercise, and engage in familiar activities.
Design for Living
We have carefully designed our space to serve our residents and their families. When you first walk toward our neighborhood, you’ll notice the difference. The front door offers a welcoming transition as well as a place to gather resources for learning about dementia. Throughout our neighborhood, residents can find specialized materials for senior living activities.
Look around and you’ll find mementos that honor our residents’ individuality. Memory boxes at each resident’s door display personal photos, newspaper clippings, and objects that reflect their most precious memories. Music and aromatherapy bring cherished sounds and scents to the neighborhood.
Places to Gather Together
During the day, you’ll find staff and residents throughout the neighborhood, engaged in individual and group activities. In the evening, we all meet for The Gathering, a time for friendship and comforting activities designed to proactively address the late-day restlessness and confusion known as Sundowning.
Dining for Health and Social Benefits
In many families, meals bring people together. It’s no different in our community. Special meal preparations based on the needs of our memory care residents give everyone in the neighborhood the chance to enjoy food and company. It’s also one of the many ways we address our residents’ special needs. Forgetting to eat and drink can lead to nutrient deficiencies and dehydration, which can make dementia symptoms worse. We make the dining experience easy and enjoyable, and offer ample snacks and drinks throughout the neighborhood at other times of the day.
We Build Personal Connections
Connecting through Stories
Knowing all we can about our residents—including family history, careers, hobbies, and values—helps us connect in a genuine and caring way. It also allows us to design programming and activities that help them reminisce and maintain their hobbies and interests.
Structure with Flexibility
Daily schedules offer a comforting and predictable routine. We understand that each day varies, and we adapt our schedule to meet the needs of our residents.
Personal Purposeful Activities
We develop activities that combine personal meaning with a purpose, to rekindle a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Everyone finds meaning in different ways, and our activities reflect this. A retired teacher might sort craft materials for a group activity. A former homemaker might mix, roll, and shape cookie dough.
Family Involvement and Support
When your loved one joins our neighborhood, we welcome you and other family members to visit any day, to join in activities with loved ones, or to attend our monthly family meetings.
Memory Care Resource Library
In addition to the support available in our community, here are a few of the books and online resources we recommend.
- A Quick Look at Alzheimer’s — These five short films were developed in partnership with the Alliance for Aging Research to increase awareness and understanding. http://www.aboutalz.org
- Experience 12 Minutes in Alzheimer’s Dementia — An ABC News story recreates the experience of Alzheimer’s for those who don’t suffer from the disease.
- Memory Care at Enlivant— Look into life at an Enlivant memory care neighborhood and our mission to give residents a comfortable and loving place to call home.
- The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer’s Disease by Nancy L. Mace
- Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease by Joanne Koenig Coste
- Inside Alzheimer’s: How to Hear and Honor Connections with a Person Who Has Dementia by Nancy Pearce
- Measure of the Heart: Caring for a Parent with Alzheimer’s by Mary Ellen Geist
- Moving a Relative with Memory Loss: A Family Caregiver’s Guide by Laurie White
- Living in the Labyrinth: A Personal Journey Through the Maze of Alzheimer’s by Diana McGowan
- Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers by Paula Spencer Scott
- On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s by Greg O'Brien
Books for Children:
- Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
- Still My Grandma by Veronique Van Den Abeele
- What’s Happening to Grandpa? by Maria Shriver and Sandra Speidel
- Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants: A Story about Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children by Barbara Schnurbush
- The Alzheimer’s Association http://www.alz.org
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America http://www.alzfdn.org