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Published On: Thu, Dec 3rd, 2020

What Is Memory Care?

For patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, as the disease progresses, there will often be a need for residential care.

The needs of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients are complex, and specialized care is a necessity to improve the quality of life and maintain healthy cognition for as long as possible. ‘Memory Care’ facilities are similar to other senior assisted living communities and offer care at different levels depending on what’s needed. 

The difference is that memory care facilities will have a focus on activities that will stimulate cognition and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia. They will also be staffed by professionals who are specialists in memory-centric care.

photo/ StockSnap

What Kind Of Activities?

Various activities have been shown to improve quality of life and slow the progression of the disease for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Broadly these are things like:

  • Games and puzzles: Solving puzzles and playing games are incredibly beneficial for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia because they challenge the mind to work in ways that differ from the day to day, which, in turn, helps to improve cognitive function. Games are also great because they often involve social interaction.
  • Reading and writing: Reading is more mentally challenging than processing images and involves the vision, language, and learning centers in the brain. Writing is a great way to be creative, which is wonderful in itself, and it also helps to improve cognitive links between your hands and your mind – whether you write on paper or on a computer. Journaling can also be a great way of processing your emotions and can be a great aid to memory.
  • Learning new skills: Challenging your mind to pick up a new skill is a great way to keep it healthy and to improve your own feeling of achievement. Plus, if you learn skills through a class or other social setting, it’s a great way to connect with new people.
  • Music and dancing: Research has shown that music helps to activate different parts of the brain and helps prevent cognitive decline. Add some dance into the mix, and you’re also elevating your heart rate and improving your mind and body coordination.

The idea is generally that it’s good to make a point of doing some things that you wouldn’t normally do. New activities create new neural connections, which is great for brain health.

Why Is Specialist Care So Important?

If you’re looking for a specialist memory care facility for yourself or a loved one, Select Senior Living can help you to find what you’re looking for.

Specialist carers will have a good knowledge of:

  • The biological workings of Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • How dementia and Alzheimer’s affects not just the patient, but their family too
  • How Alzheimer’s and dementia tend to progress, and therefore how best to prepare

This knowledge means that the person living with dementia can receive a high level of care, designed around both who they are personally and how the disease is likely to impact them. It also means that the risk of the challenging behaviors that sometimes come along with the condition, like wandering, agitation, or paranoia, can be minimized.

Author: Carol Trehearn

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