When to Move to a Memory Support CommunitySeptember 14, 2022
You cherish the relationship you share with your parent or loved one and appreciate the lifetime of memories you have built together. Moments from your childhood are forever imprinted on your heart, when mom or dad poured their time and energy into making your life feel bright and magical. Though many years have come and gone, you must navigate life differently these days. You are seriously devoted to their well-being and quality of life, leading you—and perhaps your siblings or other family members—to consider whether now might be the appropriate time to help them transition to a memory support community. When your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the transition to the role of caretaker instead of son or daughter, husband or wife, may leave you feeling overcome with emotion or even ill-equipped to handle the challenges that arise as their symptoms worsen. You are not alone in your struggle; families just like yours are finding life in a memory support community allows everyone to thrive once again. As professionals in memory support, we hope the information shared below will be helpful as you research possible next steps together.
What is Memory Support?
AARP defines memory support as “a form of residential long-term care that provides intensive, specialized care for people with memory issues.” Keeping your loved one safe is paramount—our memory support community is secured and is made especially for those experiencing dementia and other cognitive impairments. We work diligently to celebrate the daily successes and focus on the present moment to make life more comfortable for your loved one. Their dignity, safety and quality of life are always our focus.
When to Consider a Memory Support Community
Caring for a loved one in your home when they are struggling with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is overwhelming on many levels, especially as the disease progresses and symptoms become more serious. Over time, the demands of looking after mom or dad while also juggling other important responsibilities, such as raising your children, devoting time to your marriage and career, and taking care of yourself, can become increasingly heavy and not sustainable long-term. R. Morgan Griffin for WebMD reports: “Caregivers have a higher risk of depression, anxiety, other illnesses, and early death.” Griffin emphasizes, “Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s is too much for one person, especially if you’re raising kids too.” Before the burden becomes too heavy, meet with your family and create a plan to keep your loved one safe as their illness progresses. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has a host of resources, including tips on what to cover during your family meeting. Their helpline and caregiver support groups are invaluable tools in challenging times.
An Improved Quality of Life
A dedicated team of memory support professionals provides a lifeline for families who have become overwhelmed in keeping their loved one’s ever-changing needs met. Seek out a memory support community with a highly-trained staff that offers specialized programming and structured and engaging activities tailored to residents experiencing cognitive impairment. Shifting your role back to son or daughter instead of around-the-clock caregiver provides you with much-needed relief and peace of mind. It allows you to spend more quality time together when visiting with your loved one because you are not stressed or overwhelmed. Instead of having to make decisions where it feels like no one wins, such as attending a child’s school event or staying by your parent’s side, you can now focus on giving your family the attention they deserve while also having room to dedicate quality time once again to your mom or dad.