What is a Memory Care Facility?

Most of us have had a lapse in memory from time to time—forgetting where we placed our keys or lock a door when we leave, etc. However, for some, that forgetfulness is a much more common part of everyday life. And while we may jokingly refer to having little lapses in memory as having a “senior moment,” for those who suffer from diseases like Alzheimer’s, it isn’t just simply forgetting something; it is a more prominent—and deadly—issue. However, that is where a memory care facility may be able to help.

So what is a memory care facility?

Memory care is a term that is used to refer to a long-term care option for those who have been diagnosed with conditions involving memory or who need assistance with at least two areas of daily living (ADLs). A memory care environment is designed for those who have a level of impairment that makes it unsafe for him or her to continue to live at home, but who does not need the more intensive care provided by a skilled nursing facility. Participating in memory care helps a person to maintain a level of independence, while simultaneously relying on both the safety and security of living in a residential facility with a professional staff.

These memory care communities are often incorporated as units separate from assisted living communities. In memory care, those memory-impaired patients and residents have access to both 24-hour support as well as programs that help to ensure safety and quality of life for them. Normally, all residents will live in private or semi-private units and have access to scheduled activities and programs which are designed for the enhancement of memory and are supervised by trained staff members. The residences are 100% secure and armed with alarmed or locked areas in order to ensure that no one is able to wander off. Generally, residents are able to enjoy indoor walking paths, or outdoor paths or gardens.

Common spaces are also provided in memory care facilities for residents to socialize, have meals, and participate in activities. While the décor of these memory care facilities may vary from place to place, the overall feel they’re going for is to provide a sense of home to their residents.

As we said above, momentary lapses in memory or judgement aren’t normally a big deal, but when coupled with a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, it can be very mentally, physically or emotionally scarring for families of elders or for the elder him or herself. Memory care facilities are designed to help those who are struggling in this specific area, and with their help, one may be able to retain control of his or her memory (or even regain those cognitive powers, in some capacity) for longer than normal. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding memory care or Alzheimer’s, it’s best to speak with and voice them to your doctor.