Is your parent or loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia? As a progressive illness, the symptoms and behavioral changes will continue to increase and the level of care needed may begin to exceed what can be provided at home.
Your family may have started discussing different options that are available and prioritizing what your parent will need. A good home environment and opportunities to eat healthy, as well as exercising and participating in activities are a few of the top qualities to search for. But there’s another feature you’ll want to discover: The opportunity for your parent to enjoy the highest quality of life.
Where do many families find this? In a memory care community.
What is quality of life
The specific answer can be different for everyone but there are some common elements that contribute to a life well lived. In one study, older people who participated described their quality of life as being:
- Living in harmony
- Feeling happy
- Being satisfied with life
- Keeping busy with hobbies
- Having volunteer or work opportunities
- Enjoying good relationships with others
- Receiving support from family, friends and neighbors
Memory care and quality of life
Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that leaves many people initially unsure of how to travel along its path. As it typically affects memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to interact, people may mistakenly question whether a high quality of life is possible.
Individuals living with a cognitive illness benefit from features such as being able to function as independently as possible, performing tasks of daily living, engaging in meaningful activities and having social relationships.
But as the individual moves through the different levels of the illness, daily life can become more challenging and quality of life may begin to decrease. When compared to the resources that are often limited at home, many families discover that a memory care community can best provide what is needed.
Here are a few benefits of this type of specialized care and how quality of life may improve in a community setting:
- A home designed to help live their best life possible
Where we live forms the foundation that supports our lives and it’s no different for those who have been diagnosed with dementia. Your home may not be accessible or equipped to provide what is needed, while a memory care community provides a safe living environment to support their residents with privacy and respect.
- Staff trained in the best practices of cognitive care
Your loved one will benefit from a compassionate staff who is experienced and educated in the latest knowledge of memory care. They are trained to know how best to interact and encourage residents to engage with others.
The staff recognizes that each individual has personal preferences which contribute to quality of life. They’re also trained to respond in ways to calm or relieve feelings of anxiety or frustration.
- Activities that can help connect
Living a quality life includes finding ways to feel part of the larger community. A cognitive illness often creates a sense of separateness for the individual. They may begin to define their life by what they can no longer do.
But if your loved one makes a memory care community home, they’ll discover many ways to participate in group outings and activities that keep them feeling engaged. These actions can also lead to improving their sense of self.
- Dining made easier
Healthy eating is still important for those living with a cognitive illness, but some of their behavior changes can make the experience more difficult and less pleasant. Memory care communities have the staff, training and tools to make mealtime as comfortable as possible while encouraging independence, socializing and eating well.
- Feeling safe and secure
Personal safety is a high priority that contributes greatly to quality of life. A memory care community is designed to provide security but also a sense of freedom so that the residents have as few restrictions on movement as possible.
If your loved one tends to wander, you’ll be reassured to know that residents can move freely, including going outside to an enclosed courtyard. A community designed for their safety while promoting independence can improve quality of life.
Benefits of memory care communities
There are many advantages of a memory care community but what your family may appreciate most is watching your parent re-engage with others or take an interest in activities, especially if they have become withdrawn or more isolated at home.
Most care provided at home, while personalized and loving, can’t provide the expertise, therapies, accessibility design or amenities that can greatly improve your loved one’s quality of life. A community is able to promote the daily experiences that can help residents connect once again to their life and the world surrounding them.
Life at Tapestry Memory Care communities
We know how important quality of life is for our residents living with Alzheimer’s and understand that the benefits a memory care community can offer contributes greatly to improving their lives.
If you’re caring for a loved one living with a cognitive illness and finding it more difficult to meet the increasing needs and achieve quality of life, we hope you will consider memory care at one of our communities. We know this isn’t always an easy decision to make and we are here to answer any questions that you may have.
Our staff is specially trained in the best practices to connect with our residents. Our person-centered approach, services, amenities and activities all play an important role in helping both your loved one and your family live a meaningful and connected life.
If you would like more information on senior living, we invite you to download our complimentary guide, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living, which can be a resource for families considering help for their loved ones.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a personal tour, please contact one of our advisors at a community near you.