Memory Care

Services

Customized Care & Services

We recognize residents have their own individual routines and interests, capabilities and needs. We set out to accommodate their individuality beginning with an assessment by one of our professional staff members. Working with you, we develop an individualized service plan which is regularly adjusted to meet any changes in your loved one’s routine or condition.

Customized services include:

  • Health
  • Behavioral
  • Recreational
  • Social
  • Personal Care
  • Dietary
  • Respite
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Choosing a memory care facility?

When looking for memory care for your loved one, learn how to look at the communities through the eyes of the individual living with memory loss.

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Choosing a memory care facility?

When looking for memory care for your loved one, you need to look at the communities through the eyes of the individual living with memory loss.  That is difficult.  When we finally accept we can no longer have them safely in their home, we begin looking for an environment which has what we desire and want.  We may be driven by a sense of guilt, a desire to give mom or spouse something they have never had.  We want to give them a quality life.  Unfortunately, we rarely remember the unique changes dementia has affected with our loved one’s ability to succeed. 

Rarely do we look with our loved one’s changed cognition as the filter which predicts their success.  It is this failure to filter that allows us to see a suite as an ideal setting.  We see the spacious room—sometimes complete with kitchen appliances.  We love the large bathroom with shower. It very much looks and feels like a spa setting.  Perfect for mom or spouse.

Step back and consider the changes you are seeing which are prompting you to place your loved one.  If you were to take them to a hotel suite,

  • Would they be able to navigate without you there to assist?
  • How much assistance would you need to give?
  • Could you leave them in this hotel room all night with no worries?
  • Are they able to successfully operate the appliances?

 

If you answer one of these questions without a resounding yes, the suite will not be sweet for your loved one.  In fact, it will be a physical, cognitive and social danger zone. 

Research shows that falls occur most frequently in bedrooms and bathrooms.  In fact, one study showed 75% of all falls were in patient rooms while only 22% were in common areas.  Falls often lead to hospitalization which frequently triggers a rapid cognitive decline.  Research shows the best fall prevention relies on ambulatory monitoring that avoids privacy issues in bedrooms and bathrooms.  In other words, personal space is unmonitored space. 

With Alzheimer’s and related dementias, the individual’s ability to cognitively navigate environment and situation is regressing back to earlier experience and abilities.  Comfort is found in environments which more closely resemble remembered homes from adolescent and childhood. Staying in a suite was a travel experience for some, but not like living at home.  Cognitively, the suite is overwhelming in its intricacies.  The individual with dementia isolates to a recliner, or the bed as a safe zone.  The sheer number of doors can baffle.  Which one is the exit?  Which is the door for the bathroom?  This isolation response results in the socially engaged mother becoming a suite hermit. Research shows how important social engagement is to slowing cognitive decline and behaviors.  

What looks ideal to you, the care companion, is a cognitive nightmare to your loved one. 

Arden Courts Memory Care Communities have the researched design that will best serve your loved one’s physical, cognitive and social needs.  When you tour, consider your loved one’s growing up years.  Take note of how Arden Courts models your loved one’s cognitively comforting past while stimulating her present with engagement and purpose.  Before you leave your tour, don’t forget to ask about Arden Courts’ family satisfaction ratings.  Call Arden Courts today at 1.888.478.2410, to see with your own eyes what a difference design makes. 

 

By-line:  Cate McCarty, Ph.D., ADC has been collaborating with Arden Courts in a variety of roles since the late 90’s.  Her background in nursing, activities and admissions has given her a passionate commitment to quality of life for the individual and family with dementia.

 

References

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Balancing Your Needs and Your Loved One’s Dementia Needs

Read how caring for your needs this holiday season are just as important as caring for your loved one living with Alzheimer's or related dementias.

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Balancing Your Needs and Your Loved One’s Dementia Needs

The dynamic between caregiver and their loved one with dementia is a complex one that is receiving more energy in the research world.  One aspect that is particularly interesting from a caregiver perspective is the matter of perception.  When asked to rate their overall quality of life, patients with dementia rated their quality of life higher than their caregivers regardless of their cognitive change.1 This perspective is relevant because we may misunderstand needs.  We may think that our loved one needs and desires the same routines and traditions she has always preferred; that change would be problematic when in actuality the opposite may be true. 

Likewise, caregivers may find that experiences once enjoyed together have become personally stressful.  Then feelings of guilt arise, and the cycle continues. We think that by altering our loved one’s routines and traditions, they will be disappointed.  We see our loved one acting out and rather than considering it as disease-based behavior, we perceive it as dissatisfaction or disappointment.  Our perception is skewed, as research has shown.

When facing holiday traditions, reflect on how your loved one has recently responded to similar events or activities. 

  • Was he agitated when he was with a large group?
  • Was his agitation more visible in the afternoon, as opposed to the morning?
  • Is a meal setting easier than a setting with less structure?
  • Is your loved one more comfortable with some family members than others?

Apply recent observations to holiday plans instead of relying on a skewed perspective. 

This applies to self needs as well.   Allow time for self-observation. Research shows that caregivers of loved ones with dementia report unmet needs.2 Caregivers feel the loss of emotional support from an individual who was once a mainstay. Added to this are unmet needs for:

  • time away
  • mental health
  • social support

All of which are complicated by a reluctance to leave a loved one with dementia alone. When in reality, we have options for assistance.  We could take advantage of a respite program so that we could take that trip.  We could enlist family for time away or hire home health for a regular mental health day. 

As we enter the holiday season, consider what your unmet needs are.  The old adage If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, applies to caregivers also. Caregiver health and feelings of competency directly impact those for whom they care.3 Consider giving you and your loved one the gifts that you truly need.

 

By-line:  Cate McCarty, PhD, ADC has been collaborating with Arden Courts in a variety of roles since the late 90’s.  Her background in nursing, activities and admissions has given her a passionate commitment to quality of life for the individual and family with dementia. Cate is now personally caring for her spouse who has an FTD diagnosis.

References
1Conde-Sala, J. L., Garre-Olmo, J., Turró-Garriga, O., López-Pousa ,S., Vilalta-Franch, J. (2009). Factors related to perceived quality of life in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: The patient’s perception compared with that of caregivers, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry,24(6): 585-594.

 2Tatangelo, G., McCabe, M., Macleod, A., You, E. (2017).  "I just don't focus on my needs." The unmet health needs of partner and offspring caregivers of people with dementia: A qualitative study. 77-8-14.

3Spigelmyer, P.C., Hupcey, J.E., Smith, C.A., Loeb, S. J., & Kitko, L. (2017). Resistiveness to care as experienced by family caregivers providing care for someone with dementia, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Sept. 15, Epub ahead of print.

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