As the number of patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia grows rapidly, an increasing number of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are advertising themselves as “memory care” facilities.
A memory care facility is a nursing home that especially caters to patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Such care usually includes 24-hour patient supervision. Some memory care facilities occupy a designated floor or wing of a larger residential facility.
In one sense, every nursing home is a memory care facility. That is because 80% of senior adults living in nursing homes have dementia, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International. The good news is that most senior adults never have Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, those who do become dependent on the assistance of loved ones and/or a nursing home.
A memory care facility should have special accommodations, services and programs that are designed to meet the unique needs of dementia patients. The ideal memory care facility has a staff that is knowledgeable about Alzheimer’s and dementia and is well trained to deal with residents in an understanding, caring manner.
All nursing home residents, including dementia patients, are entitled to respect and should be provided as much freedom and choice as is reasonable.
If you are looking for a memory care facility for your loved one, here are some features to look for and factors to keep in mind.