By Sue Sveum
Trying to decide whether to move your loved one to a memory care community is always a hard decision. There’s a lot to consider — including finances, mental and physical health, and how the decision will affect your relationship.
“With several types of dementia and levels of progression, there’s no right answer for everyone,” says Kelsey Bakken, marketing director at Noel Manor. “While staying at home is a good option for some, others may need the secure environment and professional care of a memory care community.” Here are some things to consider.
- familiar environment
- feeling more independent
- potentially money-saving
Memory care pros
- health care staff on-site 24/7
- locked and alarmed doors
- activities and socialization
- provided meals
“While people may feel more independent if they stay at home, it can also feel more isolating,” explains Bakken, adding that memory care communities offer many activities to keep residents’ minds and bodies active.
Caring for a loved one 24/7 can be stressful — often causing burnout. “When people tour our community, one of the biggest worries families share is how moving their loved one to memory care might affect their relationship,” says Bakken. “But what they often don’t consider is how their relationship has already changed due to them taking on the caregiver role.” With staff handling caregiving duties, they can go back to simply being their loved one’s spouse, child, sibling or friend.
Deciding if memory care is right for your loved one doesn’t have to be a decision you make alone. “Before anyone moves into Noel Manor,” says Bakken, “health care staff, family members and the prospective resident all have an opportunity to share suggestions, ideas and opinions — and make a plan of action together.”
When Your Loved One Needs Memory Care
Many people with memory issues have a hard time accepting the idea of needing help — or moving out of their own home. So if your loved one is having a hard time — or is giving you a hard time about it — you aren’t alone.
One way to help is by taking them to visit the memory care community. Socialize with some current residents by sharing a meal or joining an activity.
Finally, show them their potential new apartment to get them excited about living there. And assure them you can decorate their new space together — making it feel like home.