Abuse in a Memory Care Unit

What Are Memory Care Units?

Memory Care Units are a form of assisted living facility. The main difference between Memory Care Units and traditional assisted living facilities is that Memory Care Unites are specifically for patients who are dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia have varying levels of conditions, therefore the Memory Care Units for such patients need to be able to provide different levels of care and supervision. Currently, estimates are that nearly five million people are suffering from one of these types of cognitive impairment.

In mild cases, patients may still be able to live at home. However, as  conditions worsen, it often becomes necessary to move the patient into an assisted living facility, and a Memory Care Unit is an ideal choice for many family members.

When Do You Need Help?

Family members of those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia may not always notice when a patient’s condition worsens to the point that they can no longer stay at home. There is often a gradual decline that can be difficult to discern. Some of the signs that can point to a condition that’s getting worse include the following:

  • Forgetting to take medications
  • Forgetting to set reminders
  • Problems remembering to shut off appliances, or even walking away while an appliance is still running
  • Requiring more help with common daily tasks
  • Forgetting name, number, and other personal information
  • Getting lost when out

When patients start to indicate these signs, it is important to talk with a doctor about getting some help with caring for the patient. It’s natural for family members to feel guilty about the thought of putting a loved one in a home, but often it is the best and safest solution for the patient. It is difficult to care for someone who has Alzheimer’s and dementia and it is simply not feasible for family members to handle all of the tasks needed to help their loved ones live their day to day lives. It’s better to get help from the professionals.

What Types of Memory Care Units Are Available?

There are a number of different types of options available for patients. Since there are different levels of dementia, some may need only certain levels of care, at least for the time being.

Those who have mild to moderate Alzheimer’s may do quite well in an assisted living facility. These types of facilities will have apartments for the patients, and they can provide assistance with medication, dining, and rehabilitation. They often have activities as well. This could be a good option for couples who want to remain together. These facilities still allow a great amount of freedom.

Those who need to have constant supervision will likely do much better in a nursing home. They can provide help with all of the tasks with which the patient needs assistance throughout the day. They are the best option for those patients who tend to wander and those who are aggressive towards others.

Another option is adult day care, which is a good option for some who are suffering from dementia. They offer the same types of services as a nursing home will offer throughout the day. This allows family members to go to work, run errands, and to have time away. The family can still be primary caretakers for the patient while they are home. Many are choosing this option so they can keep their loved one living at home. It also happens to be more cost effective than the other options. Many patients do well in this situation since they are able to stay at home with their loved ones. They tend to feel safer, and may have fewer incidences of wandering and getting lost.

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