Not all assisted living centers are created equal—particularly when it comes to a residence for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Those with coginitive decline need particular supports, programming and environments, which may not be offered at typical senior’s residences.
Memory Care—which centers around creating a safe, fulfilling environment for those with declining cognitive abilities—is a relatively new field, but it is growing quickly.
While residences use different approaches and offer different services, all memory care facilities aim to make their programming accessible to and stimulating for, those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and to train their staff to deal with the unique issues dementia patients may face.
This summer, a number of memory care facilities and services have launched or expanded in the United States. Take a look at our list below to see what these dementia-centered services have to offer.
1. Autumn Leaves—For the summer respite program:
Autumn Leaves has opened 35 centers in Oklahoma, Georgia, Illinois and Texas. Each facility and its programming is uniquely built to support those with Alzheimer’s and dementia—down to the structural details of the buildings.
Staff offices are located within the residences, and doors remain unlocked throughout so that residents aren’t barred from staff. Large windows and solariums provide natural auto-dim lighting, reducing the effects of “sundowning.” And in the dining rooms, there’s a large tropical fish tank (studies have shown that those with Alzheimer’s and dementia have better appetites when they can watch fish swim during mealtimes.)
This summer, Autumn Leaves began offering overnight respite care where families can drop their loved ones off for short-term stays. Respite residents have access to the same activities, meals and assistance as full-time permanent dwellers.
Autumn Leaves, Irving, Texas, 1-888-662-8886.
2. Allerton House Assisted Living Communities—for the Memory Care Neighborhood:
The Massachusetts care facility is home to a specialized Memory Care Neighborhood designed for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It consists of 16 rental apartments (a mix of studios and two-bedrooms). Daily activities provide the structure and stimulation residents need. An intergenerational program brings together seniors from the community with children and young adults.
The facility also makes use of music to engage residents. Their Hingham, Mass., location is home to a bell choir, organized by staff for the residents to enjoy.
Allerton House Hingham, Massachusetts 781-749-3322.
3. Accent on Seniors—for the Memory Care referral
This California referral service has helped families find the right living arrangements for their aging loved ones for over 10 years. This summer, they announced a special referral service geared towards those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Recognizing that those with Alzheimer’s and dementia require specific supports and programming, this program hooks families up with long-term care facilities that practice high-quality memory care.
They take the clients’ needs, wants and budgets into consideration when choosing their recommendations.
Accent on Seniors, 1-888-799-8306.
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