A purpose-built memory care facility is a specialized type of senior living community designed to meet the unique needs of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia or cognitive disorders brought about by aging. If you or a loved one is struggling with memory impairment, a purpose-built memory care facility may be the right choice for you. They are usually designed to provide everything one might need to preserve or even try to reverse age-related cognitive impairment. Here is what you need to know about this type of senior living option.
Understanding the Unique Needs of Individuals with Dementia
People with dementia have unique needs that are different from those of other seniors. They may experience memory loss, confusion, difficulty with communication, and a decline in their ability to perform daily tasks. These challenges can make it difficult for individuals with dementia to live independently and safely. In order to meet their needs, purpose-built memory care facilities are designed to create a safe and secure environment that promotes dignity, independence, and quality of life.
Features of a Purpose-Built Memory Care Facility
Memory care facilities are designed to promote a sense of familiarity and comfort for individuals with dementia. They often feature secure outdoor areas and common areas that promote socialization and engagement. Some of the key features of a purpose-built memory care facility include:
- Safety and Security: Memory care facilities are designed with safety and security in mind. They often feature secure entrances and exits, as well as alarms and cameras that monitor the facility. Staff members are trained in how to handle difficult behaviors that may arise, and they work to create a calm and supportive environment that promotes safety and security.
- Personalized Care: Individuals with dementia have unique needs and preferences, and purpose-built memory care facilities are designed to accommodate these needs. Staff members are trained in how to communicate with individuals with dementia and are skilled at creating personalized care plans that promote independence and quality of life.
- Comfortable Living Spaces: Memory care facilities feature comfortable and welcoming living spaces that promote a sense of familiarity and comfort. Rooms are designed to be safe and easy to navigate, with features such as non-slip flooring, handrails, and easy-to-use lighting controls. Residents are encouraged to bring familiar items from home to make their living space feel more like their own.
- Engaging Activities: Purpose-built memory care facilities offer a wide range of engaging activities that promote socialization and cognitive stimulation. Activities may include art classes, music therapy, gardening, and other types of hands-on activities that help residents stay engaged and connected.
- Wayfinding Tools and Excellent Lighting in Facility Design: When designing for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, lighting is crucial. Natural light helps reduce agitation and irritability associated with sundowning. Multi-layer wayfinding cues assist residents in finding important destinations such as the bathroom. Distinctive and varied landmarks are used to guide residents to areas beneficial to their well-being. Best practices for wayfinding in purpose-built design include glare-free natural lighting and floor plans that maximize visual connections to areas and activities. Virtual skylights also increase engagement.
The unique needs of individuals with dementia and other age-related memory disorders are easily met in purpose-built memory care facilities. They offer a safe and secure retirement community, personalized care, comfortable living spaces, and engaging activities that promote socialization and cognitive stimulation. If you or a loved one is struggling with memory impairment, a purpose-built memory care facility may be the best option for memory care.