Mom Needs Memory Support not Memory Care

Does mom need Memory Support or Memory Care? Good Question

I would first like to start with saying that appropriate Memory Support prolongs the need for Memory Care. In a traditional community setting, those with moderate dementia are either not thriving in Assisted Living or have to move to Memory Care too soon. In my opinion providing the right amount of memory support is the toughest area of senior care because it is not strictly defined.

Can Memory Support ever be Strictly Defined?

The answer is No. imagesqqProviding Memory Support to someone with Alzheimer’s & Dementia is like providing a step stool for someone who needs a boost to see over a ledge. The difference is there are different ledges so different step stools are needed. Providing the right amount of support will enable a person to function as independently as possible. Providing too much support will further disable a person and result in a cognitive decline, and providing too little will hinder a person’s abilities to function and thrive. Cognitive Care is another way to describe Memory Support. Memory Care is a specialized care unit/section/or building where maximum cognitive assistance is provided and independence is limited. Memory Care is also usually a small, secure section, where activities and daily interactions are done in a group setting.

Types of Memory Support

  • have duplicates for commonly lost items, and also knowing the hiding places (for this group of folks, the less space they have the better)
  • know their schedule and guide the person through the day, personally guide to appointments and events
  • anticipate needs and provide assistance without being asked
  • explain tasks by breaking them into parts, with easy to understand sentences
  • know and understand the daily routine and provide assistance in a way that does not make a person feel that they need assistance
  • do not assume a person ate if you did not see them eat.
  • while providing additional assistance, make it seem like you are providing a regular service.
  • keep an eye on someone from 10-20 feet away so they don’t feel like you are hovering over them, but you are watching for safety.

Specific Examples

Jan is 78 and has Alzheimer’s Disease. She missed her last doctor’s appointment, hair appointment, and her favorite church concert. While living at home alone, Jan did not eat for 2-4 days, passed out and found herself in the hospital suffering from malnutrition and hydration. What could have been done to avoid these scenarios?

  • Keep track of Jan’s appointments, by helping her make them at a time when transportation is available, if transportation is necessary. Remind Jan earlier that day, make sure she is ready, and personally take her to the appointment.
  • Bring Jan to breakfast, make sure she gets it in front of her.  After breakfast, tell Jan the next meal is lunch and you will get her for that meal. This will put her at ease.
  • Everyday at 2 pm come to Jan with a pretty glass of water, encourage her, and then watch her drink it. Make sure Jan has a beverage in front of her for her meals and that she is drinking. Replace the beverage with an alternative option if needed.

The Take Away……

Many people are not getting the right amount of Memory Support in their current environment. I have found that there is a large percentage of those impaired with Dementia and Alzheimer’s that need more than Assisted Living, but less than Memory Care. These folks need another option. What they need is Memory Support/Cognitive Care in Assisted Living.

Specialized Memory Care for those with Alzheimer’s & Dementia

What is Memory Care?

When you ask this question you get a range of answers. You hear Memory Care is a specialized unit for Alzheimer’s & Dementia. You also hear it is a lock down unit that is separate from the rest of the community. You hear it is a unit for wanderers. You hear Memory Care is somewhere where specialized care is provided.

What is the Answer?

Depends who is answering. Technically a Memory Care Community or a Memory Care Section is where care is provided to those who exhibit symptoms and/or behaviors related to Alzheimer’s or one of the many Dementia Types. The thing is these symptoms and behaviors are vast and vary to different degrees, effect people in different combinations.

The One Size Does Not Fit All phrase I hear everywhere?000 one size

Every community claims that their memory care offers care based on each person’s ability. How is it possible to offer this type of individualized care in a unit where you have residents that are very active physically, residents who are wheelchair bound and have lost their ability to speak, residents that are prone to outbursts or inappropriate behavior?

The Answer?

You can’t. Unless you have a private caretaker or an activity coordinator for each group of individuals you are not able to provide individualized care and engagement because the abilities of the residents with Alzheimer’s or Dementia vary to such a large degree.

The Real Answer?

A Community has to be able to offer 3-4 levels (sections) of secure care for memory support. One of the sections should include the high functioning resident that is prone to wondering, and has an extroverted type of personality. One section should include high functioning residents that need memory support that are not prone to wondering and also have introverted personalities. Another section should be for those residents in the severe stage of Dementia, who have lost most of their language abilities, as well as independent movement. These residents will also likely need specialized diets, and nutrition therapy. The abilities of these residents are the most diminished of the 3 groups and their care and activities are set up accordingly.

The Take Away….

Although there may be a desire to provide individual care and engagement, that desire is not enough if the environment is not conducive to make that happen. Because the symptoms and behaviors of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia vary so greatly, it is imperative to separate residents within the community into smaller groups based on their cognitive and physical abilities. Once this is accomplished, a community is able to create the environment, the care structure, and an engagement plan to meet the need of the residents in each section or group.

Delicious Puree Recipes for Assisted Living & Memory Care

One of my favorite puree recipes are Mango Moose Cups. They are easy to make, and  most importantly very delicious.

    Ingredients you will need
  • 1 tsp gelatin powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 5 oz mango puree
  • 2 tbsp granulated white sugar (or more to taste)
  • 5 oz heavy whipping cream

Dissolve gelatin into 1 tbsp of water. Heat remaining 1 tbsp water until it is hot/almost boiling and add to gelatin, stirring until gelatin is fully dissolved. Add gelatin and puree into blender and mix on high speed until fully blended. In a stand mixer, add 2 tbsp sugar and heavy cream and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Slowly add puree into the whipped cream, folding it into the cream until completely mixed and uniform in color. Pour into individual portion cups and refrigerate to set.

It is very important to use pretty glassware that is the right size for the right person. One person may require a 4 oz glass and one a 12 oz glass. It is important to note that personal preferences are very important in all food preparation.  Here is an example of a pretty glass.

68d62aeb13c9fe7b24924c8bef61ca5a--dusty-rose-pretty-in-pinkIf we follow this wonderful, easy to make recipes you will get:

mango-mousse-cups-22                                                                                                                    Mango Mouse Cups

(please note that the garnishment on top of the mouse is for decoration designed to make the cup look appetizing. Decoration should be removed prior to consumption for those that are on a pure diet)

Conversations with Dementia Consultant-Navigating the Transition

Alzheimer’s and related dementia’s have a profound impact on family members and the experiences of loved ones living with dementia. As neurodegenerative medical conditions progress they often demand increased attention to needs and environmental transitions can be imminent, but helpful.  The stress and duress of change requires decision making, a lot of detail, and typically a period of adjustment for everyone involved.

Orchard Senior Living recognizes change for some families can be emotionally and physically overwhelming or challenging.  We want to help by offering you the provision of a Transitional Counselor who will support your transition beginning to end.

When living with dementia, we face transitions that are accompanied by a desire and longing to find our way to “well-being.”  We want to feel in control, confident, comfortable with ourselves, and valued by those who are important to us. Talking to someone who understands, creates courage and elicits new ideas when managing change or challenges.

I’m Robin Andrews, a solution focused communications consultant specializing in transition for families living with dementia.  I have a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and have worked in behavioral healthcare and aging services for 15 years. My collaborative counseling model is based on personal competency and solution-building rather than problem solving. Minimizing emphasis on past failings and problems, I instead focus on a persons’ strengths, abilities and successes.  I would be honored to assist you in a journey toward hope, healing, and self-discovery.skydd

Atlanta assisted living

Do Seniors Need A Living Will?

What is a living will?

Talking about end-of-life and critical-care issues are never an easy subject and can often get pushed aside because family members aren’t ready to confront this stage, but planning ahead can avert confusion and unnecessary distress during times of concern and grief.

Knowing a loved one’s wishes in advance before an illness or accident ensures that family members won’t have to make tough calls on their behalf during a crisis.

Livings Wills Are Legal Instructions

Also called advance directives or healthcare directives, living wills are written, legal instructions detailing a person’s preferences for medical care if they are unable to make decisions. Advance directives manage healthcare choices for medical professionals and caregivers if a person is terminally ill, critically injured, in a coma, in the late stages of dementia or near the end of life.

Living Wills and Power of Attorney

A living will typically work together with a medical power of attorney (POA). Some states combine the two into one document. The medical POA enables a person to select a person (a spouse, family member, or a friend) to make medical decisions on their behalf.

This isn’t just for older adults either, unexpected critical care and end-of-life situations can occur at any age, it’s crucial for all adults to prepare these documents. For more helpful information for seniors, read more articles on our blog here. To contact the Orchard for assisted living click here to speak to a representative.

Orchard Senior Living for the 2016 Tucker Small Business Excellence Award in the Retirement Homes

Orchard Senior Living selected for 2016 Tucker Small Business Excellence Award

Tucker,GA – January 05, 2017 — Orchard Senior Living has been selected for the 2016 Tucker Small Business Excellence Award in the Retirement Homes classification by the Tucker Small Business Excellence Award Program.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Tucker Small Business Excellence Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Tucker Small Business Excellence Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Tucker Small Business Excellence Awards Program

The Tucker Small Business Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding small businesses that serve the Tucker area. Each year, our selection committee identifies businesses that we believe have achieved outstanding marketing success in their local community and business classification.

Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. These are small businesses that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Tucker area a vibrant and vital place to live.

The Tucker Small Business Excellence Awards was established to reward the best of small businesses in Tucker. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to award the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Tucker Small Business Excellence Award Program

 

New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

Start on January 1

Making a New Year’s resolution to eat better, exercise, watch your weight, and see your healthcare provider regularly, can help you get healthier and feel better for many more years to come. Here are our top New Year’s resolutions for seniors.

Eat healthier
When it comes to eating, make sure you have plenty of veggies on your plate. Choose foods with deep colors like spinach, oranges, and carrots. Start a fiber-rich diet and switch fatty meats with heart-healthy fish like tuna or salmon.

Stay active
Physical activity can always be helpful despite any constraining situations like heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis. In fact, physical activity is known to improve all of these conditions. Exercises like water aerobics, walking and stretching can help improve your bones and balance.

See your provider regularly
Schedule an annual appointment with your doctor to discuss health screenings that can check your vision, hearing, and other conditions such as cancers or osteoporosis. After each visit talk about medications you’re taking and whether you still need to take them.

You may feel like you hear these same resolutions every year, but it’s only because these are the easiest to slip away from us! People can quickly fall into bad habits, getting on the right track can make all the differences. We are located in the Tucker, Georgia near Atlanta to find out how our community of care is working together with your loved one to meet these New Year’s resolutions through assisted living and memory care, contact us here or call 770-938-5600.