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“Will They Just Park Dad in a Wheelchair?” The State of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care

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A prominent shift in the practice of memory care has drastically changed how residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive issues engage in everyday life at senior living establishments.

While many imagine a world of isolated rooms, strict routines, and impersonal care, innovative facilities strive to upset preconceived notions and create communities where residents feel comfortable, active, confident, and secure.

The decision to transition a loved one into a memory care program can be extremely difficult—and not knowing how Mom or Dad will spend their days in a new environment compounds stress and anxiety. But, rest assured that a great memory care facility is equipped to offer your parent exactly what they need wherever they are on their life journey.

So, if your dad does spend time parked in his wheelchair, it’s only because it’s what’s best for him in that moment of the day. Perhaps he prefers to watch the birds outside his window after lunch, or maybe he needs a few minutes of quiet following an active group game.

Memory care is comprehensive and personalized to meet individual needs, and daily includes:

  • Leisure and therapeutic programs: A combination of enjoyable and stimulating programs keeps seniors active and engaged. Yes, relaxed socialization is pleasurable, but more therapeutic, stimulating activities encourage increased awareness of remaining cognitive functions and results in celebrated achievements and goal setting—both improving quality of life and making moving from day to day more agreeable. All programs and activities are customized to meet residents where they are cognitively and physically, because a smart memory care team knows that a blanketed one-size-fits-all approach is not the answer.
  • An environment designed with your parent in mind: Unlike your house or a traditional nursing home, a memory care center is built to accommodate residents living with cognitive disease. Living and social spaces balance freedom and security, with strategic floor plans designed for safe, flexible movement within secure spaces.
  • A personalized and adaptable routine: We’re creatures of habit—and this is something that does not change after moving into a memory care center. Whether your parent prefers a strict routine or a relaxed approach to the day, each lifestyle can be accommodated, thanks in large part to small resident-to-staff ratios.
  • Deep connections with caregivers and fellow residents: In a memory care center, all residents are incorporated into one community and active participation is encouraged to combat loneliness. Understandably, time alone is desired once in a while, but for the most part, caregivers and residents take time to learn about each other through sharing stories, hobbies, photos, art, and more. Personal connections strengthen feelings of belonging, purpose, and enjoyment.