Memory Care Options:
Community Living Environment, In-Home Services, Adult Day Centers
There are a variety of services available to assist and enrich the lives of those with Alzheimer’s and it begins with choosing whether to be a member of a community living environment, receiving in-home services, or participating at an adult day center. Consulting your doctor and encouraging family members as well as the person with Alzheimer’s to participate in care planning can keep everyone involved in the process.
Community Living Environment
Living in a community provides a higher level of care and attention than can be provided in-home and can be a long-term solution. Continuing Care Retirement Communities provide a continuum of care (Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Senior Rehabilitation) based on the individual needs. The resident is able to move through the different levels of care within the same community, keeping them settled in once place. Assisted Living can bridge the gap between living independently and living in a place specially designed for Memory Care residents. Make sure to inquire about family inclusion within the services, communities who include family into their overall care plans see a large change in the residents’ quality of life.
Memory Care services are securely supervised 24/7 with staff who are trained in dementia care. Staff members are able to provide personalized care, meet specific needs, abilities and interests. Most families pay for residential care costs out of their own pockets. Types of benefits that may cover nursing care include long-term care insurance (check the policy as certain requirements may need to be met before receiving benefits), Veterans benefits, and Medicaid.
In-Home services vary and can be medical (with a licensed health professional) or non-medical. Services include Companion Services (Help with supervision, recreational activities or visiting), Personal care services (Help with bathing, dressing, toileting, eating exercising or other personal care), Homemaker services (Help with housekeeping, shopping or meal preparation), and Skilled Care (Help with wound care, injections, medical needs by a licensed professional). Depending on the situation, family or relatives can be the in-home caregivers. Costs for home care services vary depending on many factors, including what services are being provided, where you live, and whether the expenses qualify for Medicare or private insurance coverage.
Adult Day Centers
Adult day centers are a program where those with Alzheimer’s and dementia can participate in activities in a safe environment. This can be a much needed break for caregivers who are utilizing at-home services for loved ones. Services within the day centers include counseling and support for people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and their families, health services, nutrition, personal care, activities, behavior management, etc. Many centers offer their services based on a sliding scale, where caregivers pay according to ability or income. In some states, Medicaid covers cost for people with very low income and few assets.
– Tia Walker