Caring for an aging loved one, such as a parent, can be difficult physically, mentally and emotionally. 37% of us over the age of 50 don’t want to believe we’ll ever need care, though reality shows that as many as 70% of us, twice that figure, will in fact require long-term care. This refusal to believe what is inevitable for many stems from a fear of burdening family. One study found that 55% of seniors said their greatest fear regarding aging was being a burden on their family. They even reported being five times more concerned about being a burden than dying.
Memory disorders, like dementia and alzheimers, are especially widespread throughout the senior population and can often require the most care. Alzheimer’s, for example, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but is the only top 10 cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured. In order to take this type of action, an elevated level of care, beyond what an adult child or family member can provide, is often needed. Despite the financial and emotional strain placing your loved one in a memory care center may cause, consider these three benefits of memory care services when contemplating the decision:
- Strengthened Sense of Community Raises Levels of Happiness Making the decision to send a senior to an assisting living facility or somewhere for independent senior living can be very difficult. Adult children often feel like they’re abandoning their aging parents. In reality, 84% of residents in these communities end up enjoying their stay so much that they would recommend their community to someone else. A 2009 study by the ProMatura Group, LLC shows that becoming part of an independent seniors living community allows seniors to make more new friends and try more new things than their counterparts not in facilities. Overall, residents mostly report the experience being a better than they expected.
- Enhanced Stimulation for Improved Brain Health For an elderly person experiencing memory loss, having continuous n=mental stimulation is key for management. By the time we each reach age 80, our hippocampus has lost 20 percent of its original nerve cells. The brain itself actually shrinks and becomes less efficient as we age. With this natural degradation in mind, having the opportunity to provide aging loved ones with activities for seniors in assisted living situations is a paramount opportunity. Seniors reported in one study that their favorite activities included reading (71%) and pursuing religious activities (53%).
- Highest Level of Care Possible By finding an assisted living facility for your aging loved one, you’re also ensuring they receive the best care possible. Patients with dimentia, for example, can greatly benefit from continuously available memory care services. Residents typically receive 24-hour supervision, three meals a day in a group dining room and a range of services to enhance quality of life and independence. These activities include personal care and memory care services, medication management, along with housekeeping and maintenance.
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