Now that you have come to a decision to place your loved one in an Alzheimer’s assisted living because they battle with a memory loss disease, what can you expect from that facility? There are many areas in which an Alzheimer’s assisted living is different from a general assisted living. The main difference is that general assisted livings care for seniors who may need extra help with their activities of daily living for various reasons, but do not require skilled nursing care. Alzheimer’s assisted livings only care for seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other dementia related disorders. Other differences are that the staff at these facilities is specifically trained in all aspects of memory care, building designs are different to keep seniors safe while wandering and the type of activities the seniors participate in promote brain stimulation. Also, Alzheimer’s assisted living facilities must be certified with the proper state departments if they advertise as providing Alzheimer’s specific care.
All staff must receive at least four hours of dementia specific training before starting their job as caregivers. They must also complete twelve hours of in-service education regarding Alzheimer’s disease annually. These specialized caregivers have the skill sets to recognize the various behaviors and habits that form as Alzheimer’s progresses. They are also trained in how to communicate through their actions and words to ensure the well being of the residents at all times. Alzheimer’s assisted living buildings are different in design in that they eliminate “dead ends” so seniors never get the feeling they are lost. The majority of the facilities have continuous walking paths throughout the buildings and backyards or garden areas. This gives seniors the sense of freedom to walk around without ever getting lost at the end of a hallway.
For people with Alzheimer’s, structured activities are important to help separate day from night, avoid boredom, and to help slow memory loss. For these reasons certified Alzheimer’s assisted living facilities are required to meet a higher standard with their activity programs. Specifically, they must provide activity programs that incorporate cognitive activities (stimulates the mind like story-telling, reminiscing and arts and crafts), recreational activities (to promote social relationships such as group exercise and board games) and self-care activities (tasks such as dressing, eating and cooking). During each weekday certified Alzheimer’s facilities must offer at least one cognitive activity, two recreational activities and three self-care activities.
Alzheimer’s assisted living facilities offer a specialized service to families who need extra help with their loved ones. These facilities provide quality care to seniors with memory loss and have the ability to provide to each variation of the disease. For more information on the care provided at Alzheimer’s assisted livings please visit www.autumngrove.com.