More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, the most common dementia diagnosis, according to a 2022 annual report from the Alzheimer’s Association. The report also estimates that over 11 million Americans currently provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
At some point, the level of care required for a loved one with dementia may become too much for a caregiver to handle and a more specialized form of care, often referred to as memory care, may be necessary.
But what is memory care, and how can a family member or caregiver determine when it’s time to seek out a higher level of care for their loved one? Let’s explore both of those questions.
What Is Memory Care?
Memory care offers specialized residential care for people, typically older adults, with a dementia diagnosis. This type of community is built for the needs of someone living with dementia. Team members provide a safe, structured environment with set routines to lower stress for residents.
Some continuing care retirement communities, such as Querencia at Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, have specialized memory care support available to residents. Our memory care services are also available to Austin area seniors on a direct-entry basis.
Signs It Might Be Time for Memory Care
Evaluating the early signs of cognitive decline that goes beyond what is considered normal for an older adult can be difficult. However, when a loved one receives a dementia diagnosis and you are aware of their condition, there are more straightforward signs that someone may need a higher level of care than they are currently receiving.
The National Institute on Aging defines dementia as “the loss of cognitive functioning — thinking, remembering and reasoning — to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.” Eventually someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia will no longer be able to care for themselves and things like wandering and balance issues can result in physical harm. Whenever you feel physical safety is an issue it’s an indication that it’s time for fully supervised care.
Some people with dementia find that they can no longer control their emotions and their personalities may change. It can be extremely difficult to see your loved one become emotionally detached or aggressive. A memory care community is designed to provide a calm, stable environment that supports the well-being and safety of older adults living with dementia in order to minimize any harm they may cause to themselves or others.
The health of a caregiver is as important as the health of the person in their care. Feelings of stress and exhaustion are common among caregivers. Everyone needs time for themselves to rest and recharge. Eventually this inability to make time for the things a person enjoys can lead to caregiver burnout. Ideally, you should consider memory care or seek other outside help before getting to the point of burnout. If you are already experiencing signs of burnout, it’s absolutely time to reach out for assistance.
Explore Memory Care at Querencia
Memory care team members at Querencia at Barton Creek take an elevated approach to the care they provide, whether it’s for long-time residents or Austin-area seniors. Our compassionate team is specially trained to serve and support those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Some of the services we provide to residents and community members include:
- Spacious private residences in a secure setting
- 24-hour supervised care in an environment designed for safety and comfort
- Common spaces designed to encourage socialization
- Three nutritious, chef-prepared meals provided daily
We are also proud to offer additional programs like MUSIC & MEMORY®, a national initiative that uses curated playlists to enliven resident spirits while enabling them to tap into memories.
Whether you are a caregiver of someone with dementia in the Austin area or just looking to give your loved ones peace of mind that you will have access to the full continuum of care, the team at Querencia at Barton Creek is always available to talk about our specialized health services.