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Memory care in California

How many memory care centers are there in the Golden State? In the state of California, there are about 1,300 memory care facilities. These senior living centers can be found in the following locations: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Redding, Bakersfield, Riverside, and Stockton. They accept residents who suffer from Alzheimer's disease or other forms, such as frontotemporal dementia, Lewy Body dementia, and vascular dementia. As mentioned, assisted living facilities may accept dementia residents, provided they have specialized care units to meet the specific needs these seniors have.

The minimum age of acceptance is 62 in most memory care communities. Upon researching various facilities, you might discover that some accept residents starting with the age of 55. One of the major acceptance criteria is the dementia diagnosis, with associated impairments. Eligibility criteria also regard: monthly income, assets, level of independence, assistance needed with ADLs. Each memory care center might impose additional criteria, having the freedom to decide on the final list.

Dementia is quickly becoming one of the most often diagnosed conditions in this decade, affecting millions of people worldwide. Aside from Alzheimer's disease, older adults might also suffer from other forms, experiencing a wide range of manifestations. All dementia types are degenerative, progressing up to the point where the senior is completely dependent on someone else. They are best cared of in memory care centers or in assisted living facilities that have integrated memory care units, with specialized personnel catering to their very specific needs.

Within memory care centers, dementia seniors receive high-quality care, along housing and assistance with ADLs. To guarantee the best possible quality of life, a wide range of services and amenities is available. Thanks to the numerous safety features, senior adults are able to live their days in peace, with the risk of confusion being brought down to a minimum. For families, such a move releases the stress experienced. They feel much better knowing their loved ones are well taken care of.

The progression of dementia leads to specific manifestations, with seniors suffering from a permanent state of agitation. They might also experience various degrees of disorientation, hallucinations and mood swings. Given the obvious risks associated with the later stages of dementia, it makes sense to consider alternative living solutions. The transition to memory care can occur seamlessly, especially since the staff has the necessary experience to handle the process.

It is important to mention that not all senior adults who suffer from dementia will be accepted. For instance, memory care centers might refuse applicants who require continuous skilled nursing care, as well as those who are in need of specialized care that they cannot provide. This might include wound care. Seniors with severe cognitive impairment are not accepted, and the same goes for those who are mentally unstable, representing a danger to themselves or others. Usually, it is preferred that prospective residents are still able to take decisions with regard to their care.

A medical examination is usually undertaken prior to admission. This is necessary to establish the current needs of the prospective residents, as well as his/her specific medical issues. The assessment focuses on physical and mental health, cognitive decline, assistance needed with everyday living, behavior, preferences and needs. Individual service plans are created in accordance with the results of this examination, being updated every couple of months or after major health events. It is critical that these plans meet the needs of the respective resident to the letter.

Average cost of memory care in California

The average cost of memory care in California is around $5,400, which is slightly higher than the national average of $5,000. In comparison to other neighboring states, such as Nevada and Arizona, California has higher costs. On the other hand, memory care costs more in both Oregon and Washington, with the latter having an average of $6,600 per month.

Compared to other long-term care options, memory care has a similar cost with in-home care and home health care. Assisted living and adult day care cost less, while nursing home care is more expensive, with an average of $8,760 per month. Within the state, the most expensive memory care centers are found in San Jose, with an average of $7,000 per month. As for the most affordable communities of this kind, these can be found in Stockton and Riverside, with a monthly median of $4,230.

Dementia seniors thrive in memory care

Alzheimer's disease has quickly become one of the most diagnosed conditions among senior adults. Unfortunately, the other forms of dementia follow the same trend. Initial manifestations include forgetfulness and confusion. Seniors might forget where they have left certain things or be confused about recent events. The progression of dementia makes these changes more obvious, and it also leads to additional issues.

Most of the time, family members are the first to notice that something is wrong. Seniors will be affected by memory loss, experiencing concentration difficulties. It will become increasingly difficult for them to carry out routine tasks, and their language might suffer as well. In a lot of cases, these seniors are unable to take part to conversations, or they might be at a loss when it comes to finding the right words. Late-stage dementia is associated with severe cognitive decline and confusion, which will also trigger more or less extreme mood swings.

Dementia can throw everything out of order, making everyday living hard. Forgetfulness can impact one's interaction with family members and friends, and not being able to remember names or faces can also lead to embarrassment. Seniors might experience confusion on a permanent basis, and not even the familiarity of an environment will help them. In such situations, they present an increased risk of injury or self-harm. They need to be supervised at all times, which unfortunately will only increase their anxiety and depression.

Given the unfortunate changes dementia brings, the move into a memory care center is a sound decision to make. Within such a facility, seniors who suffer from dementia thrive, and they have access to everything they might need for comfortable living. They might also consider moving into an assisted living facility, provided the respective community has integrated memory care units. Both these facilities have trained staff, numerous safety features and specialized care available. Assistance with ADLs is also offered, as well as access to a wide range of services and activities.

Seniors who live in memory care enjoy a better quality of life, feeling supported and cared for. Thanks to the carefully-planned care, the progression of dementia is delayed for as long as it is possible. Moreover, this move is also beneficial for caregivers, who are no longer at risk of experiencing burnout. They feel comforted by the thought that their loved ones have a peaceful daily routine, with experienced personnel always available to guide them. All in all, memory care residents are known to be less withdrawn.

Options for memory care in California

The diagnosis of dementia leaves you with no other choice but to consider potential solutions. Even though in the early stages seniors might be able to live in assisted living facilities or other communities of this kind, their needs are best handled in memory care centers. They can also think about moving into a memory care unit within an assisted living facility, as the care provided there is quite similar.

For someone who lives with this condition, safety represents a top priority. Memory care communities offer an environment in which dementia seniors can live comfortably, with access to quality care, as well as services and amenities. Another big benefit is that the staff is always available, helping residents deal with difficult moments and thus feel less confused. Having received specialized training, they are able to handle crises with success, protecting seniors against injuries.

The memory care units that are located on the campus of assisted living facilities are also great places where dementia seniors can spend their retirement. Couples have the huge advantage of being able to remain close to one another, with one spouse opting for assisted living, and the other for memory care. In both situations, residents undergo a thorough medical examination, which will focus on their medical and personal assistance needs.

Services offered by memory care facilities in California

Memory care centers offer a diversity of services to their residents, the primary focus being on ensuring their comfort, both physical and mental. Within this safe environment, residents feel secure and their dementia-specific manifestations are less intense. The services available are meant to help them feel less confused, with the staff going at all lengths to ensure their independence is maintained for as long as it is possible.

As mentioned, dementia leads to cognitive decline, memory loss, and other discomforting manifestations. Recognizing the difficulties stemming from these changes, memory care centers offer a number of services meant to make everyday living easier. These might include: constant monitoring, cognitive therapy, speech and occupational therapy, safety elements, regular trainings for the staff. As for the general services, the following might be offered: laundry and linen service, Internet and telephone access, meal planning and preparation, scheduled transportation, housekeeping, general maintenance, 24/7 security, etc.

Assistance with ADLs is available in all memory care centers. Dementia seniors might be helped with any of the following tasks: eating, bathing, toileting, grooming, and dressing. In some centers, assistance with oral hygiene and mobility is also offered. Naturally, those who suffer from more advanced forms of dementia will receive more assistance with everyday tasks. All residents may benefit from medication management, as well as from additional care services, such as incontinence care, wound care, and so on.

Amenities offered by memory care centers in California

Within memory care centers, residents can live in apartments or units that are designed in the style of bedrooms. Even though all dementia seniors have a guaranteed right to privacy, these units are not equipped with keyed entries. Accessibility features are available in bathrooms and all units come with an emergency response system, which is highly beneficial in case of major health events. There are also safety features available, as the main purpose is to protect residents from accidents.

Such communities provide residents with a diversity of amenities, which are meant to make daily routine more pleasant. Many of them also offer opportunities for socialization and interaction. The staff can supervise dementia seniors while taking part in physical activities, such as water therapy, fitness classes, or yoga. Walking tours might also be organized and there are also memory gardens available for those who suffer from more advanced forms of dementia.

As you will see for yourself, there are also countless amenities targeted at mental health. These can include: social club, computer room, library, games night, and many more. Both social and recreational activities have been known to help dementia seniors preserve their skills, delaying cognitive decline and memory loss. Moreover, the regular socialization reduces the risk of depression, anxiety, and mood swings.

Don't see your location on the list? Use our search functionality at the top of the page to find 7381 memory care facilities from 576 municipalities, towns and cities in California. Search by city name or your zip code.

Questions to ask memory care facilities in California

The move into a memory care center is not one that can be easily made. Having a set of questions prepared can help you obtain all the information you need on a particular center or community. This is especially important if you are researching for a loved one, and you want to make sure the facility can meet his/her needs.

Examples of questions to ask

  • What are some of the reasons for which a memory care resident might be discharged?
  • Do you have restrictions related to visitation times? If yes, what are these?
  • Does the memory care center provide specialized care, such as for diabetes?
  • Can the memory care facility offer a detailed list of social and recreational activities?
  • Can the memory care center provide information on services available within the community?
  • Does the memory care center have preset meal plans? How about dietary accommodations?
  • Does the memory care facility have specific safety features to prevent wandering?
  • Are living units equipped with emergency response systems?
  • Do residents receive assistance with ADLs?
  • Can I see the floor plans for available living units?
  • What are the costs involved?
  • Does the memory care staff have experience in working with dementia seniors?
  • What kind of care is available at the memory care center?

California-based memory care centers are state-of-the-art facilities, in which dementia seniors can thrive and feel comfortable. Here are some advantages for you to remember.

  • Each memory care center in California is particularly developed to assist dementia seniors with their very specific needs
  • They accept residents who suffer from various forms of dementia, including vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease
  • Seniors benefit from specialized care and assistance with ADLs, including eating, grooming, toileting, dressing, and bathing
  • Seniors have access to an incredible diversity of activities, with a positive effect on their health – also countless opportunities for socialization
  • Residents might also move into assisted living facilities, provided these have memory care units integrated on the premises

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7,382 memory care facilities in California

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