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Memory care in Colorado
Within the state of Colorado, there are about 200 memory care centers. These memory care facilities are located, among other urban areas, in: Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and Grand Junction. All of these senior living centers, as well as the assisted living facilities that have integrated memory care units, are licensed and regulated by the Department of Public Health and Environment. Memory care communities in Colorado welcome dementia seniors, regardless of the type or stage, but they are free to impose additional eligibility criteria.
The minimum age for admission is 62 in most memory care centers, but there are certain facilities in which this is lowered to 55. Aside from the corresponding diagnosis of dementia, prospective residents must demonstrate an obvious need for personal assistance and healthcare. Cognitive impairment is considered, as well as the level of independence.
Alzheimer's disease, one of the most common forms of dementia, is known to affect millions of people worldwide. Known for its degenerative progression, this condition is often diagnosed within the senior population. Other forms of dementia are identified as well, including Lewy Body dementia, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Regardless of the form, the condition will progress, causing seniors to have complex health needs.
The move into a memory care center can represent the best decision to take, given that such facilities are equipped with everything necessary to handle such specific needs. There is also the alternative of choosing an assisted living center that has memory care listed among its services. Usually, memory care units are integrated into existing senior living communities, allowing dementia seniors to thrive and enjoy a peaceful daily routine.
The diagnosis of dementia can lead to a lot of questions, especially with regard to what the future will hold. Seniors who suffer from this condition can find peace within a community that understands their difficulties, such as memory care centers. Seniors benefit from living in a secure environment, with success to healthcare, personal assistance, services and amenities. With the help of the staff, they adjust quickly. Many caregivers often report a visible change in their loved ones after moving into a memory care facility.
Dementia is a neurological condition, which causes a wide range of manifestations, including mood swings, personality changes, agitation, and confusion. In advanced stages, seniors might suffer from severe delusions and even hallucinations. Many dementia seniors can no longer live alone, given the risks involved. The transition to memory care is recommended, with the trained personnel being read to help them accommodate.
According to the usual policy, memory care centers do not accept residents who require prolonged skilled nursing care. They might refuse those who suffer from advanced cognitive impairment, especially if they are not able to direct their own care. The same goes for those who are mentally unstable, representing a danger to themselves or others.
To identify potential needs and challenges, an initial assessment is undertaken for each prospective resident. A physician specialized in caring for the elderly, and especially those with dementia, will analyze the following aspects: need for personal assistance, behavior, mental status, physical health, challenges. The assessment is used to develop an individualized service plan, which is focused on the resident's needs and demands. Within each community, these plans are updated every couple of months, and particularly after major health events.
Average cost of memory care in Colorado
The average cost of memory care in Colorado is of $5,100 per month, which is only slightly higher than the national average of $5,000. In comparison to neighboring states, such as Nebraska and Utah, Colorado has more expensive rates. On the other hand, memory care in this state costs less than in Kansas and New Mexico.
Within the state of Colorado, the most expensive memory care centers can be found in Boulder, with an average monthly cost of $5,900. In Fort Collins, seniors can find the most affordable facilities, with a median of $4,810 per month. Memory care costs a bit more than in-home care, home health care, and assisted living, and is significantly cheaper than adult day care. However, it is less expensive than nursing home care, which has an average monthly cost of $8,100.
Managing dementia in memory care
Every year, more and more people receive the diagnosis of dementia. They begin their journey not knowing what to expect or how they should approach their condition. Forgetfulness is not too visible in the beginning, but it gets worse over time, along the other specific manifestations. There usually comes a point where seniors realize they cannot live on their own, as they require both assistance and supervision.
For most seniors who suffer from this condition, the most bothersome symptoms include memory loss, concentration difficulties, and the inability to carry out their normal routine. Once the language begins to suffer, they might have trouble engaging in conversations. They might be at a loss for words, becoming morose and withdrawn. The progressing confusion makes everything worse, influencing their mood as well.
Living with dementia is far from simple, and there are a lot of challenges to overcome. Imagine not being able to remember recent events, or that you have forgotten the name(s) of your loved one(s). You become easily confused, no matter the location or how familiar it used to be. All of these changes can lead to accidents or wandering, so it makes sense to consider alternative solutions. Otherwise, you might also have to deal with mental health changes, such as depression and anxiety.
All of these challenges are best managed with the help of trained personnel, within the safe environment of a memory care center. The staff working here has experience with dementia and everything it brings, being able to help you integrate the new routine. The same goes for assisted living facilities that have memory care unit, as they also offer trained staff, personal assistance with ADLs and housing. Limited healthcare might also be available, and you will have a wide range of services and amenities to choose from.
Dementia seniors will enjoy the best possible quality of life within such communities. They will also remain close to their spouses, who might opt for assisted living. From the caregiver's perspective, they reduce the burden placed on them, and thus ensure everyone will be able to live in peace. The daily routine offered within memory care centers has a positive effect on dementia residents, helping them feel less confused and agitated.
Options for memory care
When the diagnosis of dementia is received, you might feel confused, uncertain of what steps to take. The same goes if one of your loved ones goes through this situation. The first thing you need to do is weigh your options. If the manifestations of dementia are not too severe, you might consider assisted living or similar options, such as continuous care. For advanced stages, where assistance and supervision are needed, memory care remains the best choice. You can either opt for memory care centers or assisted living facilities with memory care units.
A memory care center is exactly the type of community a dementia senior needs, offering a secure and manageable environment. Supportive staff can minimize the confusion experienced, with the constant supervision reducing the risk of accidents. In case of severe manifestations, they remain calm and handle the situation with professionalism, making sure the respective senior doesn't get hurt. Medical care might also be provided in certain facilities, whether by the on-site staff or third-party providers. With the latter, residents have to cover the associated costs.
Assisted living facilities have started to develop their own memory care units, so they would meet the increased demand for alternative retirement solutions within dementia seniors. Today, seniors are encouraged to apply for spots in such communities as well. As already mentioned, this is particularly advantageous for spouses, as they can benefit from different types of care and remain close to one another. Each ALF might impose specific admittance criteria for memory care, so be sure to check them beforehand.
Services offered in memory care
Memory care centers offer a diverse range of services to their residents, as they are looking to offer a high standard of living. Dementia seniors have access to both general and specific services, feeling more comfortable and safer as a result. From a closer glance, it is also clear that, by providing these, the staff is looking to help these seniors feel less confused. They provide a routine to which one can easily adapt to, regardless of the disease stage.
Most seniors who are in memory care are already dealing with manifestations such as cognitive impairment, delusion and memory loss. They need to be supervised at all times and benefit from specific therapies to help them preserve their skills. Memory care facilities in Colorado cover all of these needs, but these senior living centers also provide general services. These can include: laundry and linen service, scheduled transportation, 24/7 security, general maintenance, meal planning and preparation, Internet and telephone access, housekeeping.
All memory care residents benefit from assistance with ADLs, including dressing, bathing, eating, toileting, and grooming. Sometimes, additional assistance is provided, including mobility assistance, oral hygiene, and diabetes care. Residents who suffer from more advanced forms of dementia benefit from added assistance. Other types of care might be offered, including wound care and incontinence care (limited provision). Medication management is available at all times.
Amenities offered by memory care centers in Colorado
In most memory care centers, dementia seniors have access to different types of housing, including apartments and bedroom-style units. There are no keyed entries in such facilities, as the staff must have access to the housing units at all times. Each unit has a bathroom with accessibility features and an emergency response system, which is particularly useful in case of major health events. Various safety features are available, to protect residents from potential accidents and injuries.
Of course, all the amenities provided within memory care communities are adapted to the specific challenges dementia residents present. Physical activities are available, including guided walking tours, yoga, fitness, and swimming – all of them are done under the careful supervision of the staff. For more advanced stages, there are memory gardens and other enclosed outdoor spaces that offer opportunities for physical activity.
There are plenty of amenities that target mental health, helping dementia seniors delay the progression of their condition. Among the most common amenities falling in this category, there are: therapy for cognitive decline and memory loss, library, computer room, social club, social events, group games, off-site trips. Many senior living communities organize various events to encourage residents to socialize with each other, and thus feel better.
- ADAMS County
- ARAPAHOE County
- BOULDER County
- CANON CITY
- CASTLE ROCK
- COLORADO SPRINGS
- COMMERCE CITY
- DELTA County
- DOUGLAS County
- EL PASO County
- FORT COLLINS
- FORT LUPTON
- FORT MORGAN
- FREMONT County
- GARFIELD County
- GLENWOOD SPRINGS
- GRAND JUNCTION
- GREENWOOD VILLAGE
- HIGHLANDS RANCH
- JEFFERSON County
- LARIMER County
- LOGAN County
- MESA County
- MONTEZUMA County
- MORGAN County
- PUEBLO County
- PUEBLO WEST
- WELD County
- WHEAT RIDGE
Questions to ask prospective memory care centers
Each memory care facility might have its own admittance criteria and services to offer, but they all follow a general approach to handling dementia seniors. Upon visiting each community, you might want to ask as many questions as possible, as the answers can clarify whether the respective center is a good place for your loved one(s) or not. You can ask about the type of care available, safety measures, assistance with ADLs, medical care, etc.
Here are some questions you might want to add to your list:
- Can I expect for various levels of care to be available at this memory care center?
- What kind of training does the memory care staff receive? Does it focus on dementia seniors?
- Aside from the monthly fee, are there any other costs to consider? If yes, what are these?
- Does this memory care center provide a list of available services and amenities?
- Are the living units on the campus designed as apartments or bedrooms? Do you offer multiple options?
- Is assistance offered for a limited number of ADLs? What is the limit?
- Does this memory care facility have an emergency response system available in each housing unit?
- What happens in case of a medical emergency?
- What kind of safety features does this memory care center have in place?
- Does this memory care center provide several meal plans? Are there dietary adjustments included?
- What is the service frequency?
- How does this memory care facility encourage socialization?
- Does the memory care center provide wound care, diabetes care, mobility assistance?
- What are the visitation times? Any restrictions?
- What are some of the reasons for which a resident might be discharged?
Life in a memory care center can be comfortable and safe, allowing the senior in question to feel less confused and more in control of his/her condition. If you are still undecided about making this move, perhaps the following advantages will help you come closer to a resolution.
- Seniors who move into memory care enjoy a better quality of life
- Memory care centers often plan social and recreational activities to keep residents engaged and anchored in reality
- Safe environment, with a multitude of features to prevent wandering and confusion
- Assistance with daily living activities and access to specialized care from trained staff
- Issues like depression, anxiety, and isolation handled by professionals
- Any dementia resident can move in, regardless of how advanced his/her condition is (must be able to direct his/her own care)
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