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Memory Care in Delaware
In the state of Delaware, there are about 20 memory care centers. These memory care facilities can be found in the following locations: Dover, Wilmington, Carneys Point, and Glen Mills. All the memory care communities in the state are regulated by the Department of Health and Social Services, the Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection. Prospective memory care residents can receive free assistance from the state in choosing a particular community.
Before applying for a spot into a memory care facility, it is recommended to check eligibility criteria. It is worth mentioning that most senior living communities require prospective residents to be at least 62 in order to be considered. However, there are some senior living centers in which the age limit is lowered to 55. They must have a confirmed diagnosis of dementia, with mental impairment and specific manifestations. Additional criteria might regard: regular income, level of independence, need for specialized care.
There are certain cases in which applications are refused. Memory care centers in Delaware do not usually accept senior adults who are not able to direct their own case, as well as those who are mentally unstable, posing a threat to themselves or others. If residents require long-term skilled nursing care, are bedridden, or suffer from contagious illnesses, they will not be accepted. Communities might present additional reasons for refusal, so it might be a good idea to check these out before committing to a particular center.
An initial assessment is undertaken for each and every resident. This is needed to identify potential needs and challenges. These examinations are usually performed by experienced physicians, and they regard the following aspects: level of independence, assistance needed with ADLs, mental health, physical status, treatments, pre-existing conditions, etc. In accordance with this examination, an individual service plan will be created. Plans are updated on a regular basis and especially after the occurrence of major health events.
Average cost of memory care in Delaware
Within the stage of Delaware, the average cost of memory is of $7,190 per month. Considering that the national monthly median is around $5,000, it's safe to assume that Delaware is one of the most expensive states when it comes to memory care. The most expensive memory care centers can be found in Dover, with an average monthly cost of $7,370 per month.
As opposed to Delaware, neighboring states, such as Maryland and Pennsylvania have more affordable memory care options. In Maryland, the monthly cost of memory care is around $5,120, while Pennsylvania has an average cost of $4,690 per month. In New Jersey, however, the rates of memory care are higher.
Dementia cases are on the rise among the senior population, even though researchers have yet to clearly identify the causes of this neurological degenerative condition. Millions of people deal with the challenges brought on by various forms of dementia, their quality of life suffering to the point of being unable to handle even the simplest of tasks. Aside from Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form, seniors might suffer from Lewy Body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and vascular dementia.
It is a known fact that dementia progresses, leading to cognitive impairment, concentration difficulties, and challenges whereas communication is concerned. All of these changes make it hard for seniors to keep living independently, increasing the risk of accidents. Alternative living solutions include memory care centers, as well as assisted living facilities that have integrated memory care units. Within memory care communities, dementia seniors benefit from housing, assistance with ADLs, specialized care, services and amenities.
Many dementia seniors are aware that something is wrong, well before the actual diagnosis. Supported by their family and friends, they are considering their options, with memory care standing at the top of the list. What they want is a memory care community where they will feel safe and cared for, with their needs being met and potential challenges minimized. They are also aware of the fact that such centers have trained staff, happy to provide assistance whenever needed. Considering all the benefits offered, it should come as no surprise that most memory care residents adjust quite fast to the new environment.
As mentioned above, dementia can cause a number of changes, affecting not only the memory and language, but also one's concentration and cognitive capacity. The more it progresses, the more likely will be for the respective senior to experience additional changes, including mood swings, confusion, and agitation. Many senior adults also deal with personality changes, depression, and anxiety, withdrawing from society. Advanced forms of dementia require constant supervision, so moving into memory care might be the best option to consider.
Dementia, a condition effectively managed in memory care
Upon being diagnosed with dementia, it is only natural to think about the future and how will the condition be managed as it progresses. The manifestations of Alzheimer's disease, as well as the ones of other dementia forms, can prevent one from going through the normal routine, increasing the possibility of accidents. Dealing with forgetfulness, language impairment, and confusion, seniors might feel like they cannot manage on their own.
The constant progression of dementia can lead to a permanent stage of agitation, especially since the changes become more and more obvious. From forgetting recent events to experiencing confusion in dealing with everyday tasks, dementia seniors will begin to feel challenged. They will no longer have the patience to perform certain activities, struggling to bring them to completion. In some cases, the condition progresses at a rapid pace, with a visible affectation of language and personality.
Even when the illness unfolds slowly over the years, the quality of life still suffers. Often times, family members and friends are the ones to notice the gradual deterioration. Dementia seniors ask many questions and they are having difficulties remembering their own loved ones. They might become more easily involved in accidents and living alone will pose a series of risks. Mental health issues will quickly follow, imposing the need for a change.
For dementia seniors, memory care communities offer a safe environment, where they can go through a daily routine that helps them stay anchored in reality. With the assistance of supportive staff, they can handle regular tasks, and interact with one another, enjoying special moments. Assisted living facilities with integrated memory care units offer similar benefits, including when it comes to ADLs, personal assistance, and specialized care.
The move into memory care is beneficial for the family, releasing the caregiving pressure and offering subsequent peace. Family members who care for dementia seniors often deal with burnout, struggling to provide the best possible care. When their loved ones move into communities that can meet their every need, they feel less pressured. They also notice how quick they have adjusted to the new environment, taking advantage of visitation policies to stay close.
Options for memory care in Delaware
When first diagnosed, dementia seniors might consider other forms of retirement living, such as assisted living, home health care, or continuous care. Nonetheless, they are well aware of the fact that dementia is a progressive condition; in the later stages, the only two options worth considering include memory care centers and memory care units within assisted living facilities. Both these communities welcome people who have been diagnosed with dementia, being able to accommodate their needs, regardless of the illness severity.
Memory care centers provide seniors with a living solution that is adapted to their challenges. They also have access to care and medication management, and countless opportunities for engagement. Constantly monitored by the staff, they are experiencing a lower degree of confusion, and mood swings are more effectively managed. Difficult situations are handled on the spot by trained personnel, with the risk of self-harm being avoided.
Dementia seniors can also thrive in memory care units that belong to assisted living facilities. With access to almost the same type of housing and care, residents feel safe and less anxious, enjoying a peaceful routine. For couples, this option might be the best one to consider, as they can access different types of care. One of the spouses can be in assisted living, while the other will transition to memory care. Thus, they can remain close and see each other as much as they want to.
Services offered in memory care
All the services offered in memory care centers are meant to help dementia seniors thrive and become comfortable with the new daily routine. When seniors have access to a wide range of services, they feel more in control, and thus show a higher interest in planned activities. Moreover, they no longer feel the burden of house chores, knowing the staff offers all the support they might need.
Among the most common services falling in the general range, there are: meal planning and preparation, laundry and linen service, general maintenance, 24/7 security, housekeeping, errand running and shopping, scheduled transportation, Internet and telephone access. As mentioned, dementia seniors are constantly supervised by the staff, and they might also have access to various therapies. The purpose is to delay dementia progression and help residents preserve their current skills.
Regardless of the illness stage, all seniors receive assistance with daily living activities, such as eating, dressing, grooming, bathing, and toileting. Additional assistance can be offered for those who suffer from advanced dementia, and specialized care is also available in some centers. Options include: diabetes care, wound care, incontinence care, and mobility assistance. Medication management is included on the service list, with the staff either handling the administration of various drugs or monitoring residents while they handle the respective task themselves.
Amenities offered by memory care facilities in Delaware
The housing units available within memory care centers are often designed in the style of apartments. However, there are many facilities that offer bedroom-style units. All living units are located on the first floor, with easy access to common areas. They have bathrooms with accessibility features, an emergency response system in case of major health events, and countless other safety elements. The entry is not keyed, as the staff must have permanent access to each unit.
When it comes to amenities, there are a lot of great choices available, with focus on three different aspects: physical health, mental health, and socialization. These are some of the most-common offered amenities: library, social club, weekly religious service, computer room, reading, board games, swimming pool, yoga, fitness, guided walks, memory garden, off-site trips, etc. Residents are encouraged to take part in group events and interact with one another, as such interactions are usually beneficial for their state of mind and health in general.
Questions to ask prospective memory care centers in Delaware
To make sure you have found the best possible option for your loved one(s), it might be a good idea to visit several memory care centers/units. While taking a tour of the campus, as offered by most communities, you will get to ask questions and it cannot hurt to be prepared. The staff is always happy to provide detailed answers, so you are able to get an ides about what to expect.
Here are some questions you might consider adding to your list:
- Does the memory care facility offer individualized service plans for your residents?
- To what degree is the family allowed to be involved in the care progress?
- Are couples allowed to live together at this memory care facility?
- Do you provide different meal plans, with dietary adjustments?
- Does the memory care center have specific visitation times?
- What about a discharge policy at this memory care facility?
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
- Does the staff at the memory care center receive specialized training for handling dementia residents?
- Are residents of the memory care facility allowed to furnish housing units? What about personal belongings?
- Does the memory care facility provide specialized care? If yes, what kind?
- How are major health events handled at the memory care center?
The transition to memory care requires a lot of planning and careful decision-making. Struggling to take the next step, uncertain of the benefits memory care has to offer? Here is a small list of advantages for you to consider.
- The needs of dementia seniors are best met in memory care centers, regardless of the form or illness severity
- All memory care centers/units have a wide range of safety features, helping residents feel less confused, anxious, or depressed
- Dementia seniors receive assistance with ADLs, medication management, specialized care, all to the purpose of improving the overall quality of life
- Trained staff monitors dementia seniors at all times, reducing the risk of self-harm and accidents down to a minimum
- The daily routine helps residents feel less confused, including countless opportunities for them to engage and socialize
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