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Memory care in Hawaii
In the state of Hawaii, there are about 30 memory care communities, in addition to several assisted living facilities that have integrated memory care units. These memory care centers can be found in the following locations: Honolulu, Kahului, Kaneohe, Wahiawa, Kapolei, Hilo, Hauula, Wailuku, Waimea, Kailua Kona, and Lihue. All these memory care facilities are licensed and regulated by the Office of Health Care Assurance, which belongs to the Hawaii Department of Health. Free assistance is available for all dementia seniors interested in memory care.
Acceptance criteria might vary from one facility to the other, but there are some requirements you will see in all communities. For instance, prospective memory care residents must have a minimum age of 62, or 55 in some cases. The diagnosis of dementia has to be presented, along a detailed description of current impairments. Additional criteria might regard: level of independence, pre-existing conditions, need for specialized care, treatment schedules, assistance with ADLs.
Average cost of memory care in Hawaii
Within the state of Hawaii, the average cost of memory care is around $5,200 per month, which is slightly higher than the national median of $5,000. It is worth mentioning that memory care costs more than other long-term care solutions, such as assisted living. This is because the staff must be trained specifically to work with dementia residents.
The most expensive memory care facilities are located in the urban area of Honolulu, with a monthly average of $5,380. In Kahului, which belongs to Maui, you might find communities that are less costly, with a median of $5,120 per month. As a general rule, the cost of memory care in Hawaii varies between $3,000 and $10,000 per month. Both Alaska and Washington have higher rates for memory care, while Oregon and California have more affordable centers.
The management of dementia in memory care communities in Hawaii
It is important to mention that not all dementia seniors might be accepted into memory care. The reasons for refusing applications can be diverse, including: need for long-term skilled nursing care or specialized care that the respective facility cannot offer; bedridden and mentally unstable seniors, who might pose a threat to themselves or others; seniors who suffer from infectious conditions or those who require complex treatments; seniors who are not able to direct their own care.
An initial examination is undertaken for each accepted senior, being necessary to identify current needs and requirements. Performed by a trained physician, these assessments also provide information on challenges seniors might present. The following aspects are looked at: how well does the resident manage on his/her own, how many ADLs he/she can handle without assistance, cognitive and language impairment, physical and mental health, treatments taken, etc. All the data derived from the assessment is used to develop an individualized service plan, which is updated regularly and after any major health event (stroke, heart attack, etc.).
Senior adults can suffer from a wide range of chronic conditions, including neurological ones. Alzheimer's disease, for instance, is one of the most common diagnoses made in this population segment, affecting millions of people worldwide. A form of dementia, it can lead to various symptoms, including memory loss, cognitive impairment, and language difficulties.
Other types of dementia can be identified, including vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy Body dementia. They all cause similar manifestations and are considered progressive conditions, with a definite influence on the overall life quality. The more dementia progresses, the harder it can be for a senior adult to handle everyday living. Alternative living is considered, with memory care representing one of the top options. Seniors can also opt for assisted living facilities that have memory care units available.
Dementia evolves up to the point where the associated manifestations become obvious. Forgetfulness appears often, with seniors having difficulties remembering recent events or even familiar faces. They might not be able to take part in a conversation, struggling to focus, and simple tasks might turn into complicated ones all of a sudden. Facing these obvious challenges, seniors are encouraged by their caregivers to consider memory care and other alternative living options.
Most seniors have a hard time adjusting to the manifestations of dementia, feeling depressed and anxious as a result. Confusion makes everything worse, with caregivers noticing the difference in behavior. In advanced stages, mood swings become pronounced, being accompanied by personality changes and additional symptoms, such as delusion and hallucinations. Dementia seniors become withdrawn and present a high risk of accidents, being monitored at all times.
In the beginning, it might be possible to keep living alone and perform everyday tasks without assistance. Nonetheless, seniors have to consider that dementia is a progressive, degenerative condition; over time, the associated manifestations become more obvious, impacting their daily routine. Moving into memory care is something to consider, and it will also relieve the pressure caregivers are experiencing.
Within a safe memory care community, there is no risk of accidents and wandering is out of the question. Moreover, all memory care residents benefit from specialized care, with support and empathy provided by trained staff. While this is not an easy decision to take, it might be the one that makes the biggest difference. Feelings of confusion and uncertainty are natural, and seniors might also feel like the transition into memory care is too big for them to handle. Most communities allow them to take tours and even spend a couple of days there, so they know what to expect.
More often than not, the changes brought on by dementia are noticed by friends and family members. Dementia seniors will deal with forgetfulness, feeling irritated at their clumsiness and inability to handle otherwise simple tasks. They might ask more questions than usual, with small accidents becoming common. Severe cognitive decline prevents them from engaging in various activities, and the language difficulties will affect socialization.
In memory care, dementia seniors benefit from care and assistance, feeling better as a result. The daily routine is carefully adapted to their needs, with consideration to potential challenges. In most cases, the adaptation period is quite short, with seniors feeling less confused, irritated, or jumpy. The staff offers all the support needed, whether it refers to actual tasks to be performed or just comforting words. Socialization is encouraged and often adapted to each situation.
As mentioned, seniors might also choose to move into a memory care unit that belongs to an assisted living facility. Regardless of the community, seniors will benefit from high-quality care, which will also help caregivers feel good. Most people who care for dementia seniors deal with chronic stress and burnout, suffering as a result. When their loved ones opt for memory care, this decision comes as a huge relief. All memory care communities have visitation hours, so caregivers can remain close to their family or friends.
Options for memory care in Hawaii
Seniors can opt for a wide range of long-term care solutions nowadays, with some of the most common choices including assisted living, continuous care retirement, and adult day care. All of these are also suitable for seniors who are in the early stage of dementia. However, as the condition progresses and the associated manifestations become worse, it might make more sense to consider memory care.
Assisted living facilities can be taken into consideration as well, provided they have memory care units where they welcome dementia seniors. Just like in the above-mentioned centers, residents benefit from various services and amenities, with access to housing and adequate care. The staff is trained to handle dementia residents, having both the practical experience and knowledge to meet any possible challenges.
Memory care communities have been created to meet the very specific needs of those who suffer from dementia. Memory care facilities in Hawaii offer a safe environment, with a simple routine that is beneficial for those dealing with confusion and agitation. From assistance with ADLs to managing treatment schedules, dementia seniors are given the opportunity to live their retirement in peace, enjoying the best possible quality of life. Severe forms of dementia are effectively managed, the staff working closely with the family and other caregivers.
Both memory care centers and the units associated to assisted living communities have similar advantages to offer. The main goal is to help dementia seniors feel better, and this is why genuine efforts are made to add countless safety features. Within such communities, seniors present a lower risk of mental health issues and accidents. The state of agitation can be kept under control, and there is always the added benefit of being able to see their loved ones often.
Services offered in memory care in the state of Hawaii
The services available in memory care centers in Hawaii are meant to help dementia seniors integrate more easily, providing them with a high level of comfort. Part of the daily routine, these also guarantee residents do not have to burden themselves with additional tasks. Instead, they can concentrate on the things that bring them pleasure. The good news is that all memory care facilities provide their residents with access to the most diverse activities.
As part of the general list of services, you might find the following: errand running and shopping, meal planning and preparation, 24/7 security, general maintenance, housekeeping, laundry and linen service, scheduled transportation (medical and non-medical), meal planning and preparation (dietary adjustments included), Internet and telephone access. Dementia seniors can also access diverse therapies, with support from the trained staff.
Assistance with activities of daily living is available in all communities, with some of the most important tasks regarding eating, dressing, bathing, toileting and grooming. Specialized care is offered, including: diabetes care (insulin shots), wound care, incontinence care, and mobility assistance. Medication management is another service provided, with the staff monitoring residents while taking their treatment or handling the respective task themselves.
Amenities in memory care centers in Hawaii
The housing available within memory care centers includes several options, including apartments and bedroom-style units. With easy access to shared areas, all these units are found on the first floor of the building. In most cases, the hallways are color-coded, a feature which helps dementia seniors reach various locations. Housing units have accessibility features and an emergency response system, which is useful in case of major health events. The staff has access to the units at all times, as there are no lockable doors.
Dementia seniors can take advantage of various amenities, targeted at three different aspects: physical health, mental health, and socialization/engagement. Physical amenities might include fitness sessions, yoga classes, swimming, physical therapy. For mental health, residents might benefit from: computer room, library, social club, painting studio, etc. Socialization is encouraged by organizing group events, including weekly religious services and off-site trips. Seniors also have access to gardening areas, memory gardens and other enclosed spaces where they can safely explore the open outdoors.
Questions to ask prospective memory care facilities in Hawaii
How can you choose the best community for your loved one(s)? Are there differences to consider? Well, if you are feeling undecided, it might be for the best to plan visits to each memory care center and ask as many questions as needed. The staff is always ready to answer questions from potential clients, and the details offered might help you come closer to a decision.
These are some of the questions you might consider asking:
- What is the intervention policy in case of major health events?
- Can the memory care facility provide a list of eligibility criteria?
- Are all housing units equipped with accessibility features and emergency response systems at this memory care center?
- Do memory care residents undergo initial assessments? Is the information from these assessments used to develop care plans?
- What kind of specialized care does the memory care facility offer? Does your memory care center accept third-party providers?
- Does the memory care facility allow couples and, if yes, can they benefit from different types of care?
- Does the memory care center offer assistance with ADLs? If yes, what are the terms?
- What are the meal plans available? Does the memory care center provide dietary adjustments?
- What is the visitation policy at the memory care center?
- What is the discharge policy at the memory care facility?
- Has the staff received training for dementia care?
Memory care centers, as well as the memory care units integrated to assisted living facilities, provide dementia seniors with a safe environment, in which they can enjoy their life and delay the progression of their condition.
Here are a couple of advantages for you to remember:
- Dementia seniors are best handled in specialized communities, such as memory care centers and memory care units (assisted living facilities)
- These communities provide dementia seniors with everything they might need, including housing, meal plans with dietary adjustments, specialized care, services and amenities
- Assistance with ADLs is available, as well as medication management
- Staff has received training and has the practical experience to handle dementia residents
- Dementia seniors have numerous opportunities to socialize, thus feeling less depressed and/or anxious
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