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Memory care in North Carolina

In the state of North Carolina, there are over 500 memory care communities. Prospective residents can also opt for assisted living facilities with memory care units. Many memory care centers can be found in the following locations: Durham, Raleigh, Wilmington, Charlotte, Greensboro, Rock Hill, Wake Forest, Burlington, and Fayetteville. All memory care communities are licensed and regulated by the Division of Health Service Regulation, which belongs to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Free assistance is available to those who need help in finding the right community for their needs.

To be accepted into a memory care community, seniors should be able to meet the specified admittance criteria. Basic criteria include a confirmed diagnosis of dementia, a detailed list of physical and mental impairments, and a minimum age that varies between 55 and 62. Memory care communities welcome those who suffer from mixed dementia, as well as those with individual forms, such as Alzheimer's disease, Lewy Body dementia, vascular dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. Additional criteria to be met include: treatments, level of independence/assistance with ADLs, marital status and income, co-existing conditions.

Not all those who apply for admittance into memory care are accepted. It is customary for memory care communities to refuse those who have been diagnosed with infectious conditions or suffer from conditions that left them bedridden. The same goes for those who require a type of care that the center cannot provide, such as hospice care or long-term skilled nursing care. Seniors who are unable to direct their own care and those who are mentally unstable, posing a danger to themselves or others, will be refused as well. The community acceptance guidelines can usually be found online.

To identify each resident's needs and requirements, an initial examination is undertaken. This is handled by an experienced physician, with the assistance of a registered nurse. Aspects analyzed during this examination include: physical and mental health, co-existing conditions, emotional status, personality, behavior, level of independence/need of assistance. The results are used to develop individual care plans. It is customary for plans to be updated regularly and especially after major health events.

Average cost of memory care in North Carolina

In the state of North Carolina, memory care has an average monthly cost of $5,000. This is the same as the national median. Compared to neighboring states, such as South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, North Carolina has more expensive rates. Virginia, on the other hand, has a monthly average of $6,000.

Within the state of North Carolina, the average cost of memory care varies considerably. The most expensive memory care communities can be found in Wilmington, averaging at $6,700 per month. Fayetteville, by contrast, has the most affordable facilities of this kind, with a monthly average of $4,000. Memory care costs more than in-home care, home health care, adult day care, and assisted living. The only exception is represented by nursing home care, which costs about $7,000 per month.

How is dementia managed in memory care?

Dementia refers to a group of manifestations that are mostly encountered in older people, with the most common including cognitive decline, memory loss, and language impairment. Often expressed as Alzheimer's disease, this leads to abnormal changes in the brain, affecting the ability to function independently. When the condition progresses far enough to impair daily living, most seniors make the transition towards memory care. These communities are best equipped to handle their complex needs, providing specialized care, adapted housing, and assistance with ADLs.

Memory care communities in North Carolina have been developed to meet the needs of dementia seniors, not only in terms of care but also when it comes to socialization and daily living. The same thing can be said about assisted living facilities that have memory care units, thus covering the increased demand for this type of long-term care. By moving into either one of these two facilities, dementia seniors can thrive, managing their condition more effectively. Moreover, they will definitely enjoy the daily routine and the activities made available to them.

Someone who suffers from a deteriorating condition such as dementia needs predictability to feel safe and protected. Within memory care, dementia seniors discover a structured environment, with a routine that is predictable in every way. As a result, their anxiety subsides and the overall quality of life improves. These centers offer adapted diets, trained staff, and assistance with everyday tasks. Residents benefit from quality care, with the staff acting empathically and supportive. The challenges of dementia are dealt with efficiently and difficult moments are faster overcome.

When it becomes difficult to look after someone who suffers from dementia, memory care appears as the logical next step. This form of residential long-term care has been especially developed for those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, dealing with cognitive decline, memory loss, and language impairment. Specialized, intensive care is provided by experienced staff, within a safe and structured environment.

The set routine is highly beneficial for dementia seniors, lowering the amount of stress they are usually experiencing. Residents enjoy nutritious meals, with foods that benefit the brain and dietary adjustments whenever necessary. The staff provides assistance with daily living activities, but they also have experience in dealing with the challenges of dementia. From frequent monitoring to extra support, they act with empathy and dedication.

As opposed to other long-term care options, the staff of memory care communities might help residents attend each meal and planned activity. This service is known as mobility assistance, as most seniors require additional help making the transition from one task to the other. Moreover, as people with dementia present a high risk of wandering, memory care communities are equipped with alarmed entries. The outdoor spaces are also enclosed to protect residents and elevators require a code to function.

Some centers require dementia seniors to wear tracking bracelets. These allow them the freedom to explore outdoor spaces, with the staff monitoring their location at all times. As for the daily routine, this often includes activities that are meant to improve cognitive abilities and help residents interact with each other. These activities are planned in such a way that they benefit seniors who find themselves in different disease stages.

Options for memory care in North Carolina

In the beginning, many seniors are still able to live on their own. Family members or friends often assume the roles of caregivers. As time passes, it becomes clear that their loved one needs more support than they are able to provide. Most caregivers realize it has become unsafe for the respective senior to keep living in his/her current home, but also that their own health has begun to suffer. The burnout syndrome can cause them to become irritable and impatient, which in turn will affect the care offered.

The Internet represents a good place to start looking at memory care communities. You can also look at different assisted living facilities that have memory care units. Many people begin their research with the state in which they live, extending their area of interest gradually. Once you have several choices jotted down, it might be a good idea to set up guided tours. You might also consider making an unannounced visit to the communities of interest, to see how things unfold outside of organized tours. You can ask your friends or family to accompany you, discussing the benefits of each facility afterwards. Be sure to pay attention at basic elements, such as the type of care offered, services, and amenities.

Services offered in memory care facilities in NC

All the services provided within memory care communities are included in the monthly fees, so residents do not have to worry about hidden costs. Many of them are meant to help residents handle the daily routine. Moreover, as they are the same every day, they offer an added degree of comfort. The inclusion of daily chores comes as a relief, as there are a lot of seniors unable to handle these. With these out of their way, they are able to engage in stimulating activities and manage their condition more effectively.

Most memory care communities advertise their services online, so everyone can check them out. When researching different facilities, all you have to do is go on the Internet and see what services are available within each center. Strong points include the dementia-specific therapies, experienced staff, and safety features. As for the general services, you might find the following: housekeeping, 24/7 security, general maintenance, scheduled transportation, laundry and linen service, errand running and shopping, meal planning and preparation, Internet and telephone access.

One of the basic services provided refers to the assistance with activities of daily living. The staff encourages seniors to participate to every task, but they are happy to provide help whenever it is necessary. Common ADLs for which support is offered include bathing, eating, dressing, grooming and toileting. Other services available are diabetes care, wound care, incontinence care, and mobility assistance. Medication management is provided in all memory care communities, with the staff monitoring residents while taking their treatment or handling the respective tasks for them.

Amenities in memory care centers in North Carolina

The housing units available within memory care communities are either apartments or bedrooms. It is mandatory for the staff to be able to access these units, so the doors cannot be locked. All units are equipped with safety and accessibility features, and there is also a functional emergency response system in case of major health events. Additional features are included in every bathroom, to the purpose of reducing the risk of accidents, such as slipping and falling.

Diverse amenities are chosen to include within the daily routine. Seniors have the opportunity to interact with each other, engaging in activities that benefit both their physical and mental health. Even those who suffer from advanced forms of dementia can try some of these activities, while monitored by the staff. Among the most popular amenities, there are: birthday celebrations and other events, social club, computer room, library, fitness, swimming, yoga, guided/walking tours, memory garden, weekly religious service. Many communities provide additional amenities.

Don't see your location on the list? Use our search functionality at the top of the page to find 617 memory care facilities from 249 municipalities, towns and cities in North Carolina. Search by city name or your zip code.

Questions to ask prospective memory care centers in NC

Seniors are invited to take tours of prospective memory care communities, so they can form a general idea about their services. The staff will invite them to ask questions, being ready to offer detailed answers and additional information upon request.

These are some of the questions worth asking:

  • What is the visitation policy at the memory care center?
  • What is the discharge policy?
  • Are certain applications rejected? Why?
  • Are seniors who are unable to direct their own care accepted? What about those who are bedridden?
  • What are the costs associated with moving into your community?
  • Has the memory care staff been trained to handle dementia seniors? What kind of experience do they have?
  • Does the memory care center have different housing units available?
  • Are housing units at the memory care facility equipped with safety and accessibility features? Do they have emergency response systems in case of major health events?
  • For which ADLs do residents receive assistance? Are there any limitations?
  • How is the daily routine structured at the memory care community?
  • How does the memory care center encourage socialization? What activities do you offer?
  • Can the memory care center provide details on the available meal plans? Do you offer dietary adjustments?
  • What type of care does the memory care center offer?
  • What is the intervention policy in case of a medical emergency?

Given that dementia progresses to the point where it impairs both mental and physical abilities, it makes sense to consider moving into memory care. It is recommended to take your time and research different communities, so that you can be absolutely certain you've found the best one for your needs.

Here are a few advantages to take into consideration when looking at memory care communities:

  • Different options for living, such as bedroom-style units or apartments – all have safety and accessibility features, as well as emergency response systems in case of major health events
  • Access to a wide array of services and amenities, integrated into the daily routine – more time for stimulating activities
  • Assistance with common ADLs, such as toileting, grooming, bathing, eating, and dressing
  • Specialized care provided by professional memory care staff – mobility assistance, wound care, diabetes care, incontinence care, medication management
  • Effective management of dementia manifestations, with focus on preserving current skills

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617 memory care facilities in North Carolina

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