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Memory care in Pennsylvania

In the state of Pennsylvania, there are about 390 memory care communities. One can also find assisted living facilities that have memory care units available. Memory care centers can be located in the following cities: Scranton, Johnstown, Erie, East Stroudsburg, Altoona, York, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg. All the memory care facilities in the state are licensed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Those who want to move into a memory care community can benefit from free assistance.

Prospective residents must meet the admittance criteria imposes by each memory care community. For instance, seniors have to present a confirmed diagnosis of dementia, along a detailed list of physical and mental impairments. It is worth mentioning that memory care facilities accept seniors who suffer from any type of dementia, including frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. The minimum acceptance age varies between 55 and 62. Additional criteria to meet regard: level of independence/need for assistance, co-existing conditions, marital status, and income.

There are specific reasons for which certain applications might not be accepted. Memory care communities in PA do not accept those who are bedridden or suffer from transmittable conditions. The same goes for those who are mentally unstable, representing a danger to themselves or others. Seniors who require hospice care, long-term skilled nursing care, or any other type of care that the community is unable to provide, will be rejected as well. If they are unable to direct their own care, the application will not be accepted.

All seniors undergo thorough assessments soon after their application is accepted. This examination is usually handled by an experienced physician, with the help of a trained nurse. Aspects taken into consideration include: behavior, emotional status, personality, level of independence/assistance required, treatments taken, co-existing conditions, general health. Based on the results of this examination, individual care plans are created. As customary, these are updated every couple of months and always after major health events.

Average cost of memory care in Pennsylvania

In the state of Pennsylvania, the average monthly cost of memory care is close to $4,900. This is only a bit lower than the national median of $5,000. All the neighboring states, such as New York, Ohio, Maryland, and New Jersey have higher rates. The latter, for instance, has an average monthly cost of $8,000.

Within the state of PA, the cost of memory care varies considerably. The most expensive memory care communities are found in Harrisburg, with an average monthly cost of $6,100. On the other hand, Scranton has the most affordable communities of this kind, averaging at $3,100 per month. Compared to other long-term care options, such as adult day health care, assisted living, in-home care, and home health care, memory care costs more. The only exception is represented by nursing home care, which has an average monthly cost of $9,700.

How is dementia managed in memory care?

Memory care facilities have been especially designed to welcome dementia seniors, offering 24-hour care, assistance, and specialized care. Dementia is a progressive condition, which leads to cognitive decline, memory loss, and language impairment. Seniors who suffer from such manifestations need the help of specialized staff; within memory care communities, they also benefit from a structured and secure environment, memory-enhancing therapies, and engaging activities. All of these benefits play a direct influence on their health, increasing the overall quality of life.

The first manifestations of dementia are not specific and often attributed to the physiological aging process. Seniors might begin to forget minor things or feel confused, and years can pass before an actual diagnosis is sought out. However, once dementia progresses, it becomes more and more clear that something is wrong. One can begin to forget recent events, having trouble remembering the faces or names of his/her loved ones. Confusion can add to the problem and many seniors struggle to participate in conversations, showing obvious language impairment.

Unfortunately, all the changes caused by dementia can lead to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. As a result, seniors become withdrawn, avoiding the interaction with other people. More often than not, the transition into memory care is suggested by family or friends, who have acted as caregivers. They are dealing with burnout themselves, acknowledging the need for specialized care and assistance. In addition, caregivers are well aware of the fact that memory care communities are best equipped to provide the right therapies, thus helping seniors preserve their current skills and delay the progression of dementia.

While there are many alternative living solutions out there, memory care remains the best option for someone who suffers from dementia. Within such a facility, seniors benefit from everything necessary to manage their symptoms in an effective manner. Many communities have therapists available, specialists who know how to help seniors dealing with language impairment, cognitive decline, and memory loss. Moreover, they offer a structured routine, keeping their confusion down to a minimum.

Seniors who move into memory care communities report an improved state of health, including from a mental point of view. They adapt fast to the new environment and enjoy the daily routine, feeling less anxious or depressed. Their daily meals and snacks are prepared fresh, with ingredients beneficial for brain health. For those who suffer from additional health issues, such as diabetes, dietary adjustments are possible. As for the staff, they are experienced in dealing with difficult situations, helping seniors get back to a calm state. They receive training in handling dementia seniors, which is an added benefit to consider.

Safety is one of the top priorities for all memory care facilities. As a result, residential buildings are designed to include a wide range of safety features, including enclosed outdoor spaces, elevators with security codes, and alarmed entries. Thanks to these features, wandering is prevented. Residents are monitored by the staff at all times, and their constant presence has been known to have a calming effect. Those who suffer from advanced dementia can benefit from mobility assistance, with the personnel helping them attend planned activities and daily meals.

Outdoor spaces can be safely explored by residents, thanks to the introduction of tracking bracelets. Thanks to these safety elements, seniors can be easily supervised by trained personnel. They can also take part in other activities, including memory-enhancing therapies that are quite beneficial for their cognitive health. Additional activities are planned to encourage socialization, with a positive influence over their state of mind. Seniors with severe manifestations can also participate in various activities, receiving the necessary assistance from the staff.

Options for memory care in Pennsylvania

The diagnosis of dementia leaves seniors with no other choice but to consider their future options. When the manifestations are not too severe, one can keep living alone, asking friends or family to act as caregivers. As the condition progresses, impairing daily functioning, it is for the best to think about long-term residential care. Assisted living and continuous care represent options for incipient forms of dementia, but ultimately memory care is the best one for those who already have a hard time functioning alone. Memory care communities welcome dementia seniors, providing them with adapted housing, specialized care and assistance.

To discover the best memory care facilities, you can perform a thorough online research. Many communities list their services online, including assisted living facilities with integrated memory care units. You can first look at the available options in your state, extending your search gradually. Once you have determined which centers are the best, you can call and set up an appointment for a guided tour. The staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have, so that you can form a general idea about their services and care. Most seniors go on such tours accompanied by their family or friends.

Services offered in memory care

Many seniors are no longer able to handle complex chores, so they feel relieved upon discovering that these are handled by experienced staff. Not only does this facilitate their daily living, but they have more time to engage in stimulating activities. Memory care communities offer such services as part of the daily routine, and their predictability has a beneficial effect on the residents' mindset. Moreover, as you will see for yourself, many of the chosen services are meant to cater to the specific needs dementia seniors have.

If you are curious about the services provided by a certain community, you can go online and check out their website. Keep in mind that all memory care facilities provide memory-enhancing therapies, experienced personnel, and an adapted living environment with countless safety features. The following general services are offered as well: meal planning and preparation, 24/7 security, laundry and linen service, scheduled transportation, Internet and telephone access, housekeeping, errand running and shopping, general maintenance.

The assistance with ADLs is available for all residents, including tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, and grooming. Seniors are encouraged to be as independent as possible; those with advanced dementia should participate in every task, in accordance with their own abilities. Naturally, the staff will provide additional assistance whenever it is necessary. Residents can also benefit from other services, such as medication management, wound care, incontinence care, mobility assistance, and diabetes care.

Amenities offered by memory care facilities in Pennsylvania

The living units of memory care communities are designed in the style of bedrooms or apartments. They have no lockable entries, so the staff can access them in case of emergencies. In additional, units are equipped with accessibility and safety features, which reduce the risk of injuries. All the units have a functional emergency response system for major health events and bathrooms with special features. The latter are meant to prevent common accidents, such as slipping and falling.

Amenities are selected with care, so they are beneficial for both physical and mental health. Residents are encouraged to try all the available amenities, enjoying their everyday routine and feeling less anxious as a result. Even those with severe manifestations can engage in stimulating activities, with the assistance of trained personnel. Some of the most common amenities include: memory garden, yoga, guided/walking tours, weekly religious service, computer, swimming, fitness, library, social clubs, birthday celebrations and other events, etc. Additional amenities might be available in each memory care community.

Don't see your location on the list? Use our search functionality at the top of the page to find 1225 memory care facilities from 543 municipalities, towns and cities in Pennsylvania. Search by city name or your zip code.

Questions to ask prospective memory care centers in Pennsylvania

As mentioned above, you can set up guided tours for all the memory care communities you are interested in. It might be a good idea to prepare a set of questions before the actual visit. You can then discuss your options together with your family and friends, deciding on the best facility for your needs.

These are some of the most important questions you might think to ask:

  • What are the reasons for which memory care applications are rejected?
  • Does the memory care center have specific guidelines for visitation times?
  • What is the discharge policy?
  • Does the memory care center accept those who are unable to direct their own care? What about those who suffer from mental instability?
  • How are medical emergencies handled?
  • Does the memory care facility provide specialized care? What are the available options?
  • How does the memory care center structure meal plans? Are dietary adjustments allowed?
  • What are the costs associated with moving into the memory care facility?
  • Has the memory care staff been trained to work with dementia seniors? What kind of trainings have they received?
  • Does the memory care center have different housing options available?
  • Do housing units at the memory care center have an emergency response system? What about safety and accessibility features?
  • Does the memory care center provide assistance with ADLs? Are there any limitations?
  • What social and recreational activities does the memory care community offer?
  • How is socialization encouraged?

If you are uncertain about the decision to move into memory care, take some time and think about the advantages incurred. Talk to your family and friends about your options, as they can provide valuable advice.

These are some of the most important advantages of memory care for you to remember:

  • Specialized care available to all memory care residents, including medication management, mobility assistance, wound care, incontinence care, diabetes care, etc.
  • Daily routine includes engaging activities, beneficial for both physical and mental health
  • Seniors have the freedom to occupy their time as they please, enjoying a predictable routine that eases their anxiety and confusion
  • All memory care residents are assisted with everyday tasks, such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and grooming
  • The memory care staff has been especially trained to work with dementia seniors, acting with care and empathy

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