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Memory care in South Carolina

In the state of South Carolina, there are about 140 memory care communities, as well as assisted living with integrated memory care units. Memory care centers can be found in the following urban areas: Hilton Head Island, Myrtle Beach, Greenville, Florence, and Sumter. All the facilities are licensed and regulated by the Division of Health Licensing, which belongs to the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Prospective residents can request free assistance in order to find the best memory care community, in accordance with their needs and budget.

The admittance into a memory care community depends on the resident's ability to meet specific criteria. Usually, memory care communities require seniors to have a confirmed diagnosis of dementia, with a detailed list of physical and mental impairments. They should also be able to meet the minimum age requirement, which varies between 55 and 62. Additional criteria that might be imposed regard the following: treatments, co-existing conditions, income and marital status, need for assistance/level of independence, etc.

If the admittance criteria are not met, the application will be rejected. Memory care communities reserve the right to refuse certain seniors as well. For instance, they do not accept those who require hospice care, long-term skilled nursing care, or any other type of care that the respective community is unable to provide. Seniors who suffer from infectious conditions, are bedridden, or suffer from severe cognitive decline, are usually not accepted. The same goes for those who are diagnosed with infectious conditions or mental instability, posing a threat to themselves or others.

Upon being accepted in the respective community, residents undergo a thorough examination. This is necessary to identify their currents needs and challenges. Each assessment is handled by an experienced physician, with the help of a trained nurse. Among the aspects considered, there are: personality, behavior, emotional status, level of independence/assistance, treatments taken, general health, co-existing conditions. The results of these examinations are used to create custom care plans, which are updated every couple of months and always after major health events.

Average cost of memory care in South Carolina

In the state of South Carolina, the average monthly cost of memory care is $4,300. This is considerably lower than the national median of $5,000. Georgia has more affordable memory care communities, while Florida has similar rates to offer. Both Tennessee and North Carolina have more expensive facilities of this kind, the latter averaging at $5,000 per month.

Within the state of SC, the average cost of memory care varies significantly. The most expensive memory care communities are located in Hilton Head Island, with a monthly median cost of $5,200. On the other hand, Sumter has a much more affordable rate, averaging at $2,200 per month. Memory care costs more than other long-term care options, such as adult day health care, assisted living, in-home care, and home health care. The only exception is represented by nursing home care, which costs about $7,000 per month.

How is dementia managed in memory care?

Seniors who are in the early stages of dementia often think about the future and what will happen to them. Recognizing the unique set of challenges this condition brings, they are focusing on long-term residential care. Memory care communities are best equipped to look after seniors dealing with cognitive decline, memory loss, and language impairment. They have the available resources to provide quality care, services, and amenities; as a result, they are also releasing family members and friends from the caregiving pressure.

The initial manifestations of dementia are often attributed to the aging process. Seniors might deal with forgetfulness and confusion, delaying the moment of diagnosis unintentionally. Only when their condition progresses and the symptoms take a turn for the worse, they will go to a specialist in search of answers. Over time, dementia leads to severe memory loss, concentration difficulties, language impairment, and cognitive decline. Seniors have trouble remembering what happened recently, where they have left certain objects, or the names of their loved ones.

Unfortunately, many dementia seniors also experience mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. As their manifestations worsen, they become withdrawn, avoiding other people. Mood swings are common and some seniors might also experience additional changes, such as hallucinations. The changes are noticed by caregivers, who are among the first to suggest alternative care. They acknowledge the benefits of memory care communities, including the specialized care and assistance. At the same time, they know the move is beneficial for them as well, eliminating the risk of caregiver burnout.

There is no better place to deal with the challenges of dementia other than a memory care community. From therapies provided by trained experts to daily recreational activities that promote socialization, these facilities have a lot of advantages to offer. Dementia seniors adjust easily to the new living environment, enjoying the dementia-specific services and amenities. Moreover, thanks to the multitude of safety features, they feel safe and protected at the same time. Their confusion is kept down to a minimum, which is a considerable advantage.

Thanks to the experienced and dedicated staff, difficult situations are handled without delay. With empathy, they work to restore the peaceful atmosphere that is beneficial for all dementia seniors. The meals offered are prepared from fresh ingredients, with careful attention to foods that stimulate brain health. If seniors suffer from co-existing health conditions, the staff is more than pleased to offer dietary adjustments. All of these advantages contribute to a higher standard of living, with seniors showing an improved mindset.

As the safety of all dementia seniors is a top priority, memory care communities take specific measures to guarantee residents do not feel anxious. Common measures include: enclosed outdoor spaces to prevent wandering, elevators with security codes, and alarmed entries. Of course, each facility might employ additional safety features. Residents are monitored by the staff at all times, which means the risk of accidents is low. Moreover, residents benefit from the immediate availability of trained personnel, which helps them feel less stressed. Seniors with advanced dementia can be helped to attend meals and other planned activities.

To ensure the safe exploration of outdoor spaces, some memory care communities require dementia seniors to wear tracking bracelets. In this way, seniors can also take part in certain activities alone. In case of advanced dementia, the trained personnel can offer the necessary assistance or monitoring. Seniors can take part to memory-enhancing activities, which are meant to delay the progression of dementia and help them preserve current skills. Planned activities have been known to reduce the risk of anxiety and depression, promoting socialization at the same time.

Options for memory care in South Carolina

After the diagnosis of dementia is made, most seniors start to seek out long-term care options. When the manifestations are not too severe, they might continue to live at home, receiving assistance from friends or family members. The progression of dementia will affect their daily functioning, making it clear that alternative solutions should be considered. Assisted living and continuous care communities welcome those who suffer from less severe forms, but one should always remember that memory care facilities have the best tools to manage dementia.

Both memory care facilities and assisted living facilities with integrated memory care units present their services online. You can find out details about the available care, assistance, and housing. Many seniors first look at the communities available in their state, extending their search gradually. As you will see for yourself, most facilities offer the possibility to set up a guided tour. These tours allow prospective residents to form an opinion about each community in particular, especially since the staff is readily available to answer any question in detail. You can take these tours together with your friends or family, as a second opinion can come in handy for the final decision.

Services offered in memory care

Memory care communities offer services that are beneficial for everyday living, thus helping dementia seniors manage their condition more effectively. As a side benefit, the immediate availability of useful services allows seniors to fill their day with stimulating activities, therapy included. Chores are part of the service list, removing the burden off residents. Additional services might be offered by each memory care facility, so as to meet the needs of seniors even more.

Within memory care, dementia seniors benefit from an adapted living environment, with safety features, quality care, and memory-enhancing therapies. Some memory care facilities offer healthcare, accepting third-party providers. In this situation, the costs are usually covered by each resident. The list of general services includes the following: 24/7 security, laundry and linen service, meal planning and preparation, general maintenance, housekeeping, errand running and shopping, Internet and telephone access, scheduled transportation.

All residents are assisted with common ADLs, such as eating, toileting, bathing, grooming, and dressing. Naturally, they are encouraged to maintain their independence for as long as possible, receiving assistance only when necessary. Many memory care facilities require residents to participate in every task, or offer assistance for a limited number of ADLs. Those with advanced dementia might benefit from additional help, in accordance with their abilities. As for the other services available, these can include: medication management, incontinence care, mobility assistance, wound care, and diabetes care.

Amenities provided by memory care centers in SC

Upon moving into a memory care community, residents have access to adapted housing units. These are either designed as bedrooms or apartments. Given that the staff must be able to access the units in case of emergencies, there are no keyed entries. All units have accessibility and safety features, so as to protect residents. They also have emergency response systems, which can be pressed by the resident in case of a major health event. Bathrooms are equipped with additional safety features, to prevent common accidents, such as slipping and falling.

Each memory care community has the freedom to decide on the amenities offered. The main goal is to improve both physical and mental health, while encouraging socialization. Including these activities into the daily routine offers a certain degree of predictability, which helps residents feel less anxious. Among the most common amenities available, there are: yoga, library, swimming, fitness, computer room, weekly religious service, social clubs, memory garden, guided/walking tours, birthday celebrations and other events. Additional amenities might be offered by each community.

Don't see your location on the list? Use our search functionality at the top of the page to find 632 memory care facilities from 165 municipalities, towns and cities in South Carolina. Search by city name or your zip code.

Questions to ask prospective memory care centers in South Carolina

Most memory care communities invite prospective residents to take guided tours of their campus, where they get to ask questions and form a general idea about the services offered. They recommend preparing a list of potential questions before the actual visit, so be sure to include some of the suggestions below.

Here are some of the most important questions you might consider asking:

  • What type of meal plans does the memory care center have available? Are dietary adjustments allowed?
  • Does the memory care facility offer specialized care? Can you provide examples?
  • What is the discharge policy?
  • How are medical emergencies handled?
  • How does the memory care center encourage socialization? What type of recreational activities do you offer?
  • What is the visitation policy?
  • What are the costs associated with moving into the memory care community?
  • How does the memory care center structure the daily routine?
  • What type of housing units does the memory care center offer?
  • Are housing units equipped with emergency response systems? What about accessibility and safety features?
  • What are some of the most common reasons for which applications are rejected?
  • Does the memory care center provide assistance with ADLs? Are there any limitations?
  • Has the memory care staff been trained to handle dementia seniors? What kind of training have they received?
  • Does the memory care center accept seniors who are unable to direct their own care? What about those who suffer from severe cognitive decline?

Take your time to look at different memory care communities and analyze what each has to offer. You need to choose a facility that is able to meet your needs the best, including in terms of housing, care, and assistance. Keep in mind that your friends and family can offer valuable advice, helping you reach a decision in a shorter period of time.

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

  • Memory care residents benefit from a wide range of services and amenities, with the purpose of facilitating daily living and guaranteeing the best possible quality of life
  • Specialized care available in the form of mobility assistance, wound care, diabetes care, incontinence care, and medication management
  • The daily routine is planned to include both downtime and stimulating activities, with benefits for both mental and physical health
  • Assistance with ADLs available to all memory care residents, including common everyday tasks, such as eating, dressing, toileting, bathing, and grooming
  • The memory care staff has been trained to work with dementia seniors, acting with kindness and empathy

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632 memory care facilities in South Carolina

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