My Loved One Has Dementia. What Should I Do Next?

My Loved One Has Dementia. What Should I Do Next?

Is Mom having a hard time finding her words lately? Are there unopened bills piling up on the dining room table? Have you noticed several dents and scratches on Dad’s normally pristine car? What about an unusually untidy house, severe mood swings or sudden weight change?

When our loved ones start showing symptoms of dementia, it can be difficult to face. But a dementia diagnosis brings up several important questions:

Q: Is my loved on safe in their home?

A: Sometimes, people with dementia are perfectly healthy in a physical sense but their declining memory could leave them susceptible to fraud, theft or even home damage from a forgotten lit candle or running faucet. Work with your loved one’s primary care provider to determine whether or not they have the physical and mental capacity to safely care for themselves alone at home.

Q: Am I capable of providing the care they need?

A: Dementia affects everyone differently. Sometimes, it makes a patient violent and angry or gives them a tendency to wander. In these instances, even though you love this person dearly, it may be in their best interest to have professional care. Most hospitals have social workers who can help you evaluate the best course of action for you and your loved one.

Q: What kind of care options are out there?

A: Independent and assisted living can provide some of the services your loved one needs but a memory care unit offers the most individualized care for dementia patients. These units, often found in hospitals, nursing care centers, and senior living communities, are built around each resident’s unique needs. The caregivers are specifically trained in memory impairment and provide a secure setting for a group of residents who are known to wander.

Arbor Place, one of the living options at Meth-Wick Community, is specially built for residents with dementia.

It’s an assisted-living facility for those with mild to moderate cognitive losses related to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Arbor Place is designed and furnished to feel like a traditional family-style home while providing a safe and secure living environment.

Since opening its doors in 1997, Arbor Place has focused solely on residents with memory care needs. We provide small groups of people with peaceful cottages where they feel safe and encouraged to take part in wellness and recreation programs that promote quality
of life. According to research by the Alzheimer’s Association, this cottage-style living arrangement is a standard of care that provides the greatest benefit to people with cognitive losses.

Our staff has been trained with a dementia simulation experience called Dementia Live. Trainees attempt a series of tasks while wear special sunglasses and headphones. This gives them a feel for the altered cognition and sensory change a person with dementia lives with every day. The training allows attendees to have a deeper level of empathy and understanding of their patients.

Each cottage at Arbor Place has eight private rooms outfitted with modern amenities. In order
to help every resident feel at home, they are invited to decorate their space with familiar items from home like their bed, easy chair, dresser, wall decorations, lamps and TV.

Arbor Place, a state-certified facility, is supervised by our Director of Long Term Support and Services (LTSS) and a staff nurse. Specially trained employees are assigned to each cottage 24 hours a day for the optimal resident-to-caregiver ratio. Overnight security staff and a campus nurse are available seven days a week to provide residents and their families with peace of mind.

If you are interested in learning more about memory care at Meth-Wick, please email our Director of Long Term Support & Services, Katie Christensen.