If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with a form of dementia, you may be exploring the options of either dementia care at home or a Memory Care environment. Before you make a decision, or have a discussion with your loved one, learn about the advantages and disadvantages of both options. This is an important decision for everyone involved and can have a major impact on the effects of the diagnosis itself.
What Is In-Home Dementia Care?
Typically, in-home Memory Care is conducted by a family member or friend towards the beginning of the diagnosis. Care partners take turns supporting the individual with Memory Loss to ensure they receive the care they need from home. In most cases where a person living with Memory Loss is receiving care at home, it is often necessary to get help from trained professionals when the Memory Loss worsens.
As many people wish to remain in their own homes for as long as physically and mentally possible, in-home care is a good option for people living with Memory Loss. When professional care partners are hired, they can help with activities of daily living, also known as ADLs. The care partner can visit on a daily or weekly basis, while family members and friends could assist between visits.
In-home care can include companionship, housekeeping duties, transportation for appointments, respite care for live-in family members, and assistance with meals, bathing, dressing, and other personal care.
Pros of In-home Dementia Care
One of the main advantages of organizing in-home dementia care is the customized and personal services for the person living with Memory Loss. Other benefits include:
- One-on-one attention
- The opportunity to remain in familiar surroundings and in the comfort of home
- Flexible costs based on hours of service needed
- The choice of care partner
- Scheduled hours beneficial to the patient
- The opportunity to keep pets
Cons of In-home Dementia Care
There are a few disadvantages of in-home care, including:
- The high costs for around-the-clock care
- Less opportunities to socialize with peers
- Investment into house modifications may be required
- The person living with Memory Loss is still responsible for regular home maintenance, supplies, and groceries
- You may not be able to find someone compatible
- Cancelations of care support, or no shows for care is common
- Inconsistent caregivers
- Inability to handle anything that requires more than 1 person.
- Managing caregivers and being an employer can be overwhelming
- No licensed nursing support
- There is a higher risk of theft or damage of personal belongings at home
- Minimal care hours required for many home care agencies, beyond what may be needed
What Is Memory Care?
Memory Care is a specialized environment dedicated to the needs of people living with Memory loss. These environments offer thoughtful dementia friendly design, high staffing ratios, added safety and security, and specially trained staff that understand best approaches to care and programs.
Successful memory care environments offer continuous programming and engagement, and ensure that the person is not isolated in their rooms throughout the day. People living with memory loss are encouraged, supported and stimulated in life enriching programming.
These environments can be found within an assisted living community or as a separate standalone memory care environment.
Pros of a Memory Care Environment
Advantages of living within a Memory Care environment can parallel some of the in-home care benefits. Essentially, care providers can help the person living with Memory Loss to be more at ease with their surroundings. Some other benefits include:
- Full-time supervision
- 24/7 healthcare
- Care providers highly trained in the study of dementia
- Social interaction opportunities with peers
- Regular social, physical, and mental therapy
- Security with in-room call systems, motion sensors and alarmed doors
- Easy-to-navigate hallways and rooms
- Dementia friendly design
- Easing the day-to-day responsibilities of the Substitute Decision Maker
- Knowledgeable professionals that know how to manage the challenges of Memory Care
- Home-like accommodations with features to avert disorientation
- Open door policy for family members
Cons of a Memory Care Environment
Disadvantages of moving to a Memory Care environment can be compared to moving to a regular senior living environment.
- High living costs for accommodation and specialized programs
- The need to leave home and neighbourhood where many have spent most of their lives
- Separation from family
- Lack of privacy in a congregate setting
- Learning to follow new living rules
- Living with other people with dementia that may have varying needs
- Not all environments offer one-stop all-needs-met solutions
- Pets and smoking may not be allowed to live-in the Memory Care environment
What Is the Best Choice for Your Loved One?
Specialized dementia care needs develop in various stages and come in many forms. Some people require little care while others may need around-the-clock care that cannot be met by family members or at-home care partners safely.
For people living with Memory Loss in the early stages, it may be beneficial to remain at home with the help of family, friends, and hired professionals. But as the condition progresses, it may be necessary to seek full-time care in a Memory Care environment for the benefit and safety of the person living with Memory Loss and the care partner.
Memory & Company Respite Hotel Service
The Respite Hotel service at Memory & Company can help with stays as short as 3 nights, to long-term stays, as we are a licensed Retirement home. Our highly trained Team Members provide 24-hour nursing care, medication management, meals and snacks, daily housekeeping, and laundry services, as well as personal care assistance.
In addition to providing a fully furnished private suite and washroom facilities, we offer access to our centre’s Premium Day Program. The program is a full day of activities focusing on cognitive and physical fitness, music, pet and art therapies, socialization, and customized activities to enhance the participant’s quality of life.
Our Respite Hotel service is supported by nutritious meals and snacks prepared on-site by our Executive Chef. Each Member has access to the pharmacy, lab, and physician services as needed. Personal care services such as hairdressers, manicure/pedicure, and massage sessions by trade professionals can also be arranged.
Memory & Company offers services and space for anyone living with Memory Loss and their care partners. Contact us today to discuss how you and your loved one can benefit from our VIP treatment.