When to Move To A Memory Care Facility

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In most cases dementia is a condition that develops gradually making it easy to miss, or misunderstand, signs and symptoms – especially in the early stages.

By the time you notice a family member or loved one demonstrating memory loss, confusion, agitation, personality changes, and other dementia-related symptoms it is often a sign you will eventually need to alter their living situation to accommodate these, and future, changes.

As Alzheimer’s and dementia impact more of the brain there may be a point where the individual simply can’t live on their own.  Some families consider a move assisted living, which can be helpful, however, not all specialize in the caring for those with memory loss.  At a memory care facility, your loved one is cared for by staff who are trained and experienced in caring for patients living with dementia. This includes everything from how to best communicate and encourage, appropriate activities to beat boredom and important safety and health considerations.  

Below we outline some top signs a memory care facility might be a a good fit for your loved one.

You Constantly Worry About Them Getting Lost or Wandering

memory care richmond va
Secure courtyard at The Memory Center, Richmond

Those living with dementia can forget where they are or become disoriented and frightened.  In many instances this can lead to wandering, which can put them in dangerous situations.  Wandering is often a response to a physical need, such as wanting a drink of water, the desire to look for a familiar face or triggered by a past memory (such as needing to get to work on time). 

Aside from getting lost, wandering can also lead to dangerous falls or other injuries.

Memory care facilities, such as The Memory Centers, are designed with safe places for walking, safety measures such as eliminating trip hazards and equipped with security features.  In addition, staff are trained to recognize the signs of potential wandering and know how to re-direct the individual with appropriate activities, music and conversation. 

They Are Neglecting Their Health & Hygiene

Adults with dementia and memory loss may also forget to take care of themselves or lack the skills to do so.  They may forget to take prescription medications on time, take too little or too much.  You may also notice them skipping meals and no longer able to adhere to a well-balanced, nutritious diet.

Other signs include unkempt hair, wearing dirty, mismatched clothes or clothes inappropriate for the season such as winter coats in the middle of summer.  This are indicators their dementia is likely interfering with day to day personal care.

If your loved one is neglecting their health and hygiene, a memory care facility can support them with medication management, proper nutrition, bathing, toileting and other important aspects of their health.

Their Current Living Situation Or Level Of Care Is No Longer Enough

Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s and dementia progress, so does the level of care needed for the individual.  Care you were once able to manage at home, with occasional hired help, or even with assisted living, become inadequate.  The later stages of the disease will eventually require around the clock care, specialized care.

In some instances remaining in their current living situation can become dangerous not only for the individual but for their primary caregiver.  Even if renovating a home to eliminate falls on stairs, trip hazards and slips in the shower were financially feasible, many caregivers simply aren’t able to handle the physical demands that accompany around the clock care. 

Memory Care Doesn’t Mean They Can’t Live Well With Alzheimer’s and Dementia

when to choose memory care
The Memory Center, Virginia Beach

At The Memory Centers we get to know the person for who they are today, not who they used to be.  Each day is designed to inspire purpose and full of daily activities, music, games and events to focus and engage the aging mind, which also eases common symptoms of boredom and agitation.

Our atmosphere is peaceful, natural, and filled with sunlight including safe access to an outdoor courtyard and secure walking trails.

If you are considering a memory care facility in Richmond/Midlothian, Virginia Beach or Johns Creek/Atlanta, contact us for more information about our specialized programs. 

 

Memory, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Resources in Atlanta, GA

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memory care atlanta gaThe beginning stages of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related memory issues can seem negligible – a forgotten appointment, not remembering a face or name, an error in a favorite recipe, etc. Over time, the cumulative effects of these diseases may require outside assistance. For many, this assistance comes by way of a spouse or family caregiver.

When a memory disease progresses further, additional help is often required. It’s so important to begin memory-focused caregiving as soon as possible. Scientists and doctors on the forefront of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease overwhelmingly agree proper care and treatment at the early stages of the disease can have remarkable effects in slowing progress and potentially reversing some side effects.  Below we’ll dive into some of the memory care resources available in Atlanta, GA.

Memory Care & Caregiver Support is Thriving in Atlanta, GA

The good news for individuals requiring memory care – and their caregivers – is the Atlanta area is teeming with resources just for you. Here are some places to start if you or a loved one is experiencing age-related cognitive decline as you form a plan.

Financial Support for Memory Care

Memory care can be expensive. From extra doctor’s appointments that require days off work – to medications, caregiving, and/or transferring a loved one to a memory care facility – costs can easily outpace your available budget. Fortunately, financial resources are available.

Schedule an appointment for an official diagnosis

memory care in johns creek gaFirst, bring your concerns to your general physician and have the condition diagnosed. A clear diagnosis not only ensures your loved one begins recommended protocols, lifestyle changes and/or treatments ASAP, it also places you in position for the financial assistance available to you.

Contact your health insurance carrier

Once you have an official doctor’s diagnosis and recommended treatment plan, contact your health insurance carrier and ask for a list of memory care providers in your area that are covered. This can offset care costs significantly – or entirely – depending on your plan’s details.

Contact Medicare/Medicaid

Are you already covered by Medicare/Medicaid? The aforementioned advice applies. If you aren’t covered yet (the patient must be 65-years or older or already qualify for disability), make a call and see if your loved one is eligible for additional coverage.

Typically, Medicare covers the Following Memory Care Costs:

  • 80% of the costs required to diagnose Alzheimer’s and dementia-related conditions as well as doctor-advised treatments, such as medication or psychological counseling
  • Some level of home care services and/or equipment, most commonly during the later stages of the disease
  • Certain aspects of facility-based care on a temporary basis
  • Large portions of a person’s caregiving expenses if the patient qualifies via low-income maximums

You may find it’s worth paying extra for Medicare’s Supplemental Insurance coverage in order to increase the level of memory care coverage they offer. We recommend reading Medicare for Alzheimer’s and Dementia for more detailed explanations about the financial support Medicare offers.

Veteran’s Administration Resources

va benefits for nursing home careThe VA offers comprehensive resources – financially and via memory care services – to those who’ve served our country as well as their families.  These services include things like:

Visit the VA’s Dementia Care page for more information and resources. You can also contact the local VA to learn more about specific services in your neighborhood.

Memory Care at Home

The Atlanta area has dozens of licensed, high-quality home care agencies. While home-based care allows those with dementia to remain in place for as long as they’re comfortable, these agencies do better in the general home care arena, without being specific to memory care.

Some of the services available to you via home care aides include companionship, grocery/meal prep services, bathing/grooming, and so on. However, because most caregivers are not memory care experts, they may not be able to meet the high demands of a patient with progressive cognitive decline.

Typically, it makes more sense for those in mid- to later stages of dementia to live in a memory care-specific community. Always use a third-party agency, such as The Georgia Association for Home Health Agencies to verify a home care provider is licensed and Medicare approved.

Adult Day Care in Atlanta, GA

Adult day care is another option for keeping your loved one home as long as possible, while still being able to work or take a much-needed break from caregiving. Most centers allow drop-in or scheduled care, during normal business hours, once a client is enrolled.

Visit the Georgia Adult Day Services Association to find an adult day care specializing in memory care near you.

Memory Care Centers in Atlanta, GA

Memory Care Center in atlanta ga

Once an adult is into the mid- or late-stages of cognitive decline, it becomes very difficult for a spouse, family member, or regular home care aides to provide adequate care. 

Memory Care Centers are very special places, designed to provide the highest-quality of memory care available in a safe, caring and stimulating environment. Memory care centers are very different from generalized assisted living communities because we focus 100% of our staffing, energy, research and methods on the most forward-thinking memory care findings.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all there is to do in the wake of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or because your spouse requires more care than you can provide? Please reach out to the Memory Center and we will do our best to be of assistance.

We are experts in all aspects of memory care and can help you create a viable plan, work through the financial FAQs, and outline memory care resources that make the most sense for your situation.

Contact The Memory Center

The Memory Center Atlanta Grand Opening

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memory center atlanta
Memory Center CEO, Kevin DiBona and Emory Johns Creek Hospital CEO, Maryilyn Margolis at the Opening of The Memory Center, Atlanta.

Our newest community, The Memory Center, Atlanta had its Grand Opening ceremonies on Wednesday, October 25th. The Memory Center, Atlanta is the most comprehensive facility specializing in the care of those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia in the Atlanta area.

Located in Johns Creek next to City Hall and Emory Johns Creek Hospital at 12050 Findley Rd, the community is comprised of 48 residential suites designed and constructed around our innovative Town Center concept.

View the slideshow below for more images of our Grand Opening festivities.

For more information or to schedule an in-person tour of The Memory Center, Atlanta, please contact us online or by phone at 678-456-4304.

 

 

TMC Atlanta Job Fair

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Click for full size flyer.

The Memory Center, Atlanta is hiring for positions including: 

  • Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Registered Medication Aides
  • LPNs

Join us on October 10th, 14th or 17th to learn more about The Memory Center and our exceptional team.  Same day interviews will be available, no appointment is needed.

The Memory Center, Atlanta is located in Johns Creek next to City Hall and Emory Johns Creek Hospital at 12050 Findley Rd.

The Memory Center Atlanta Grand Opening

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The Memory Center, Atlanta construction is complete and our first residents will move in soon.  As the most comprehensive Memory Care facility in the Johns Creek area we continue our mission to help those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia live well. 

We invite you come celebrate our grand opening Wednesday, October 25th from 5pm – 7pm.   Meet our team, enjoy some delicious appetizers and tour our new community.

RVSP by Monday October 23rd by calling (678) 456-4304 or email to JulieT@TheMemoryCenter.com.

Click for directions to our community at 12050 Findley Road in Johns Creek

 

 

 

The Difference Between Assisted Living and Memory Care

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Join us for a special event Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 at 6:00pm.

alzheimer's care atlanta
Click For Full Size Flyer

Dr. Gary Figiel, the Medical Director for The Memory Center, Atlanta will be here to discuss the differences between Assisted Living and Memory Care. 

There is no charge for this event, but seating is limited.  Reserve your space by calling (678) 456-4304 or email to JulieT@TheMemoryCenter.com

Opening soon, The Memory Center in Johns Creek, is the area’s most comprehensive residential facility dedicated to serving those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Learn more about our community. 

Join The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement

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alzheimer's care virginia
Courtesy of http://thewomensalzheimersmovement.org

Almost every minute Alzheimer’s disease impacts a new brain in the United States, and 2/3 of these belong to women. Women are also more likely to become a primary caregiver to someone living with Alzheimer’s.

While Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia impact everyone, women are at the center of this growing epidemic.

Maria Shriver and The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement™ is on a mission to inform and educate women around the US and provide key research to find out why women are more likely to receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

You can join the Women’s Movement in the fight.  Sign up online to show your support, see tips on how to keep your brain healthy and active, get the facts on Alzheimer’s or explore tips for caregivers.

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Experience What It Is Like To Live With Alzheimer’s

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SYNERGY HomeCare of North Atlanta would like to invite you to join us on an emotional journey to experience the realities of life for persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

After experiencing this sensory tour, you will understand the overwhelming effects of the aging process when combined with dementia. This life changing experience can also help you make better care giving and health decisions by knowing what your loved one may be coping with on a daily basis.

This event takes place on Tuesday, September 12th from 10am-12 noon at:

Shallowford Presbyterian Church
2375 Shallowford Rd., Atlanta, GA 30345

There is no charge for this event and it is open to the public, but space is limited.  Reserve your spot by contacting Christine Miller with The Memory Center at (678) 607-9679 or ChristineM@thememorycenter.com.

Taking Care of Kids and Elderly Parents at the Same Time

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Taking care of your kids at home while caring for an elderly parent?  You’re a member of The Sandwich Generation, although the name sounds more appetizing than the scenario.

Adults in The Sandwich generation have children at home – or older kids maybe fresh out of the nest but still requiring support – and they also have an elderly parent who with increasing care needs. It’s a daunting and exhausting place to be – and we haven’t even mentioned the full-time workload you’re probably carrying.

We’re here to provide support.

7 Tips to Ease the Burden of Raising Kids While Caring for Elderly Parents

There is good news for The Sandwich Generation is twofold. First, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center nearly 50% of adults between the ages of 40 and 59 have a minor at home and/or an adult child they support AND have a parent 65+ who will require increasing levels of care. Just knowing you have a tribe out there can help.

Secondly, you are seen. Those of us who work in the world of senior and memory care witness first hand the burden placed upon you. We have many tips to help you take care of everyone in your family, without sacrificing the last vestiges of yourself, your energy levels and overall well-being.

Putting these 7 tips you can put into place can help ease the hardships placed on you and your family during this compressed period of time.

memory care richmond
Dining at The Memory Center, Richmond

1 – Start visiting local assisted living communities

. In the midst of crisis is one of the worst times to make big decisions. Instead, take advantage of free consultations with assisted living and memory care communities in your area. These consultations are rich with information and ideas you can put to work now while considering and developing your long-term plan. 

Visiting long term care facilities is the only way to know which one feels like the best fit for you/your parents when the time comes.  And if your parent is in the beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, these consultations give him/her some agency regarding their future – very important during a time when seniors often feel like they’re losing autonomy.

2 – Make the home safe and accessible

There are plenty of articles out there on how to remodel a home and make it accessible, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated.  With even simple changes and adjustments to your parent’s house and yard, you’ll notably decrease their risk of falling – and that decreases their risk of hospitalization or surgical interventions known to contribute to senior cognitive decline.

Some of the most easiest changes to making a senior’s home safer include installing motion-sensitive lighting, minimizing trip hazards (like exposed cords, edges of area rugs, uneven thresholds, etc.), installing handrails in toilet and bath/shower areas, building a ramp if needed, rearranging cupboards so everyday items are accessible without bending over or standing on a step stool, and providing an easier way to reach you when needed.

3 – Include your children in the process

. We often forget children are alert and aware of what’s happening in the household and to the ones they love. Even if you think you’re keeping the majority of the “heavy stuff” out of their world, they know and sense you are being stretched beyond your means.

However, even adult children don’t always know what to say or how to help. Similarly, children are just as worried and concerned about their grandparent(s) in their own way and may feel very helpless, which can cause younger children and teens to act out.

If nothing else, foster open communication in age-appropriate ways about what’s happening to grandma and/or grandpa, how you are feeling and about how difficult this situation is at times. The more open and communicative your family is, the more supportive and connected it can remain – even during the toughest moments. If they’re old enough, engage children in helping to provide care and companionship, if they’re young – find little things they can do to be useful. We recommend reading, alz.org’s, Helping Your Children or Grandchildren. The tips are universal for any family coping with dementia or Alzheimer’s – whether you’re sandwiched or not.

4 – Make taking care of yourself a priority

You know the airplane safety spiel about fastening your oxygen mask first, and then ensuring everyone around you has fastened theirs? Use it as a metaphor for your current life. If you think things are emotionally and financially challenging now, imagine what it would be like if you wound up succumbing to serious medical issues as a result of over stressed caregiver depletion. It happens all the time to primary caregivers and it leaves their loved ones in a major lurch.

Primary caregivers must make their well-being a priority so they remain healthy, balanced and as centered as possible through this phase of the journey. That means eating a well-balanced diet, finding ways to get a little exercise in (some days, that might  mean parking in the furthest spot to walk a little longer or taking the stairs instead of the elevator) and finding a way to clear 5- or 10-minutes of quiet-time amidst the busy-ness. Joining an Alzheimer’s support group can also provide a wealth of emotional support and bolstering.

5 – Take advantage of respite care options.

If your parent hasn’t relocated yet, contact local home care agencies to ask about their respite care services. Respite care providers give primary spouse and/or family caregivers the opportunity to focus on their regularly scheduled lives. In your case, this means more time to have dinner with the family, attend academic and extracurricular activities, go to bible study or religious events and to gain more quality time with the kids.

It can also serve as a baby step of sorts, a means of getting you and your parent accustomed to letting someone else help out with everything from companionship, driving and medication reminders, to meal preparation, bathing, dressing and toileting – all the things that may need to be taken over as your parent’s condition progresses.

tips for caregivers

6 – Imagine you’re meeting your parent for the first time

Whether a parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, suffering from the crippling grief from the loss of a spouse and/or peers, or is simply frustrated s/he can no longer do the things s/he loved – The ability to take big steps back is an amazing skill-set for children caregivers to develop.

Imagine you’re meeting your parent for the very first time. See your parent as s/he is now – while keeping your memories sacred. This will help you to find new ways to connect, explore creative ways to communicate, and establish deeper means of cultivating compassion with who they are – and what they’re capable of – in each moment.

7 – Be gentle with yourself

You’re under a tremendous pressure – not to mention emotional duress. Also, you are human. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself – and always forgive yourself in the moments you aren’t at your best.

Please visit our News Feed for more resources on Alzheimer’s and dementia care. You can also contact us to schedule a tour of The Memory Center communities in Atlanta, Richmond or Virginia Beach

 

Join Us To Walk To End Alzheimer’s

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Join The Memory Center, Atlanta and Johns Creek Hospital in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease.

All are welcome join our team in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, September 16th, 2017.

On site registration begins at 8:00am and the Opening Ceremony begins at 9:00am.

3200 George Busbee Pkwy NW in Kennesaw.

To get more information and registration information contact Christine Miller with The Memory Center, Atlanta at (678) 607-9679 or email at ChristineM@thememorycenter.com.

alz care atlanta
Download a flyer for more information.

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