$5 Potato Bar Fundraiser Benefiting The Alzheimer’s Association

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Join The Memory Center Virginia Beach for a special potato bar fundraiser to benefit The Alzheimer’s Association.

For only $5 you can enjoy a fresh, hot baked potato with your choice of toppings.  100% of the proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Everyone is welcome, just give us a call at 757-412-1180 to let us know you are coming.

 

Do People With Dementia Know Something Is Wrong With Them?

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Seeing a loved one develop Alzheimer’s or dementia can be scary and confusing.  Their behaviors can be misunderstood or not make sense to you.

Maybe during a recent visit to your aunt’s house she insisted you help her find her winter gloves and boots – in the middle of July.  Or maybe she didn’t remember your name at all or thought you were someone else from the family.

These types of scenarios aren’t uncommon, and many people wonder if their loved one knows something is wrong with them.  And what if they don’t understand – should you try and convince them?

Do They Know They Have Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease progressively destroys brain cells over time, so during the early stages, many do recognize something is wrong.  They may know they are supposed to recognize you, but they can’t.  Imagine how frustrating and scary that would be.  Red Johnson, an 86 year-old living with Alzheimer’s, explained to his daughter, Nancy, how it feels to live with the disease.

I am Red.

I love my family. My daughter-in-law and son-in-law; my grandchildren and great-grandchildren; my in-laws; and my nieces and nephews. I might not remember their names. I might be tongue tied when I try to talk with them. But, I still love them. Do you know how dumb it feels when you “know” the person talking with you is an old friend and you can’t remember their name? I know something is wrong with me, and I hate it. Don’t look “through me” just because I can’t remember your name or am mixed up about what day it is. Don’t ignore my needs because you think it doesn’t matter.

Red’s story is a great insight into how it feels to know you are suffering from memory loss and how painful it can be.  Read the full story on alz.com.

dementia care virginia
Some people may not understand they have Alzheimer’s or dementia.

When Someone Doesn’t Understand Something Is Wrong

There are cases where people don’t recognize anything is wrong.  You may hear this referred to as anosognosia which is thought to be the result of a cell damage in the right pre-frontal lobes and the parietal lobes.  This can happen during a stroke or as cells decline due to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Caregivers and family members may notice obvious changes in someone’s behavior, physical or mental limitations while their loved one remains adamant everything is fine. Anosognosia isn’t denial, it is a medical condition.

Caring for anyone living in cognitive decline is challenging. Caring for someone who doesn’t recognize they are ill can add to that challenge.  They may refuse to take medications because they don’t think they need them, or become angry when told they can’t stay home alone or drive to the store anymore.

Convincing someone there is a problem won’t make them believe you, so try to avoid arguing.  It doesn’t help them understand the situation, and can also lead to agitation, distrust and fear – all common side effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Read tips from The Memory Center on how to communicate with someone living with cognitive decline and how to keep them safe.

Day-To-Day Living With Someone Who Has Alzheimer’s

Keeping a schedule is important when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  While every day is different, a routine that is based around activities that help promote movement and inspire purpose are important.

See what a typical day At The Memory Centers in Richmond and Virginia Beach looks like and what activities we suggest you include or contact us for more information about our programs.

Contact The Memory Center

When to Move from Assisted Living to a Memory Care Facility

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Image of man talking with senior father

When seniors are no longer able to live safely and independently at home, spouses, children and/or caregivers often look towards assisted living communities. However, while these facilities are wonderful at providing escalating care for the general senior population, assisted living communities are not the same as memory care.

While they may have an exclusive memory care wing or unit- memory care is not their exclusive niche. This can unintentionally result in lesser-quality care for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

When is it time to transition from assisted living to memory care?

So, the question becomes, when should one consider transitioning to memory care rather than assisted living?

Someone has a dementia diagnosis

If you, your spouse, or a loved one has a dementia diagnosis that now requires more attentive care, it’s often best to skip assisted living options and move directly into memory care.

Major transitions are never easy and moving is one of the hardest. While it may be tempting to move into assisted living first, planning to transition to memory care later, this is more difficult for everyone in the long-run – particularly the person experiencing dementia.

If you’re worried about being separated from a spouse, know that you can visit anytime and that – in the big picture – keeping stress and strain to a minimum is the best way to minimize dementia symptoms as much as possible.

You suspect your loved one is unsafe

Memory care communities are devoted to their residents’ safety. If your loved one is wandering out of the home, getting lost when out and about, forgets to turn off stove tops or ovens, neglects to take important medicines, no longer adheres to normal routines, isn’t paying bills or you notice a signs of physical or mental/emotional decline, it’s time to explore memory care options.

Their social and emotional world is shrinking

Two elderly residents at an assisted living facility celebrate their birthdaysAs dementia progresses, an individual’s normal social activities or routines can actually be more harmful than helpful to their sense of well-being as the result of the people they no longer recognize, stories they can’t keep up with or activities they can no longer participate in due to their memory loss.

At this point, a memory care community is the best solution because your loved one will be living in an environment that is wholly dedicated to his/her safety and well-being, eliminating the triggers that exacerbate cognitive decline and supporting a healthy, active social network in a way that is secure and satisfying.

What is the difference between assisted living and memory care communities?

Memory care is a very unique and specialized form of skilled nursing, wholly dedicated to providing top-quality care to seniors with dementia and dementia-related conditions. Simultaneously, these communities provide as much independence, freedom, creativity, activity, and sense of community as they can – all within the medical and scientific framework of dementia – as well as the nuances that improve care for dementia patients. This level of care differs from that in an assisted living facility.

Specialized training

Everyone from the memory care community’s administrators to doctors, nurses, aides and housekeeping continuously attend trainings and seminars that include both research-backed education, as well as simulations and practices that help everyone gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia, as well as what it’s like to love someone with dementia.

Nuanced activities

The activities offered to residents at a memory care facility are not only offered in regards to the residents’ interests and talents, they are also structured to promote:

  • Activities that help to slow down the progression of dementia.
  • Programs, classes, and offerings that cheer, calm and stimulate residents without contributing to anxiety or worry.
  • Schedules reflect a healthy circadian rhythm  – taking advantage of daylight so residents are more likely to rest well, mitigating unsettling sundowner syndrome.

Tailored architectural & interior design

tmc town centerThe architecture and interior design in a memory care community are entirely focused on creating a safe, positive and calm environment for the residents. In addition to plenty of common areas and social gathering spaces, you’ll notice these communities do not provide kitchens to their residents – which significantly reduces the chances of burn injuries or fires, which are very common in assisted living facilities when a resident has dementia. Innovative security features help make sure nobody can exit the premises without alerting caregivers.

Thoughtful dining options

Delicious and nutritious meals are offered, three times a day, designed to enable the residents’ ability to choose what they eat – while ensuring all options provide adequate daily calories and nutrition, specific to a resident’s preferences and/or personal dietary restrictions/recommendations.

A tremendous support network

Finally, memory care centers provide an invaluable support network for residents as well as their families, loved ones, and caregivers.

Visit us at The Memory Center or schedule a tour online to learn more about memory care options Virginia Beach, Richmond, and Atlanta.

Contact The Memory Center

The Memory Center Named A Best Senior Living Award Winner

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The Memory Center, Virginia Beach was recently named a 2018 Best Senior Living Award Winner by SeniorLiving.com.

The award recognizes senior living and home care providers offering the best care and ratings from residents and their families. 

According to SeniorLiving.com the award award places winners in the top one percent of senior care providers across the U.S. and Canada.

Thank you to everyone who voted for The Memory Center.  We are honored to achieve this honor and look forward to providing the best care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. 

 

 

Can You Recover From Alzheimer’s or Dementia?

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Finding out a loved one has Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia is scary.  One of the first questions people ask is if there is a cure, or a way to recover.

While certain medications can help slow the progression for a time, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia. Alzheimer’s disease leads to cell death and tissue loss in the brain which ultimately affects memory, behavior, bodily functions or other systems.  It is a progressive disease that eventually leaves the person unable to safely care for themselves.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, research shows treatments and activities that stimulate the senses may improve behavior and mood, including decreased agitation.  Activities such as art, singing or listening to music fight boredom and may help trigger past memories.

At The Memory Center our daily activities are designed to inspire purpose, validate actions and invigorate while providing the highest quality of life for residents.  Functional and fun are key components of our activities.

Our multi-sensory activities program increases communication, socialization, physical movement and motor abilities.

Some Health Problems May Mimic Alzheimer’s Symptoms

alz care richmond va
Some medications can produce dementia-like symptoms.

If you, or a family member, are exhibiting memory problems the first step is to talk to a doctor.

Not all memory loss is related to Alzheimer’s or dementia.  There are other reasons you might experience memory problems including thyroid issues, stress, vitamin deficiencies or certain medications.  In these instances, once the cause is identified, your doctor can provide a course of treatment to manage, or even reverse, the symptoms.

Read more about how Alzheimer’s affects the brain or contact us for information about programs at The Memory Center in Virginia Beach, Midlothian/Richmond and Atlanta. 

 

 

Chili Fundraiser At The Memory Center Virginia Beach

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memory center virginia beach
Download a flyer.

Join The Memory Center Virginia Beach for a chili fundraiser to support The Alzheimer’s Association. 

On January 26th from 11am – 1pm stop by The Memory Center for lunch.  For only $5 get our delicious chili with all the toppings and a drink.  All proceeds will go to The Alzheimer’s Association.

Please call 757-412-1180 and let us know if you plan to join us. 

The Memory Center, Virginia Beach Food Drive

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(Pictured: Helen Smith, Programming Director and Kathryn Bennett, Admissions and Marketing Director delivered the food to Alanton Elementary School).

Every year The Memory Center, Virginia Beach hosts a food drive in December to benefit local children as part of the “Beach Bags for Kids” program through Virginia Beach City Public Schools. 

As noted on the program’s websiteThe Beach Bags program provides shelf-stable meals and healthy snacks to students who might otherwise go hungry during weekends and over school breaks, including the long summer breaks. Since the program was founded in 2009, more than 70,000 Beach Bags have been distributed. During the 2016-17 school year, more than 17,200 Beach Bags were provided to our neediest students

With the help of local professionals, resident family members and the Naval Air Station Oceana MWR Youth Center Teens, The Memory Center, Virginia Beach we gathered the largest food donation we’ve ever had.

The donations were delivered to Alanton Elementary where the school counselor, Katie Aladj was thrilled to receive the amount of food items we were able to bring her. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help, email Katie at Kathleen.Aladj@VBSchools.com.

Thank you to everyone who donated food and helped feed children in our own community. 

 

Help Us Beach Bags To Feed Children In Need

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Every year The Memory Center, Virginia Beach participates in the Beach Bag program to help feed local children during the holidays during the school break.  For many children, the school cafeteria is where most of their meals are eaten.  During holiday and summer breaks they may not have enough to eat at home.

You can help The Memory Center fill Beach Bags and feed a child in Virginia Beach.  Click the flyer below for more details.

memory center virginia beach event

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. 

 

Recent Alzheimer’s Statistics

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Alzheimer’s and dementia will affect everyone at some point.  Whether it is a friend, neighbor, parent, loved one or you work with as a caregiver – someone you know, love or care for will be impacted.

These Are the Facts and Figures About Alzheimer’s

Even though the statistics are scary it is important to stay informed.  The more you know about Alzheimer’s and dementia the more you can recognize early warning signs, separate Alzheimer’s facts from myths, or learn how to handle the emotional diagnosis of a loved one.

Here’s a Great Infographic from the Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer s Facts and Figures

How Many Americans Have Alzheimer’s Disease?

The Alzheimer’s Association reports more than 5 million Americans are living with the disease and someone in the U.S. develops the disease every 66 seconds.   This is why The Memory Center communities are dedicated to providing care specifically to those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

People with dementia struggle to separate memory from the physical state of present-day living and research shows meaningful, structured activities focus and engage the aging mind, which eases common symptoms of boredom and agitation.  All Memory Center programs are designed to inspire purpose, validate actions and invigorate while providing the highest quality of life for residents.

Schedule a Tour of an Alzheimer’s Facility

Contact us to get more information on our programs in Virgina Beach, Richmond, VA or Atlanta, GA.  Or read more about our structured daily activities designed to help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to live well.

Contact The Memory Center

LATEST NEWS


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Do People With Dementia Know Something Is Wrong With Them?

Seeing a loved one develop Alzheimer’s or dementia can be scary and confusing.  Their behaviors can be misunderstood or not make sense to you. Maybe during a recent visit to...

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31
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Coping Strategies For Caregivers Seminar

Being a full time caregiver of an elderly loved on or family member is challenging and can be very stressful and overwhelming. The Memory Center Richmond is pleaded to welcome...

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Alzheimer’s Lunch & Learn At The Memory Center Richmond

The Memory Center Richmond and the Alzheimer’s Association invite you to join us for a special lunch and learn event.  As more and more of the population ages Alzheimer’s disease...

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