Features of Dementia Care Communities
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, or if they are already living with cognitive decline, you know the stressors that come with the condition. While every case of dementia comes with unique challenges, one thing is certain: it becomes very difficult to safely live at home alone once the person enters the middle stages of the disease.
Fortunately, dementia care communities offer specialized environments and care that can meet the challenges of cognitive decline head-on. These communities are designed to help every resident feel comfortable, happy, and safe. Here are just a few features of dementia care communities that you can look for when deciding which might be best for your loved one.
Consistent and Familiar Daily Routines
A dementia care community provides plenty of Life Enrichment activities that you might find in other senior living communities, but a good dementia community is also focused on providing familiar daily routines to the residents who live there. For example, you might find coffee and reminiscence before breakfast, walks in the afternoon, and pampering spa evenings to wind down at night.
Household chores, which often help to anchor the day, are also a part of the community calendar. You might find caregivers folding towels or matching socks alongside residents, or seniors setting the table for meals beside dining team members. These chores aren’t done because the community lacks staff, but because those tasks can help residents know what is coming next.
Safe Access to Nature
Dementia care communities are often secure, which means family members and guests will need a code to get in and out of the community. This helps to ensure residents do not wander off and out of the building. However, residents do have safe access to the outdoors via a gazebo or courtyard. This area can be not only a place for residents to enjoy a breath of fresh air or to check on garden plants, but also a safe place for residents who are anxious and walking to burn off that energy on outside paths that are safe and secure.
Family Style Dining Room
Instead of a more traditional restaurant-style dining room, as you might find in other types of senior living communities, dementia care communities often feature more homelike dining rooms. These smaller dining venues are not only more familiar but also less loud and stimulating. This detail can make all the difference, as cognitive decline can make overstimulation and anxiety more prevalent in crowded situations.
Speaking of the dining room, residents in dementia care communities also can take advantage of specialized nutrition and dining programs. Getting proper nutrition becomes significantly challenging when living with dementia. The right community can help by offering residents prescribed diets with varying textures as needed, as well as using dementia best practices interventions like offering finger foods to residents who might not like to sit down during meals.
Visual Cueing Throughout the Community
Residents living with dementia might have trouble finding their way around their community, or understanding what certain rooms are for. You’ll find visual cueing throughout dementia care communities for this reason. You might see photos and mementos in a shadow box outside resident rooms, books or magazines placed open on tables in the library, or gardening tools out in the open in the courtyard. This intervention helps residents to feel comfortable in their homes as well as to keep them busy as they pass through.
Specially Trained Team Members
Caring for residents living with dementia is unlike caring for other seniors in a community setting. Fortunately, dementia care communities require specialized training for all team members who work in this type of specialized senior living option. Training includes the disease process, what to expect, and best practices for interventions that are personalized and compassionate. Most team members also are required to take ongoing education during their tenure.
Ready to start researching dementia care? Let our team help. Contact us to set up your free consultation.
©2023, iNavigate Senior Living Solutions, All Rights Reserved.