Logic has no place in Memory Care...But Dignity does
It's hard to believe that life expectancy was just 47 years in 1900 and that major cause of death was dysentery (diarrhea). People are living much longer and while the longevity dividend allows us many benefits. We are presently faced with multiple incurable brain diseases of which Alzheimer’s is the best known. Worldwide dementia is affecting every population some more than others but every person you know has someone they love living with dementia. Treatments will expand and cures will come, they always do, but for now we must make decisions with the information we have.
Communities with Memory Care
When looking for a community with memory care do not get distracted by the whistles and bells or bright shiny objects. Look for a community where resident comfort matters. Recreational activities should be available 24/7 to accommodate those schedules that have flipped and become active at night. Understand that your loved ones are trying to cope with brain failure. They can no longer articulate discomfort or voice the source pain as before. Often discomfort and pain are expressed by lashing out or what appears to be episodes of extreme irrational fear. But properly trained caregivers can still reach the core of each person’s soul and spirit.
The best memory care communities never win arguments with residents using logic. In fact, logic has no place in modern memory care communities. Instead holding a resident's hands, rubbing their palms, and hugging allows trained caregivers to communicate safety and comfort allowing them to thrive. Residents must be approached in their reality, wherever that is no matter how bizarre their reality may seem, not ours. Scheduling showers, telling a resident when they can or cannot eat or sleep should not be tolerated by family but is too common. The focus must be and can only be on the resident living in the moment. The best approach is to treat every resident with dignity doing everything on their terms and their way... "When we know better we do better" paraphrased Maya Angelou.