A Look at Benchmark’s Approach to Alzheimer’s Care
According to the CDC, about 5.8 million Americans 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. This blog describes what Alzheimer’s disease is and provides an overview of Benchmark Senior Living’s Mind & Memory Care program and what Alzheimer’s disease care looks like in our communities.
Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often used interchangeably in conversation. However, “dementia” isn’t a disease; it’s a term used to describe symptoms of a disease like Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, memory loss, loss of judgment, and loss of intellectual functions are symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common cause of dementia. It’s important to note that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not normal signs of the aging process.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys a person’s memory, thinking, and language abilities. The disease’s progression is categorized in stages: early, middle, and late.
In the beginning, Alzheimer’s disease symptoms may be subtle. The Alzheimer’s Association notes that early stage Alzheimer’s signs can include trouble with recalling the right word or name, losing important objects, difficulty with planning or solving problems, among other symptoms. As the disease progresses to later stage, a person may lose basic abilities, like eating and walking, and may need full-time care.
Alzheimer’s Care Options
When caring for a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you may need assistance with their care, especially as the disease progresses. Options include adult day programs, in-home care, and long-term care. The Alzheimer’s Association provides a comprehensive overview of Alzheimer’s care options.
Help for a Parent with Alzheimer’s When You Can’t Be There
In many circumstances, adult children are unable to care for their parent with Alzheimer’s full-time. They may have kids at home, hold a demanding job, or have other responsibilities. In addition, an adult child may not live close enough to their parent to provide consistent care. In these situations, an assisted living community may be the ideal option for families because it usually includes round-the-clock care in a secure environment.
Alzheimer’s Care at Benchmark
Benchmark Senior Living communities offer specialized Mind & Memory Care programs for people with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
We understand the special care Alzheimer’s disease requires. No two diagnoses are the same, and an individual’s needs may change as the disease progresses. We also know how memory care can be perceived. People often envision a clinical environment or nursing home setting. While some programs for Alzheimer’s and dementia care may take a strict clinical approach, Benchmark does it differently.
Our Mind & Memory Care neighborhoods within our assisted living communities are designed to serve the unique needs of those with memory impairment and maximize their wellness. The environments are calm, comfortable, and intended to feel like home. They’re also secure, giving residents independence and the freedom to explore.
In addition, those living in our Mind & Memory Care neighborhoods receive the benefits of our assisted living offerings, including programming they enjoy, opportunities to socialize, delicious dining options, and more.
Alzheimer’s Care Plan
As we previously mentioned, our Mind & Memory Care program is specialized for those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Our caring associates are also educated in memory loss, empathy, and our award-winning Connect First program, where caregivers learn special communication techniques for interacting with Mind & Memory residents.
Additionally, each resident’s care plan is tailored to their unique situation. Our mission is to celebrate their lives and help them find joy each day, just like family members would do.
Sometimes adult children share with us that they’re learning how to cope with Alzheimer’s with a parent. Benchmark’s programming can be comforting to families. In every Mind & Memory Care neighborhood, associates provide opportunities for our residents to reminisce, and their recovered memories often bring joy to the family as a whole. This is just one example of how we support families as they cope with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Additionally, many of our communities offer support groups for families.
Levels of Alzheimer’s Disease Care
Since Alzheimer’s disease typically worsens over time, residents’ needs often change. Benchmark offers six levels of Alzheimer’s care, from mild cognitive impairment to total assistance with all aspects of care. Families can feel confident knowing that if their loved one needs greater support in the future, Benchmark can help accommodate their needs.
Alzheimer’s Respite Care
What can you do if you care for someone with Alzheimer’s but must travel or be away from them overnight? You could consider a temporary stay at an assisted living community, also known as respite care. Respite care is also a good way to try out a community before committing.
Alzheimer’s care may look different for families depending on the type they choose. If you’re considering assisted living care for Alzheimer’s and dementia, consider Benchmark’s specialized Mind & Memory Care program. Contact us to learn more at 888-907-4661.