Learn how board and care homes can help seniors with dementia. Seniorly explains how this type of senior care can benefit residents with memory needs.
As a professional placement agent, I work with families who have an aging family member in need of senior care. Many of the clients I work with have memory challenges. Some have been diagnosed with dementia and some have not been formally diagnosed, but their family knows that mom or dad just can’t remember things like she or he used to and it is starting to impact their safety at home.
In these situations, I understand why families don’t force their parent’s to move into a senior living community with dementia care until something bad happens. A common reason for this is that many seniors want to age at home. However when a loved one falls and ends up in the hospital, alternative care options must be explored.
The top priority should be a safe place to live where a parent’s 24-hour personal care will be tended to. A hospital stay, though not the desired path, often proves an easier way to convince a parent to move into housing with professional senior care. Yet, while the obvious option to seniors with dementia may be a memory care community, it isn’t the only choice available.
Depending on your loved one’s needs, a board and care home may present a better fit. Unlike most memory care communities, board and care homes tend to be smaller, have lower employee turnover rates and are, relatively, more cost-friendly. However to understand which option would best meet your needs it’s important to understand what each type of care offers and how they differ from one another.
This is often the first option families consider when looking for dementia care as many people are familiar with assisted living facilities with secure memory care units. These facilities are not board and care homes. Instead, they provide resources and staff that can care for residents with various forms of dementia.
Some of these communities provide a unique approach for people with Alzheimer’s, Lewy body, vascular, or frontotemporal dementia, to name a few. For example, the use of Montessori-based activities encourages residents to get involved and take ownership in activities versus merely participating. Also, these memory care facilities provide security for those residents who have shown “exit-seeking” tendencies.
Large memory care communities provide many benefits. Still, there are some things to consider that might lead you to think of an alternative senior living option:
As an alternative to a memory care community, there are board and care homes. These are residential care homes in a suburban setting with only a handful of residents under one roof. A majority of these board and care homes cater to residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia related illnesses. However, you should always consider the following things when touring board and care homes:
One thing I know for sure is that every family I work with is unique. I urge them to explore various options for their loved one before making any decision. Placing someone with a cognitive impairment is especially challenging because people with dementia don’t experience their illness the same way. Different types of dementia are manifested in different ways, at different times.
The most difficult attribute to identify in the best board and care homes is what I call “The X Factor.” This is the feeling you get when you walk in, the warmth and love that only exists in a caring environment, the smell (or lack of smell) of a comfortable home, and the positive sound of people living their best lives. This is the kind of home I would have wanted my parents to live in, and the kind of home that I try to find for my clients every day.
Mark Wolff is a professional senior living advisor in the Greater Sacramento area. Mark and his wife Karyn spend countless hours inspecting and rating residential locations including smaller care homes, medium sized and larger care communities. As senior care experts, they will meet personally with you to discuss options and will accompany you on visits to locations to ensure all your questions are answered and even assist with negotiations. Mark and Karyn will only show you the best locations based on their proprietary rating system, and the hallmark of their service commitment is that they will be by your side every step of the way.
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