The statistics on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the Lone Star state are staggering. 330,000 Texans live with Alzheimer’s. Texas ranks fourth in terms of the number of cases of AD across the country, and second in the number of deaths caused by the disease each year.
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is one that impacts the entire family. The physical, emotional and financial toll it takes is steep and continuing to climb. In 2013, 1.3 million unpaid caregivers provided care to a Texan with AD for a total 1.5 billion hours of unpaid care at an estimated cost of $18.5 billion per year.
As many of the Dallas-Fort Worth family caregivers we work with know, caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s isn’t easy. When safety becomes a concern or when the caregiver is feeling overwhelmed, there are several types of specialized dementia care available to help.
Types of Alzheimer’s Care in Dallas-Fort Worth
For seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease, there are three primary types of dementia care that families can consider. They include:
- Home Care: In-home care may be an option if a DFW senior loved one is in the early stages of AD. These providers can help with the activities of daily living such as personal care and meal preparation. Some can also provide assistance with medication management.
- Dementia Care Assisted Living: A dementia care program in an assisted living community is often referred to as Memory Care. These programs offer the benefits of a traditional assisted living community with an added layer of support designed to meet the unique needs of people with Alzheimer’s. The additional support includes: specialty staff, life enrichment activities that support memory loss, meal plans that work around the limitations the disease often creates and more. Safety is a major component of Memory Care. These secure communities utilize different types of technologies to prevent and detect wandering.
- Dementia Care in a Nursing Home: Some nursing homes offer a dedicated Memory Care program. Many residents of these programs are in the final stages of AD. They may have higher levels of disability and more complex health care needs.
Understanding the Benefits of Alzheimer’s Care
DFW area seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from the specialized dementia care in a variety of ways including:
- Security: Safety is often a primary reason adult children begin to explore memory care programs. Because family caregivers can’t always be present around the clock to keep a loved one safe, the security of a memory care program can offer peace of mind. Built-in safety features include wandering systems, fire detection systems and 24/7 on-site staff.
- Specialty Caregivers: Memory care providers typically have their own specialized training programs for caregivers who work with their Alzheimer’s residents. Staff members are trained on dementia-specific topics such as coping with Sundowner’s Syndrome, preventing or safely managing wandering and non-verbal communication skills.
- Life Enrichment Activities: Another advantage of a memory care program is the chance for older adults with Alzheimer’s to participate in life enrichment activities designed to support their remaining abilities. Working with each resident’s limitations helps to support their abilities and protect their independence. Memory Care staff utilize reminiscence therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, art therapy and more to connect and engage with Alzheimer’s residents.
- Nutrition Programs: As Alzheimer’s disease advances, it becomes more difficult for people who live with the disease to manage mealtime on their own. Memory Care staff understand how to work around the challenges created by Alzheimer’s. Utilizing practices such as managing the meal time environment or by creating finger foods to make it easier to eat can help meet the senior’s daily nutritional needs.
Need Help Finding a Memory Care Program in Dallas, Fort Worth?
If the time is drawing near for you to find a Memory Care program for a Dallas-Fort Worth senior you love, please Contact Us. Our experienced team members can help you find a community that best meets your loved one’s unique needs.
Not Sure Where To Start?
Memory care is such a unique need for a loved one that it can often be difficult to know where to even start. We’ve been through this process so many times that we wanted to put together a set of beginner’s guides on initial research that should be done for memory care. While we always encourage people to utilize our free services, we also know that doing some independent front-end research on your own can really help. Feel free to review our guides based on your location within Texas:
After you’ve done that initial research and feel you’re ready to utilize our placement services, please contact us today or call us at 214-929-5055.