Memory care is a dynamic healthcare field that continues to evolve as researchers and medical providers discover more effective ways of treating and preventing dementia-based illnesses.
The number of older adults diagnosed with cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's is expected to more than double by 2050. However, breakthroughs in treatments and care practices offer hope for continued quality of life to individuals and their families affected by cognitive impairments.
At Autumn View Gardens in Ellisville, we implement cutting-edge practices, including the use of art, music and pet therapies in our memory care neighborhood to create a stimulating environment that enriches seniors' mental and physical well-being.
As more research is conducted in the field, specialists predict that these six changes will change the way memory care is implemented.
Many of the best breakthroughs in dementia care, such as Teepa Snow's teachings on memory care approaches, have come about through medical providers and caregivers with extensive hands-on knowledge of cognitive impairments and how they affect older adults.
As the number of older adults with cognitive impairments rises, the need for resources to care for them grows proportionately. With so many doctors, nurses and aides working daily alongside these seniors, it's only natural that demand for experienced specialists in the field will continue to go up.
This change will help ensure the quality of care continues to improve in memory care as workers choose this field as a career path and gain expertise over time.
Memory-care providers report that the greatest improvement in individuals living with dementia happens when they receive person-centered care, and most plan to improve the use of these practices in senior living communities across the nation.
This deeply personable approach to care is one of the core practices here at Ellisville in St. Louis. We strongly believe that accommodating seniors' unique needs and preferences in their daily routines bolsters their happiness and soothes feelings of stress and anxiety.
Activities and social opportunities are carefully tailored to help stimulate memories and nurture positive communication between seniors and their caregivers and families.
As taught in Teepa Snow's dementia-care approach, we carefully tailor activities and social opportunities to stimulate memories and nurture positive communication between seniors, their families and their caregivers.
By celebrating everyday accomplishments and encouraging individuals to do familiar tasks such as light housekeeping, gardening and baking activities, we help give seniors a sense of purpose and build their self-esteem.
Many organizations, including the Alzheimer's Association, have committed to expanding the general knowledge of issues related to dementia and the latest news on research and treatments.
As education and understanding increase among the general public, it's expected the stigma and anxiety that can be associated with dementia will decrease and more people will seek diagnostic tests and treatments sooner. And that early diagnosis and treatment can greatly affect a senior's experience with dementia, reducing the effects and slowing its progression in many cases.
Sensory rooms have grown in popularity among caregivers helping disabled children and those with learning disabilities. Research has shown, however, that these spaces have incredible potential in memory care applications.
Sensory rooms are thoughtfully designed with interesting smells, sounds and touchable surfaces that help engage seniors with dementia. This can improve focus, which can help individuals maintain communication with those around them.
The rooms are carefully painted and decorated in soothing palates and designs. Gentle music and lights are also included to soothe feelings of stress and reduce pain and anxiety.
With the widespread use of smartphones, tablets and computers, seniors are becoming more technology-savvy. Creative individuals and specialists are expected to increasingly use technology to support memory care residents. For example, apps and alerts on handheld devices can be used to help seniors track their daily routine, helping them remember scheduled meal times and activities.
Memory-based games and apps are also increasingly being added to seniors' care routines. In addition to offering entertainment, these activities help provide a tangible measurement of seniors' cognitive abilities and track changes over time. This lets caregivers adjust treatments and therapies quickly when a decline is detected.
For many years, dementia-related medications have focused primarily on relieving symptoms. New developments in the field have changed this focus to include explorations of drug combinations that work in tandem to treat multiple factors thought to cause or worsen dementia and Alzheimer's. These include drugs that reduce plaque and inflammation in the brain and treatments to boost the body's immune system and heart health, which have been linked to brain health.
Lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, are also being closely studied in many medical studies. By monitoring these studies, doctors and caregivers will be able to advise seniors on the types of exercises and food that provide the most benefits.
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