memory careIt’s safe to say that there are a wide range of assisted living communities available, and finding the right one means making sure it meets all your specifications when it comes to taking care of your loved one. There is no one path to aging. The journey is different for everyone, so how do you make sure an assisted living facility will be able to help your loved one with their unique needs?

Many people looking for assisted living worry about memory care, but not all assisted living communities offer memory care – or the same level of memory care. So how can you make sure your loved one will receive the care they need? Here are some things you might want to look out for (or ask about) when touring assisted living communities.

Color and Visual Aids

Sometimes, something as simple as using a color-ringed plate, or putting the toilet in front of a brightly colored wall can go a long way towards helping seniors with cognitive decline navigate their world and perform their day-to-day tasks. When visiting assisted living communities, look for signs that they make proper use of color and other visual aids to help residents navigate their space.

Architecture and Interior Design

Assisted living communities that make areas distinctive from one another (even if it’s just by using a different color scheme for each area) and clear walking paths make it easier for residents to navigate the building on their own. Exit doors can also be decorated with murals in order to distract residents from leaving (in addition to an alarm that will let staff know if a resident has, in fact, exited through one of the doors).

Light Therapy

Studies have shown that regular exposure to a specific spectrum of light throughout the day can help decrease anxiety, agitation, depression, and other symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. It can also help slow the decline of cognitive abilities for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. As a result, some assisted living communities have started using light therapy programs as a way to help residents regulate their circadian rhythms using dawn simulators inside their apartments, adjusting the colors and level of lights throughout the community during the day, and encouraging residents to go outside and get some exposure to the sun.

Sensory Stimulation

Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten what you came for, then returned to your spot, only to immediately remember what it was you needed? Returning to the location where you originally had that idea can help prompt it. It’s the reason why students are often advised to study in the same room where they’ll be taking the test.

Those same tricks can be used to help stimulate memories in those suffering from memory impairment. Memory boxes containing photos and mementos can be a great way to help residents remember certain events – they can also be placed outside of rooms in order to help residents identify which room is theirs.

Other assisted living communities have added other senses, such as taste, smell, music, and tactile art in order to help residents improve their memory and remain active members of the community. Some have even successfully incorporated residents into the cooking and baking process by using taste and smell to help them recall some of their early days in the kitchen.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.