When you’re exploring the world of senior living for the first time, you may think each retirement community is just like the next. You’ll quickly discover that’s not the case. Some senior living communities offer what is known as a continuum of care. These communities — often referred to as Life Plan Communities or continuing care retirement communities — can be an ideal solution if your loved one has a diagnosis that is expected to worsen over time, such as memory loss or dementia.
Early on, when symptoms are mild, your loved one may not need memory care; a helping hand through assisted living could be perfectly appropriate to help maintain their independence and quality of life. However, settling your loved one into a community with progressive levels of care gives you the peace of mind that comes from knowing they can transition seamlessly to memory care when the time comes.
Many Life Plan Communities – including Stevenson Oaks — offer both assisted living and memory care as part of their continuum of care. While both play important roles in supporting older adults in their journey, their functions are actually quite different.
Support is tailored to a resident’s personal needs, but generally involves activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, grooming, and assistance in getting from place to place. These services are intended to fill gaps, allowing residents to retain their independence and autonomy to the greatest extent they are able.
Asbury Place at Stevenson Oaks is an assisted living neighborhood that offers support for critical daily needs, along with wellness programs that nurture the mind, body and spirit. Other services and amenities include chef-prepared menus with multiple dining options, weekly housekeeping, laundry services, 24/7 maintenance, and other resources designed to harness the power of community.
As the symptoms become more pronounced for someone experiencing dementia or memory loss, specialized dementia care is often necessary to help manage medication needs and create an optimal quality of life while reducing potential dementia-related behaviors. In a memory care community, you can expect 24/7 supervision to protect your loved one’s safety, as well as programming designed to preserve your loved one’s cognitive abilities as long as possible. Staff members work closely with family members to get to know residents personally so they can create personal connections that foster a sense of security.
Wesley Court at Stevenson Oaks is a memory care neighborhood where your loved one will find care, comfort and confidence. Special attention goes into creating an environment tailored to take residents through each day with less strain and more joy. For example, you may not realize it, but people with dementia often struggle with loss of appetite in the later stages of their condition. That’s why the dining team puts extra care into stimulating the senses that keep appetites engaged. Other features include a memory garden, which is a safe and secure space for residents, and a layout that has been expertly designed for easy navigation and familiarity.
Unfortunately, there’s no specific timeline for a transition from assisted living to memory care. Many factors and variables involving your loved one’s unique needs and circumstances will help you pinpoint the best timing, but rest assured you won’t have to make those decisions alone. When your loved one lives in a senior living community, you can expect their care team to be in contact with you about concerns and recommend changes that could be beneficial.
Of course, you’ll likely want to do some monitoring of your own. If you notice increased confusion, growing forgetfulness that affects daily life, signs of declining hygiene, changes in eating habits, failing health or other behavioral shifts, by all means mention them to your loved one’s care providers and talk about what they’re observing, too.
Another consideration is your loved one’s cognitive needs. While an assisted living community provides engaging and enriching programming, it’s not necessarily geared toward the needs of those who are experiencing dementia and memory loss. Specialized attention to your loved one’s cognitive function can serve many helpful purposes, including maintaining a sense of connectivity and possibly delaying the progression of symptoms.
Any indication that your loved one’s safety is at risk is a compelling reason to make an immediate transition to specialized memory care. Examples might include aggressive behaviors, attempts at self-harm, evidence of unexplained injuries such as scrapes or bruises, instances of wandering or trying to “escape” a safe environment.
Your loved one’s happiness and safety are your top priorities, and they’re ours, too. Stevenson Oaks is a Life Plan Community where residents remain richly engaged and find fulfillment every day — all Fort Worth-style, where a modern lifestyle is served with a hint of Old West heritage. A confidential conversation or complimentary assessment can go a long way toward easing your mind and helping you determine what kind of support your loved one truly needs. We’re always ready to extend a friendly welcome, so get in touch to gather more information or make plans to visit.