Those who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive deficits, are at a disadvantage when it comes to quality care. Because each day may look and feel different and each patient is different, it can make it difficult to find the personalized care they need. Many people who suffer from long-term cognitive deficits are able to do things but may lose focus or sound judgment. In a typical healthcare setting, they may have their physical and medical needs met but fall short of meeting their emotional and cognitive needs. Specialized memory care delivered by trained professionals can significantly improve the quality of life for dementia patients as well as improve long-term outcomes.
At Serenity Gardens Assisted Living Facilities in Friendswood, Dickinson, and Deer Park, we are able to deliver high-quality memory care services in a small, home-like facility that maximizes individual attention. We offer plenty of appropriate activities and supervision to keep your loved ones safe, stimulated, and living their best life. To find the memory care you and your loved one deserve, contact us to schedule your tour.
“I thank God every day that I found Serenity Gardens Dickinson TX for my 90-year-old Mom! The executive director Rusty Jordan and his fantastic staff are everything I could hope for to ensure that Mom is loved and well cared for - what a fabulous team of caregivers - dedicated and loving. The environment is like a home and the staff treats my Mom like their family. The food is fantastic - fresh, tasty, well-balanced meals - cooked fresh (NOT FROZEN). The physical building and accommodations are well maintained, CLEAN and just lovely...”
~ Jacque C.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are progressive cognitive disorders that destroy the ability to form and process memories and can impair other important mental functions. Not only does Alzheimer’s disease prevent the formation of new memories, but destroys brain cell connections, making it difficult to recall previous memories and known information. Typically, patients experience progressive memory regression that makes communication and day-to-day tasks difficult. Some who suffer from dementia may notice symptoms seem to worsen as the day continues and symptoms such as mood changes, irritability, anger, and changes in speech patterns accompany symptoms of difficulty concentrating.
Some signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, visit our blog on the topic:
As late afternoon fades into evening, many Alzheimer’s patients experience worsening symptoms as the night progresses. Even those with minimal symptoms during the day may experience significant behavior and mood changes, increased difficulty with mobility and expression, and the risk of wandering increases. This is caused by the phenomenon known as Sundowning. Sundowners syndrome is a set of neuropsychotric symptoms that occur in those who suffer from mid-to-late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The exact causes of Sundowners syndrome and its symptoms aren’t well understood, but it is evident that there is a correlation between the circadian rhythm, natural sunlight, and the symptoms. Sundowning is expressed in mood swings, confusion, sadness, aggression, anger, anxiety, pacing, rocking, hallucinations, resistance, crying, disorientation, and escalation that may result in violence to self or others, with worsening symptoms in the evening.
Similar to a neuro-normative brain, as the day wears on, many people experience decreased ability to concentrate or process complex thoughts as the brain is overwhelmed from the day’s stimulation and requires rest to reset and recharge. A healthy circadian rhythm causes us to naturally begin to relax and tire as the sunlight begins to wane, readying our minds and body for the rest. It is the same for those with dementia, however, in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms are exacerbated.
The memory care team at Serenity Gardens Memory Care Assisted Living Facility in Friendswood, Dickinson, and Deer Park are well-versed in Sundowners syndrome and are attentive to each of our resident’s needs. Some of the things we do to help reduce symptoms and promote a happy, healthy home include:
Encourage daytime rest as needed
Earlier supper times to reduce hunger-fueled episodes and missing meals due to Sundowners symptoms
Reduce or eliminate caffeine
Offer plenty of physical activity during the daytime
Reserve late morning or early afternoon for mentally stimulating activities
Take a proactive approach to tend to personal care needs including toileting and comfort
And, most importantly, we know all of our residents and their behaviors, so we can be attentive to changes or disturbances
Learn more about Sundowners syndrome in Alzheimer’s patients, visit these resources:
Behavior and mood changes in Alzheimer’s patients are a normal part of the disease process but can be incredibly challenging for the patients themselves and caregivers alike. The most important thing to remember is that it is not something the dementia sufferer chooses or can change at will. For many family members, behavior changes are incredibly distressing and the reason they elect to move their loved ones to a specialized memory care facility.
The main cause of behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients is the progressive deterioration of brain cells in addition to medication, environmental influences, and some medical conditions that cause their own symptoms or make dementia symptoms worse. The primary behavioral challenges are irritability, anger, wandering, and violence.
Understanding what worsens behavioral symptoms or triggers mood swings can help in preventing problems. By knowing each person’s triggering events — specific caretakers or events, fatigue, environmental changes, etc. — our skilled memory care team can work to reduce or eliminate triggers to reduce the impact on behaviors. Offering a calm, soothing environment with patient caregivers in a setting with a routine can nearly eliminate stress triggers.
Redirection is probably the most commonly used technique for reducing behavioral challenges in any person and is especially useful in dementia patients. Redirection does require some finesse and a lot of patience but can be quite effective in minimizing symptoms and avoiding escalation. While holding the attention of the dementia patient can be difficult, that poses to be a benefit in redirection efforts. Something as simple as going for a short walk, playing music, or offering something tactile to busy their hands works well in reducing behavior issues.
The root of behavioral challenges in the dementia patient never includes the voluntary act of being onery. Basic feelings including hunger, thirst, fatigue, boredom, confusion, the need to void, and even an itchy clothing tag or sock misalignment can cause discomfort, and the inability to identify the issue or express needs can present as agitation. By simply understanding root causes and addressing them beforehand you can prevent escalation and comfort those suffering from dementia.
At Serenity Gardens Memory Care Assisted Living Centers, we know our residents specialize in memory care. We are equipped to handle the many challenges that Alzheimer’s disease causes and are here for you and your loved ones. Tour our Friendswood, Dickinson, or Deer Park locations today
“Wonderful place to take your loved one. They are a little family there! clean professional and trustworthy! Consistent and attentive!…”
~ M. B.
The cognitive impairment an Alzheimer’s patient faces puts them at an increased risk for safety concerns and can make living alone almost dangerous. Memory and cognition changes impair the patient’s ability to make sound judgment calls, which can result in otherwise harmless tasks becoming dangerous, forgetting what they are doing can pose significant safety risks, and a disturbance in time and space can alter the patient’s perceptions. For example, tasks such as toasting bread in a convection oven can easily lead to a home fire when forgotten about.
To help keep your loved one safe, the memory care team at Serenity Gardens Memory Care Assisted Living Facility in Friendswood, Dickinson, and Deer Park take extra precautions and considerations. Some things we keep a lookout for and work diligently to prevent include:
Learn more about safety considerations in the Alzheimer’s patient:
To learn more about our safety considerations and how we help keep your loved one safe, schedule a tour with Serenity Gardens today!
It is estimated that nearly 5.8 million Americans are living with active Alzheimer’s disease. Due to advancements in medical care and a better understanding of the disease, the average age of the American population continues to get older and the number of Alzheimer’s disease patients is anticipated to skyrocket to nearly 14 million people. At this time, there is no known cure and the causes and risk factors remain the subject of heavy research.
Alzheimer’s disease remains the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and affects nearly 10% of the population over the age of 65. Alzheimer’s disease does not directly kill people; rather they die of complications related to the disease. Common complications of the disease include nourishment issues, aspiration caused by swallowing difficulties, infection, and blood clots. Alzheimer’s disease puts additional strain on the immune system, making patients at a higher risk for opportunistic infections. In the advanced stages of the disease, decreased mobility and swallowing ability puts patients at a higher risk of pneumonia, weight loss, bone breaks, skin breakdown, and blood clots. Effective dementia management focuses on cognitive support, mobility and physical activity, and patient health and safety.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease worsen over time, although there are variations in how quickly the changes occur. However, there are some things you can do to slow the progression of the disease. While cognitive decline can be slowed with treatment and quality memory care, it is important to understand that there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive decline may be slowed, but can not be reversed or prevented. Effective memory care focuses on managing and slowing symptoms.
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, it may be difficult for friends and family to notice the symptoms of cognitive decline because they may be subtle. The person may still be functional and seem relatively normal, with some forgetful tendencies that can be dismissed as normal aging or stress. For instance, they may have memory lapses, trail off in conversations, or misplace objects.
During the middle, or moderate, stage of Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline is readily apparent and will impact the individual’s abilities to function or care for themselves. Behavioral changes, increased safety risks, frequent falls, wandering, and difficulty completing tasks of daily living are common in this stage. It is during the middle stage that many families consider the move to memory care assisted living.
During the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease, symptoms become so severe that individuals typically lose their ability to respond to the environment and communicate. Personality changes may take place, and the individual will likely require total assistance with daily personal care. In the late stage, basic bodily functions including swallowing, walking, and sitting become more difficult and the individual becomes vulnerable to infections.
The terms senior care and memory care are used without much clarification, leaving families confused about the services that would be best for their loved ones. Senior care, also referred to as elder care, is the helpful care that is afforded to seniors who need some extra help with day-to-day activities. This care can be provided in the home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Typically, senior care includes assistance with mobility, grooming, bathing, dressing, chores, and some toileting. Memory care is an additional service offered by some senior care providers. Memory care includes 24-hour supervision for the safety of the dementia patient. Memory care includes active redirection, cognitive stimulation, and additional safety measures above and beyond what regular senior care provides. Senior care can be provided as needed and varies based on the person receiving the care, whereas memory care is much more comprehensive and involved.
To clarify, all memory care is senior care, but not all senior care includes memory care. In fact, only 16% of dementia patients received regular cognitive assessments in the medical and long-term care setting. For those seniors who require some support with activities of daily living, home health care, independent living centers, assisted living communities, and nursing homes are the appropriate care settings. However, if your loved one suffers from dementia or cognitive impairment, finding a care plan that emphasizes memory care is essential. Specialized memory care teams have special training, and memory care assisted living facilities, like Serenity Gardens, offer cognitive support and 24-hour supervision for the complete care of dementia patients.
Memory care is specific care for those who suffer from dementia, memory loss, or cognitive deficits. The environment is designed to be secure and reduce the risk of falls, wandering, and other safety issues that are not as big of a concern as other senior living settings. 24-hour care should be provided in a setting that allows maximal freedom for residents to live comfortably without being isolated.
Unlike other senior care options, memory care focuses a lot on helping with behavioral issues including agitation, poor judgment, and other side effects of memory loss and confusion. Care and interaction should be personalized to the individual and requires caregivers to know their residents and be attentive to cues. Stimulating activities, purposeful and patient interaction, and family education are all vital components to offering peace and serenity to those with memory impairment.
Memory care also includes the traditional senior care services available at any other facility including activities, medication assistance, meals, housekeeping, and companionship. The main difference is the attentiveness and modified setting to support those with dementia.
When deciding between traditional senior care options including home health care, assisted living, and long-term care options, you’ll discover some of the incredible benefits of memory care that include:
Improved physical safety
Decreased behavioral concerns
Encouragement to complete tasks and help with what they can’t
Peace of mind for family members
Comfort for patients
For the comfort and safety that your loved one deserves, discover Serenity Gardens Memory Care Assisted Living centers in Friendswood, Dickinson, and Deer Park. Contact us to schedule a tour today!
It is important to understand that regardless of what care is rendered or where it is administered, there is nothing that can stop the progression of dementia in Alzheimer’s disease. Effective memory care focuses on making life as comfortable and meaningful for those suffering from dementia and keeping them safe. Here are a few things that families should expect as outcomes with effective memory care.
For those suffering from dementia, safety becomes a valid concern. Individuals may forget what they are doing and where they are. Effective memory care offers supervision and assistance with potentially dangerous tasks such as cooking, driving, and eating. Falls and wandering can be nearly eliminated.
Adverse behavior including wandering, aggression, and combativeness are common in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. With a team of compassionate caregivers who offer meaningful activities and can recognize triggers and symptoms, negative behaviors can be reduced.
The link between dementia and depression is clear. While it is not well understood if one causes the other, they seem to exacerbate the symptoms of each other. Social isolation only serves to intensify symptoms of both depression and dementia. In a safe setting surrounded by others, symptoms are reduced and mood improved.
With the care and support of memory care providers, those who suffer from dementia can avoid bed sores, poor hygiene, and decreased weight loss through better nutrition and assistance with activities of daily living. This helps improve the quality of life and offers comfort to loved ones.
Making the move to residential memory care can be a difficult decision to make for some families as the desire to allow their loved one to age in place and keep them at home is the epitome of love and family. However, there comes a time when safety and wellbeing become difficult to maintain at home and the move to a residential memory care facility becomes the safer choice. While many people feel like they are failing their loved ones when they begin to consider the move, there are plenty of reasons why it is a good idea.
As dementia worsens, safety concerns will begin to vary. What once required gentle redirection to avoid injury may become hazardous. When walking, standing, or caring for self becomes a safety concern, it may be time to consider transitioning into a full care setting.
Caregiver fatigue or burnout is common in those who provide care for their loved ones. When cognitive deficits and memory issues complicate the situation, the caregiver can quickly become fatigued. It is not uncommon for those who care for their loved ones at home to also be managing their own growing families and careers. When caregivers become stressed, it strains the relationship and can make the care rendered suffer. Compassion fatigue may result in poor coping skills and negatively impact both the caregiver and their loved ones. Making a move to a residential memory care facility offers families the chance for skilled memory care workers to exercise their skills and allow families to take a step back from day to day care and rekindle the familial relationship..
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it will eventually impact the physical and medical health as well as the overall wellbeing of the person affected. This may present in poor nutrition, increased falls, or a weakened immune system that leads to more frequent illness. If your loved one also suffers from a chronic medical condition, Alzheimer’s disease may complicate the care and management of it. When physical or medical health is impacted, it is a sure sign that it’s time to consider a move to an assisted living facility that offers full-time care and medical intervention on sight. It has been proven that this helps significantly decrease hospital visits and improves recovery time.
Each Alzheimer’s story looks a little different and each person’s decision to move will be different. For some Alzheimer’s patients and their families, the move to a home-like residential memory care center is an early and easy one, while for others, it may cause some turmoil. If you and your family have considered the idea for any reason, looking into options never hurts.
At Serenity Gardens Memory Care Assisted Living Facility, memory care is not a sub-service, it is our only mission. We provide a homelike environment with small resident populations to offer better personalized care and make your transition a smooth and comfortable one. When you are here, you are home. To learn more about our services, visit our services page and connect with us to schedule a tour today. With locations in Friendswood, Dickinson, and Deer Park, we are the family Texans can count on.
If you’ve realized that caring for your senior loved one is becoming increasingly difficult or that you have major safety concerns about them continuing to live at home, you may have already begun looking into safe and comfortable memory care assisted living options. Having the conversation about making the move can be a difficult one, even when it comes for a well-intentioned place of love. Making the move to a memory care assisted living facility (ALF), for many people, is waving the white flag of surrender to their Alzheimer’s disease and can be a hard pill to swallow. Many seniors feel like moving to a memory care ALF equates to giving up their freedom and their home and being cared for by strangers.
Some tips for talking to your loved one about making the move to residential memory care include:
Keep the conversations light and positive: “Mom, wouldn’t you be more comfortable with more company and caregivers?” Avoid making your loved one feel like a burden or as though the decision is based on them being in the way or too much effort.
Include your loved one in all conversations to avoid making them feel like you made the decision for them. Discuss the options and ask about their fears, concerns, and their wish list. Formulate a pros and cons list together and include them in all tours and communication with the facility.
The most important thing you can do in any conversation is to listen and validate. Never assume they will not remember or that because they have worsening dementia that it voids their wishes, thoughts, or feelings. You may have to repeat the conversations, but acknowledging what they think and feel is critical.
At Serenity Gardens Memory Care Assisted Living Centers, we work hard to make our residents feel comfortably at home rather than living in a facility. We offer family-style living and dining, with a casual atmosphere, pets, children, and family activities to create a home-like experience. We know the transition is a difficult one to make and we are here to help!
When it comes to finding senior care, there is no lack of options. With the aging population growing faster than the younger generations, it would seem there is some form of senior care center everywhere! We understand that the choice can be daunting if you aren’t sure what to look for and just because the option is available does not always mean that it is a good one.
Those in their 30s through 50s are considered to be in the “sandwich generations,” where they are providing the primary care for both their children and their parents. Nearly 16 million Americans provide uncompensated care to those with dementia, including family and loved ones. With the average nuclear family size decreasing and a shift in family structure, this has the ability to put additional strain on families who depend on two incomes to make ends meet.
For families who can make it work, the benefits include living at home with family and quality, loving care. However, the disadvantages are that family is not generally trained in managing healthcare concerns or memory care management, and dementia support is not always the easiest to optimize. People with Alzheimer’s disease have twice as many hospital stays, skilled nursing stays, and home health care visits than any other population.
In-home care can be offered from just a few hours a week assisting with activities of daily living to full-time live-in care, and anything in between. Home health care agencies offer a variety of services and allow their patients to remain in the comfort of their own homes. The upside to in-home care is the care and services are brought to the patient’s home and can be structured to meet specific needs. The downsides to in-home care include more hospital admissions and a lack of social engagement.
Short-term or intermittent memory care is available at respite centers or many memory care facilities on a daily or hourly basis. This allows family caregivers to work outside the home or to get a much-needed break from time to time. These programs and services are also useful for those dementia patients who have a caregiver at home to engage in social activities and have access to interventions and treatments outside the home.
Another option for memory care for seniors with dementia is memory care assisted living facilities. Assisted living communities offer residents everything they need to live a safe and productive life from day to day. Assisted living offers help with bathing, grooming, and other personal care needs, in addition to the basic needs of living, including laundry, housekeeping, meals and feeding, medication management, and medical attention. In addition to basic needs, memory care assisted living offers 24-hour supervision, social interaction, and stimulating activities.
Serenity Gardens memory care assisted living facilities in Friendswood, Dickinson, and Deer Park offer so much more than standard memory care and attentive supervision. We also offer family-style dining in a home-style setting with kids and pets on the property. Our facilities are small so we can provide the most comfortable setting and better one-on-one care. When your loved one is here, they are home.