You’ve recently noticed a growing problem: your grandparent, parent, or loved one seems to be having more and more trouble with daily activities. Their dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is progressing. You’re worried your family member isn’t eating like they should or may wander off and get hurt. Although this special person in your life gets daily assistance with bathing, dressing, cooking, and taking their medication, you have come to realize that your loved one needs more help than you can give them.
As much as you’d love to let them stay in their own home, you know you need to find somewhere better suited for their physical and neurological needs. So, you begin to research Milwaukee memory care facilities.
Transitions Can Be Challenging
Moving someone from their home to a senior care facility can be a challenge for not only the person moving in but for the entire family. That’s why you need to find a Milwaukee memory care center you can trust and one that offers its residents a variety of experiences to give them a rich and full life.
A memory care center’s goal should be to help its residents maintain their highest function level by maximizing their psychosocial and cognitive skills. To provide their residents with a secure, comfortable, and clean place to live and have personal care services and a supportive community for those with irreversible cognitive loss.
Why A Senior Living Facility?
Right now, your parent, grandparent, or significant other seems to be happy where they are. But health conditions can change in a flash. Sooner than later, the day will arrive when you will have to make the difficult decision to move them to a Milwaukee memory care facility. The truth is, this kind of center is the best choice for their welfare, health, and safety. It’s the optimum alternative for a loved one who requires more assistance than the extended family and a visiting nurse can manage. Plus, if you have a home care agency coming in to assist them, you may actually be spending more than you would by placing them in a specialized memory care center. As the home care hours increase, so does the cost. Villa St. Francis allows your family member to age in place as their requirements increase with their Milwaukee memory care facilities, even if your loved one eventually needs hospice care or runs out of funds.
Research Milwaukee Memory Care Centers First
The initial step to finding your loved one the best Milwaukee memory care center is to do some research. Make a list of facilities in your area. You and the rest of the family will want to visit often, so first, find a convenient location.
Next, make a list of what your parent, grandparent, or loved one needs.
- What medications do they take?
- Will they need physical therapy?
- How much assistance do they need with daily living activities?
- How advanced is their dementia?
- Is your loved one still capable of cooking meals, dressing themselves, etc.?
- Do they want to live in a specific part of town?
- Do they want a large facility or something smaller?
- Do they prefer to stay in one place for the rest of their lives, and, if their needs increase, be able to age in place at the community you’ve chosen?
- Will your loved one’s insurance cover everything, or will there be some out of pocket expenses?
Once you have the answers, make appointments to see each center. Please note the building’s cleanliness, how they treat the residents, how they greet you and your family, etc. Does the facility have a good reputation? (Checking online reviews and comments will let you know how others feel about the center, too.)
Ask the staff as many questions as you can think of and keep notes to compare the answers when you get home. This is an important decision, so take your time and find the right place for your loved one.
Benefits of a Milwaukee Memory Care Center
Please understand that it is not selfish to move your loved one to a memory care center. Do you spend your days stressing over them? Are you exhausted from running back and forth to help with shopping, dressing, cooking, etc.? Do you drive them to church or doctor’s appointments every week? Are you neglecting your own family or yourself to be with them? It’s time to stop trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman. Even they couldn’t do it all. Frankly, even if you hire a home care agency to help you, it still falls on the family to manage everything.
The most basic principle of memory care is to help residents with their daily activities and to offer them the best quality of life possible. Family members get to exhale and let someone else take over. Here are more benefits and services provided by the best Milwaukee memory care facilities:
Safe and Secure Environment
Just adding a few modifications in the bathroom or better locks on the front door will not keep your family member safer or healthier in their own home. A memory care facility provides a comfortable, secure environment with a well-trained, 24-hour staff. There are handrails in the hallways to help with walking, safety precautions in every room, and proper lighting everywhere. If necessary, medical attention is available immediately.
The staff and caregivers working with dementia patients are specifically trained and receive ongoing education regarding these residents’ issues. They can deliver better physical and cognitive care, be more patient, and provide personal care services for those residents who struggle with daily living activities. The environment is designed especially for the special needs of these residents.
Individual Service Plans
With input from family members, significant others, the primary physician, and the facility case management team, each resident at a Milwaukee memory care facility receives an individual treatment plan. The plan should assess them accurately, have realistic goals, and respond to their changing and unique needs.
Licensed nurses ensure each resident receives ongoing health and psychiatric monitoring. There are annual routine health screenings and visits with specialists, dentists, and other healthcare providers. Medication is monitored through pharmacists and staff and prescribed by a medical doctor.
Leisure Time and Social Activities
Milwaukee memory care facilities offer opportunities to stay active. Even when family members visit or come to help, living alone can contribute to the decline of your loved one’s mental and physical health. Family members are not trained to know what to do and may allow their parent or grandparent to just sit in front of the television or look out the window all day.
Memory care activities are designed for each resident to maximize their involvement and keep them stimulated. Using art and music, for example, residents can express themselves more easily, building a positive sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
A music and memories program uses personalized music to help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients find renewed connections and meaning in their lives. Residents who have fewer verbal abilities often sing along, hum, or tap their feet. The area of the brain that connects memories and music is often unaffected in many people living with dementia. There is magic in music!
Supervised group activities with cultural and religious events also help residents appropriately socialize, productively interact, and stay connected. The staff encourages residents to maintain relationships with loved ones and family members. Residents will have productive one-on-one interactions and independent leisure time as well.
Being sedentary decreases muscle tone; this can lead to balance issues. To boost physical fitness and blood flow, residents are encouraged to walk. They can also attend exercise classes and join yoga sessions uniquely designed for those with memory loss.
Nutritious Meals and Snacks
Are you cooking all the meals for your loved one? Are you concerned about what they’re eating – or if they are eating enough? Those with dementia often forget to have a meal or don’t eat nutrient-dense meals. Milwaukee memory care facilities provide dining experiences to increase food intake and promote independence. For example, residents are offered warm, moist towels before eating to soothe and sanitize their hands and encourage eating.
Villa St. Francis Milwaukee memory care centers serve fresh and nutritious meals three times every day, understanding the medical conditions and special needs of their residents. For those who have difficulty sitting for dining or who no longer use utensils, there are snacks and finger food available. To ensure adequate hydration, a water station is also accessible day and night.
Villa St. Francis Memory Care Programs
To meet the needs of greater Milwaukee citizens who have dementia, Villa St. Francis has established a Memory Care center. Up to 24 residents can live in private apartments on the third floor of their assisted living facility. Their program aims to maintain the highest level of functioning for their residents and maximize their psychosocial and cognitive skills. Villa St. Francis is a structured, warm environment with an atmosphere of hope. Here are just a few of the programs they offer to their residents with dementia:
- Aroma Therapy – Recent studies have shown that using certain scents and oils can calm and relax a person and stimulate their appetite.
- Massage Therapy – Even a brief hand massage has shown to produce a physiological relaxation response and reduce cortisol levels. Rubbing the knuckles and gently pressing on the palm in a circular motion can reduce agitated behavior in dementia patients. This also provides an opportunity for positive interaction between staff and residents.
- Photavia – This is a therapeutic tool to educate, engage, and create experiences for the residents using digital screens.
- Memories in the Making – This program, from the Alzheimer’s Association, offers creative artistic expressions through watercolor painting with a trained facilitator. This process gives individuals with cognitive impairment opportunities to socially engage and discuss interests and meaningful moments in their lives while painting.
- About ME – This is a resource for people with dementia to tell staff, residents, and family about their interests, likes, needs, their history, and background to build relationships. This program recognizes that these residents are just like other individuals with life stories, ideas, values, and preferences.
- Pet Therapy – Companion pets, both real and robotic, and baby dolls provide comfort to residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s. These animals and dolls foster meaningful connections, happiness, and joy through play.
- Support Groups – Led by social workers and chaplains, support groups provide meaningful sharing and important information for family caregivers. Participants talk honestly and openly about their feelings and how this disease is impacting their family, themselves, and their loved one. The hope is that, through these meetings, the members will gain a sense of control, reduce stress, lessen anxiety and fatigue, and improve coping skills. They can also build friendships with others having the same experiences and feel less isolated.
Don’t Decide on Price Alone
When choosing a memory care facility for your loved one, don’t decide based only on price. You need to consider the center’s reputation and quality of care first. Also, understand that there are different levels of care, depending on your loved one’s needs.
Does your family member require high-level, constant 24-hour care? Do they just need someone to help them get dressed in the morning? Or is it somewhere in between? The answer to these questions will determine what area within Villa St. Francis your loved one will reside.
The difference in care level will also have different costs – the more care, the higher the price. However, having great care will provide peace of mind and reassurance to the entire family, which is priceless.
Doing some research and asking questions will help you make a more informed decision while reviewing all of your options. Generally, after a tour of the center, or even after a phone conversation, most senior living centers will share their prices and discuss alternatives and choices.
The Villa St. Francis Milwaukee Memory Care center will help your family member live the rest of their lives with dignity and purpose. You’ll no longer have to worry about their safety, their home, or their daily health. Instead, you can enjoy visiting them while they listen to their favorite music, meet new people, and take pleasure in life.
Learn More About Memory Care Through Villa St. Francis
Are you unsure of the next steps to take? Contact Villa St. Francis for help. They are a specialized community focused on healthy, hopeful, and fulfilling lives for greater Milwaukee seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They are happy to answer all of your questions.
Call Villa St. Francis today and take a comprehensive tour. They have available apartments for immediate occupancy. This may be the perfect place for your loved one.