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Caring Compassionately: Dementia Care in Nursing Homes

by | Nov 24, 2023 | Community, Dementia

Memory care is a specialized form of long-term care designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. It offers a secure and supportive environment for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in Singapore. Caregiving staff and the companionship of their peers ensure that they receive the highest quality care.

As we age, memory loss becomes a natural part of life that none of us can escape. The impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia is felt by everyone involved, from the patients themselves to their relatives and caregivers. Dealing with memory problems can be overwhelming on an emotional, physical, and psychological level, but it’s important to remember that your aging loved ones are not alone in this struggle.

By understanding what to expect and making appropriate plans, the experience can become less daunting. Essentially, Memory Care emphasizes the importance of not facing Alzheimer’s and dementia alone. It offers a supportive option for individuals or family members who are experiencing symptoms of dementia or have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. 

It is not simply a nursing home; rather, it provides a nurturing environment dedicated to meeting all the cognitive, medical, emotional needs.

Nursing homes cater to the needs of elderly individuals who require companionship and assistance with daily tasks, as well as healthcare management. On the other hand, memory care facilities specifically address the needs of Alzheimer’s and advanced dementia patients, particularly those experiencing memory problems. 

Nursing home communities often have a dedicated memory care ward that caters to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive conditions. This specialized area ensures a safe and secure care environment for these individuals.

These facilities provide specialized interventions such as music therapy, art classes, light therapies, sensory stimulation, caregiver support groups, and other programs. Additionally, memory care homes prioritize safety measures to minimize the risk of injury or residents getting lost. Overall, nursing homes offer both short-term and long-term professional caregiving services to elderly individuals in need.

Nursing home communities foster an environment where seniors can be surrounded by individuals who inspire them to embrace life and experience joy.

How can you determine if your loved one requires admission to a memory care facility? Here are five key indicators to consider:

Behavioural Changes: Over time, dementia can cause individuals to exhibit strange or unusual behaviour. They may become easily upset, anxious, or distant. Additionally, they might completely alter their daily routine and forget about personal hygiene or other previously familiar tasks.

Disorientation and Confusion: Seniors with memory loss often experience confusion and disorientation. This can increase their risk of accidents or putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations.

Declining Cognitive Abilities: If your loved one’s cognitive abilities are noticeably declining, it may be time to consider memory care. Difficulty with memory recall, problem-solving skills, and decision-making are common signs.

Wandering and Getting Lost: A tendency to wander aimlessly or frequently get lost is another red flag for memory care needs. This behaviour can put seniors at risk of harm if they are unable to find their way back home.

Increased Dependence on Others: As dementia progresses, individuals may become increasingly dependent on others for daily tasks and personal care needs. If your loved one is struggling with basic self-care activities such as bathing or dressing themselves, it may be time to explore memory care options.

Recognizing these signs can help guide you in determining whether memory care is the right choice for your loved one’s well-being and safety.

Seniors who choose assisted living can enjoy the convenience of residing at the assisted living facility without the burden of maintenance, housekeeping chores, and cooking. Day care provides active residents with numerous opportunities for learning, cultural enrichment, spiritual growth, social interaction, and physical fitness. 

Assisted living is specifically designed to cater to seniors who require support with everyday activities like dressing, bathing, meal consumption, and medication administration. It also caters to individuals with specialized care plans addressing concerns such as fall prevention or nutritional deficiencies. 

As each resident’s needs are distinct and varied from one another’s, nursing homes create an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) that precisely outlines their personalized care requirements and preferences. 

Upon arrival, nurses and care staff will evaluate the patients’ present state of health and examine your medical background in order to determine the most effective approach to addressing your needs.

They will then engage in conversations with the patients regarding their preferences and daily routines, resulting in the development of a customized care plan. This plan, known as the Individualized Service Plan (ISP), will be continuously revised to accommodate any changes in your requirements.

The cost of caring for individuals with dementia is determined by the extent of services required as well as the specific facility chosen to accommodate their needs. At the HDB Memory Care Facility rates start at $2,900 for a 2-bedroom unit while options include a shared-bathroom 1-bedroom room at $4,900 or one with a private bathroom at $5.100. 

Alternatively, available is the Condominium Memory Care Facility prices begin at $3,300 for a 2-bedroom unit or you can opt for either shared-bathroom ($5,300) or private-bathroom ($5,500) accommodations in their 1-bedroom rooms.

Services provided include continuous caregiving and supervision around-the-clock along with medication management to ensure proper administration of medications; assistance with hygiene routines as well as personal care; support in managing incontinence issues alongside toileting needs.  

Other services include help with mobility challenges faced by individuals; engagement in memory-enhancing activities; provision of daily nutritious meals; maintenance of cleanliness through daily housekeeping services; availability of laundry facilities on-site and monthly medical escort for necessary appointments.

Dementia care in nursing homes in Singapore has evolved significantly over the years, prioritizing the well-being and dignity of individuals with dementia. The implementation of person-centred care approaches has been instrumental in improving their quality of life and reducing behavioural symptoms. By focusing on their unique needs, preferences, and abilities, nursing homes have created a nurturing environment that promotes autonomy and maximizes independence.

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Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.

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