5 Steps to Turn Dementia Care Principles into Best Practices

The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is increasing. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million Americans are currently living with this brain disease. And as our senior population grows, so too will Alzheimer’s diagnoses. That makes proper care options even more pressing. Syncare Memory Suites in Minnesota is a specialized memory care home for seniors living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It’s our goal to provide safe, structured, person-centered care that emphasizes choice, dignity, and purposeful living for our residents. We want to be part of the movement that’s committed to creating a society designed to support people living with dementia. Today, we’re sharing five steps to turn dementia care principles into best practices. If you’re looking at care options for your loved one, these are practices you want to see emphasized in a home.

Appropriate Assessments

Assessing a new resident’s experiences and abilities are a critical first step. As you investigate care options, make note of admission criteria. During the onboarding process, a thorough assessment that evaluates cognition, health history, and your loved one’s life story should be conducted. A cognitive assessment will help caregivers identify the dementia stage and your loved one’s remaining abilities. The health history and life story will give them necessary medical facts and an understanding of what’s meaningful and familiar to your loved one.

Person-Centered Care

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends engagement in meaningful activities to help those living with dementia maintain functional ability while also enhancing quality of life. In practice, that means a variety of therapeutic plans and programs that are individually designed to suit the needs, preferences, and abilities of the resident. These kinds of programs and plans should also include activities like dining, grooming, and other habits of daily living.

A Competent, Trained Support Team

Qualified caregivers in a memory care home should be fully trained and experienced with dementia. This means ongoing coaching, mentoring, and training to keep caregivers current on new tools, technology, and best practices. A competent, trained support team includes everyone involved in a private memory care home, from the founder to direct caregivers to supporting staff.

Inquire about staff turnover as well. Minimizing staff changes facilitates familiarity and camaraderie between caregivers and residents. The goal should be fostering a relationship that puts residents at ease.

Environmental Support

A welcoming, inviting physical environment should facilitate independence, engagement, and safety. Accommodations for the needs of aging residents means minimal obstructions, non-slip flooring, grab bars, and good lighting. At Syncare Memory Suites, our common areas are designed to promote sensory stimulation, while individual rooms are structured to be as familiar and comfortable as home.

Support from the Family

Involving family members is critical from the beginning. Family members should be involved in the development of therapeutic plans and programs, because it’s important that these are designed around the needs, interests, and abilities of their loved one. You are a valuable member of your loved one’s care, and your support and involvement is important.

The Takeaway

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are conditions that require specialized care. Understanding what should be done to transform dementia care principles into best practices can help you find the right level of care for your loved one. If you’re investigating care options, we’re here to help. Contact Syncare Memory Suites in Minnesota today.