Long-Term Care Options for Dementia

Long-term care facilities for people living with dementia in Round Rock, Texas include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and memory units. Before you begin looking for long-term care for your loved one who lives with dementia, you’ll want to know what to look for and which environment best suits their unique needs. 

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, offer a wide range of medical care, as well as physical, speech, and occupational therapy. Nursing homes provide the most extensive medical care for a person outside of a hospital. 

Nursing home services also include 24-hour supervision, meals, and snacks that meet the nutritional needs of each resident, and personal care assistance—which typically encompasses bathing, dressing, grooming, using the toilet, and the resident’s mobility. 

Residents in a nursing home often share rooms, and nursing homes are strategically designed for around the clock medical and personal care. 

Typically, to be admitted to a nursing home, one must need either skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services, or health-related services beyond the parameters of assisted living. 

Generally, nursing homes are not ideal environments for people who are in the early to mid-stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Nursing homes generally do not restrict dementia symptom triggers such as poor or shadowy lighting, structures that lead to confusion, activities that lead to agitation, and they lack consistency in physical space and medical or personal care. 

Nursing homes can be an option for people who have advanced dementia or those that require 24-hour medical monitoring, but this also depends upon the specific person and circumstances. 

Assisted Living

Residents in an assisted living community do not require 24-hour supervision and medical care. They do not live with the intense health care conditions that require nursing home care, and in general, assisted living residents can safely live alone. 

Assisted living care services typically include three meals a day—normally in a dining hall which provides companionship and socializing opportunities, assistance with personal care, help with medications, housekeeping and laundry, security, on-site staff, and social and recreation activities. 

Most assisted living care facilities offer several hours of personal assistance with daily activities for each resident, with on-call caregivers available 24 hours a day. 

Assisted living quarters offer a level of independence compared to nursing homes, with housing that closely mirrors apartment living. Some assisted living facilities, however, do resemble nursing homes, but the key difference is that nursing and care staff do not roam the halls and rooms with around-the-clock supervision. 

Assisted living may be an option for a person with mild dementia with no or little medical problems. Staff assistance is typically offered during a 1-2 hour scheduled time frame each day, so this would not be suitable care for a person with dementia that has progressed. Also, most assisted living facilities allow residents to come and go on their own. This might not be suitable for the safety of a resident with dementia who could wander off or become confused or lost. 

Memory Care

Memory care units, also referred to as special care units, are designed to provide 24-hour supervised care at a higher-level for people that live with dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Memory care focuses on both the daily medical care and supervision of the resident but is specialized in that it maximizes consistent and personal function in daily activities. Memory care enhances cognition and provides a positive, calming, and safe environment which helps to stave off and minimize anxiety, confusion, and agitation. 

Looking for Memory Care? 

Daily activities are geared towards promoting a sense of independence, as well as cognitive stimulation, and provides the opportunity to connect with others. Activities that are helpful to people with dementia involve structure and routine which helps with several functions, including motor skills. 

Memory care facilities are sometimes located within a nursing home or assisted living community, but they provide a different parameter of safety and care with the focus being less on medical care in a community environment, and more consistently with an intimate environment that reduces the symptoms of dementia. Memory care structures, especially those that are stand-alone, are typically designed therapeutically through color, lighting, and texture to reduce symptoms dementia, such as unease and confusion. 

Funding Different Types of Long-Term Care

Unfortunately, despite the many promising long-term care facility options for people that live with dementia, families often find themselves moving their loved ones into a nursing home for cost and funding reasons. Medicaid is more likely to pay for nursing home care than for assisted living or memory care. 

Medicaid programs do vary from state to state, and state laws are slowly changing to accommodate individuals with dementia in less restrictive environments. In the state of Texas, learn more about services offered for the aging and disabled through Texas Health and Human Services

In Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas, a wide range of dementia care facilities are available, including nursing homes, assisted living, and memory care. You may contact the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter by telephone 512-592-0990 or learn more about local resources, including help and support, through their website

Which Facility is Best for My Loved One?

Determining which facility is best for your loved one, whether it be a nursing home, assisted living, or memory care is ultimately a personal and medical choice. Much of this decision will depend upon the stage of dementia your loved one is in, which includes your loved one’s ability to care for their own daily personal needs, as well as what their medical situation is. 

Don’t forget, in the beginning stages of dementia, it is ultimately important to take into consideration your loved one’s personal choice as well. This promotes a healthy sense of independence. 

At Sundara Senior Living, memory care is all we do, and we are really good at it! Sundara’s community is specifically tailored for individuals with all forms of dementia and our facilities were created to promote familiarity and a sense of comfort, stability and security unmatched at larger communities. Drop by and take a tour, or have lunch in our dining room and see what makes Sundara different. 

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