In the aftermath and destruction of Hurricane Ida, many of us are considering what we can do to better prepare for natural disasters and unplanned emergencies. Add emergency planning together with senior care and aging, and we begin to have an entirely new set of questions. Have we ever thought about how aging impacts our preparedness for an emergency or a natural disaster? Tasks and other daily activities get more difficult on a monthly basis as we age. Now think about emergency preparedness from the perspective of someone elderly who is living on their own. From owning life saving medical alert devices to participating in a state-wide or even national emergency program, it is best to be prepared before an incident occurs rather than wishing that we had been prepared. And, what's more, if we are prepared and our loved ones are prepared, perhaps we'll be able to help someone who isn't when the time comes!
Medical Alert Devices
Seniors who are beginning to notice difficulty with walking or stairs should take some time to investigate medical alert devices. It doesn't necessarily mean that you'll have to wear a necklace with a button (although that is certainly an option). There are watches available, too. This way, at a very basic level, you are able to contact Emergency Services to come to your aid in the event of a fall or getting stuck while alone. Many people do not think about needing them until there is a serious problem where they've found themselves unable to get up when they've fallen outside. Consider Northern climates and whether or not you'd be able to survive for long if the temperatures drop to -20F. Or, in the South, if you're in an area that gets very hot and humid, if you'd survive without water for long. Cell phones can also serve as a mobile alert device, as long as it's in your pocket when you need it! Take 30 minutes to research the options you have available and make a decision about whether you should be getting a medical alert device and wearing one for peace of mind.
My grandmother lived for years with tripping hazards all around her house. She loved her old rag rugs. As she advanced in years, however, they became more of a nuisance and liability. She lived on her own, but because of extreme arthritis, the effort of lifting her feet to avoid turning up the corners of the rugs became too much for her. She finally got rid of the rugs in most places or had them replaced with options that were heavier and stayed down on the edges better. Door knobs that are easier to open, close and lock are other possible safety improvements. Replace rolling chairs with non-rollers and sturdier options. Unusually high or low bedsides can be replaced with easily maneuvered beds set at the right height. Showers and bathrooms can have tubs with doors, handles near the toilet and in the shower, etc. Take a little time assessing the potential household hazards that can be removed now and might allow our us to enjoy our aging years in comfort.
Before spending money on building an emergency preparedness kit, first spend some time thinking about what emergencies could occur in your area. In all areas of the country, power outages can occur. If those outages last for a number of days, how will this affect a senior living alone or even a group of seniors who rely on others for help? Water is the first and primary concern. We should have adequate water for at least three days time somewhere in our house. In Northern climates, that water must also be accompanied by a way to have heat should it go out. Water will do no good if it frozen solidly. Light via flashlights, candles or lanterns is another good idea to consider when facing a power outage. Shelter, heaters for warmth, fans to stay cool in warm climates, and food are also other considerations for these times. How will we eat and stay warm (or cool depending on circumstances)?
- For your safety and comfort, have a disaster supplies kit packed and ready in one place before a disaster hits.
- Assemble enough supplies to last for at least three days.
- Store your supplies in one or more easy-to-carry containers, such as a backpack or duffel bag.
- You may want to consider storing supplies in a container that has wheels.
- Be sure your bag has an ID tag.
- Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers, that you would need with your name, address and phone numbers.
Basic Needs and Supplies:
- Water — one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation and 2-week supply for home)
- Food — it is a good idea to include foods that do not need cooking (canned, dried, etc.) (3-day supply for evacuation and 2-week supply for home)
- Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs (do not use candles)
- Battery-operated or hand-crank radio
- First aid kit and manual
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool (several tools that fold up into a pocket-sized unit)
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items (toilet paper, plastic garbage bags)
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with an extra battery and charger (s)
- Family and friends’ emergency contact information
- Cash and coins (ATMs may not be accessible)
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the local area
- Whistle (to attract the attention of emergency personnel)
- One change of clothing
- Manual can opener
- Pet supplies (including food and vaccination records)
- Extra set of keys (car, house, etc.)
- Pack of cards to provide entertainment and pass the time
Form a Plan
Forming a plan that family/neighbors/friends know about is an important step for being prepared. In all of the preparations that we make or that we help a loved one to make, please keep in mind that plans are most effective if they are shared with others. Many older people look out for one another. If that is the case with you or your loved one, share necessary emergency numbers, keys or papers with those you trust. Forming a chain of people to call is a great idea so that everyone knows when things are safe and that you're okay. Lack of communication can be the scariest part of an emergency, so find a way to combat that, if you can.
These are only a few suggestions to help start you on your preparedness journey. There are countless websites and books that can help you to prepare for specific emergencies in a more comprehensive way. This article takes aging into consideration in the process. Most of us do not think about the limitations that aging presents in these situations. Start with simple steps. Begin thinking and preparing today for these types of emergencies and rest easy knowing that you're as ready as you can be.
Sleeplessness In Older And Aging Adults
Have you noticed that as we age, genuine, deep sleep is more and more difficult to attain? Many people blame this sleeplessness on the aging process, but is it right to do so? There are certainly many older persons who can sleep well through the night.
Why Don't I Feel Rested?
Sleeplessness is caused in part by the aging process. As we age, our bodies produce lower amounts of growth hormone while we rest. This can result in making it harder to fall into a deep sleep. Our bodies end up requiring more sleep to get the same amount of "rest" when compared to our younger years. We will want to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier. We may also need to take a nap during the day to make up for the lost rest. So what steps can we take to try to get a good night's rest again?
A Hard Day's Work
First, we can ensure that we have been active during the day. As we age and go into retirement or stop working a regular job, it oftentimes gets harder to sleep at night, but not because of any health concerns. Rather it is because enough energy has not be expended during the day to make us sufficiently tired at night. Though our minds may refute this argument, the truth is, our bodies NEED certain levels of work or activity throughout the day in order to rest properly at night. If our bodies don't have a sufficient level of activity, they also do not recognize or trigger the need for rest. We need to try our best to raise our activity level during the day, finding work and exercise that's appropriate for our abilities at this stage of life. Work hard and later enjoy a more restful night's sleep.
Consistent Sleep Routine
Another helpful step that we can take is to establish a regular routine of waking and sleeping. Sometimes, as we age, our schedules can be thwarted by illness, aches, incontinence or even just out of boredom. We find ourselves dozing at various times during the day. Yet not able to sleep later, or staying up later watching television and sleeping in later in the morning. Whatever schedule we decide makes us feel best, we should stick with it on a daily basis in order to obtain the most restful night's sleep possible. Our sleep patterns are rhythmic and throwing off that rhythm can have an adverse effect on our sleep at night.
Turn off the T.V
Cutting off any screen time in the evenings a couple of hours before sleeping will help notify your body that it's time to begin winding down to rest. That means perhaps not texting or video chatting with your friends and family after a certain hour. Choose quieter activities that are not as stimulating, such as crossword puzzles, restful music, reading books, playing solitaire, etc. Help your body to be able to identify the cut off time from evening activities to sleeping time by establishing a nightly routine. Soon enough, you will find yourself longing to retire for the evening and looking forward to the rest that comes with it!
Finally, if you are still having problems sleeping after all of these steps, talk with your doctor. See if your doctor can suggest any other steps or changes you might make in your life. Your doctor may also be able to diagnosis if you have insomnia or other sleep depravation conditions. Supplementing melatonin is an option for some people. Others might need something a little stronger in order to help them set the rhythm of sleep again. Before you head to the doctor, however, be sure that you've tried everything in your power to re-gain sleep in a natural way. Older adults tend to take more medications than younger people and the combination of drugs can sometimes impair sleep. Natural sleep patterns will always trump medicated ones.
Time for Bed
Sleeplessness is frustrating and tiring by very definition! Even though we won't sleep like babies as we grow older, we can take many steps to improve the rest we are getting. Relax, don't stress and soon enough you'll be dreaming of the good old days again!
Personality Changes and Dementia
A Few Early Signs of Alzheimer's
Lapse in memory that disrupts daily life
Challenges solving problems
Trouble making plans
Mixing up time and places
Problems using words in speaking and writing
Misplacing things and then not being able to retrace steps to locate
Overall decrease in judgement - trouble making decisions
Withdrawal from social activities
Change in mood or personality
What would a change in personality mean?
Personality is something that we rather take for granted. It is true that certain aspects of it are inborn, but there are other aspects of one's personality or at least of the persona that they portray, that are learned and practiced over time. We come to depend upon how well we know a person because their personality remains consistent over time. We know, for instance, whether they are generally polite or cranky. We know if they are honest or tend to lie. We know if they tend to be soft-spoken or loud. All of these things help us to feel as though we are on solid ground when describing who a person is. But once dementia or Alzheimer's enters the picture, the ground can begin to shift right under our feet.
Because different types of dementia affect different parts of the brain, the disease may affect personality and behaviors in different ways. If a person has dementia that affects the frontal areas of the brain, their personalities may seem to shift more drastically. It's an important thing to ask about at onset so that you can begin to prepare yourself mentally for how you will deal with the changes you may encounter in the coming months and years. Generally speaking, most individuals with dementia do not completely change their personality. For instance, a person who was nice and calm would not become violent, unless there were other issues such as hallucinations or drug interaction problems going on, but it can occur. Most often the changes that occur are an amplification of their former personality. A soft-spoken person may become even quieter. An angry person may become very overbearing and upset easily.
As the disease progresses into advanced stages, several of a person's learned behaviors begin to fade. If they were a voracious reader, they may lose the ability to read. If they wrote often, they will most likely lose that ability. If these were important things to them, and particularly if they were activities that you shared with them, it can seem as though you do not know who they are anymore. We often associate people and our relationships through hobbies and interests. This can also, understandingly, cause a great deal of frustration on their part. They are losing things that they consider to be important parts of themselves. During their lucid moments, if they recognize any of this, it will be frustrating and disappointing to them.
While there is not much that one can do to prevent this from occurring in the advanced stages of the disease, we can begin to prepare ourselves by knowing the likelihood that these changes may occur. We can also take time while we have it, to enjoy their true personality that we've grown to love over time. Take every opportunity to spend time with them and support them through this scary time, assuring them that whatever happens, you'll still remember their true nature. And as you speak of them to others, you'll emphasize who they are rather than the disease to others. This will do more to maintain their dignity than anything else you can do. Their life and personality is a gift to us while our love and care is our gift to them.
Moving to Assisted Living? How to Downsize
Downsizing is one of the most popular trends around the nation right now. There are as many motivations to downsize our lives as there are lives. Some downsize in order to move into tiny houses, some downsize in order to simplify their lives, or to allow them more time to travel. Today we're going to talk about downsizing our possessions in preparation for a move into an assisted living situation.
How many of us are living with entirely too many items in our possession? If we're honest, probably nearly every person in our country could stand to shed some excess in this area. We've all got excess. If you raised a larger family, especially on a homestead or farm, you most definitely have excess. We're not here to examine how we find ourselves in such a situation, however, but rather how to deal with getting rid of some of the excess so that we can move forward into a healthier atmosphere for us!
The house. What to do with the house? It's a hugely daunting question if you've never considered how to make a transition from owning your own home to living somewhere else. There is a proverb that says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This is precisely how you'll need to deal with getting rid of your house & possessions, one small step at a time. First, know that you will not be able to do this alone, or quickly. It will take time. The first step would be to get an assessment on the value of your home/property. Check with a local realtor with whom you can list it if you will be needing the income in order to fund your move into an #assistedlivingfacility. If you do not need that extra income, consider giving it as an inheritance to someone you love, or preparing to sell it in order to gift the profit for those you love. When you begin discussing the process with your family, be prepared for all kinds of emotional responses. People have a number of emotions that are connected with places and memories & it is natural to see a full spectrum. If there is a smooth way to pass it on or sell it to a family member without causing resentment, do so, otherwise you should feel no guilt at selling it on the market to avoid resentment between family members.
Once you've answered the largest question, you'll more than likely have an easier time with the smaller things you need to deal with. It will also help you in other areas. If you're selling or gifting the house, you'll have a time frame within which to work in order to have your things taken care of. You can decide whether your large appliances or farm tools will convey with the house or property. The smaller items will become much easier to handle.
Beginning with the more valuable furniture and possessions, decide which things give you joy & those that you'd like to have around you for the remainder of your life. Do not feel guilt about having them moved. Do you enjoy playing an instrument? Will you have room in the place you're moving to? Bring it along & you'll find that after you've downsized, you'll have more time to practice. Do you have a favorite hobby? Bring the items along that will enable you to participate in the hobby as long as possible. Downsizing does not mean getting rid of everything you enjoy, but rather narrowing your scope to keep only those things that you DO enjoy and ridding yourself of the rest.
If you can, try to go through your home in categories & move as quickly as you can from one category to the next. Discard those things that have no value to you or others. Donate those items that have use to a charity. Goodwill is working together with USPS to accept items that you ship free of charge.
You'll have obvious needs where you're going. If you need kitchen items, consider which ones are the most pertinent to your situation. Now is a good time to get rid of the excessive kitchen gadgets, pan collections, tea sets, silver service, etc. If you're moving to a smaller location, you'll more than likely not be the one hosting large family gatherings & will, therefore, need fewer kitchen items. Keep basic linens & clothing items. Keep photos that are meaningful to you, distribute the rest that may hold more meaning for others in your family.
Above all, keep the lines of communication open with all of the people who will be affected by the decisions you're making. You want this move to be a positive one for you and for your family, so don't allow petty miscommunications and misunderstanding to ruin the good things that can come from this time of transition. Moving is always stressful, but taking it one step at a time, one day at a time, you'll be able to accomplish the huge task of downs
Loneliness is an evasive thing. People have been studying it for years, especially in elderly adults who seem prone to sadness and isolation. But, those studies have contradictory data. Some of them include statistics for people who “feel isolated” while others only study data from people who have been so lonely and depressed that they’ve opted for medical help. Because of all of this conflicting data, we don’t really know as much about the causes of loneliness as we’d like. We do, however, know more than we used to. There are certain consistencies in the data that help us narrow down some factors of loneliness.
Moving to a new place and living there for less than a year appears to be a catalyst for loneliness, especially in older people. This is most likely due to changing relationships. If a senior citizen moves, they’ll lose relationships that they may not have even recognized as important to them. They’ll no longer chat with the postal worker or the same grocery store attendants that they used to. They may not be able to invite the neighborhood boy that mows their lawn for a lemonade. Over time, they’ll gain other social connections that are similar, but immediately after a move, those changes can add up to an unoccupied space that others used to fill for them. It will take some intentionality after a move to form new relationships but establishing them is important for all involved.
Being involved in a church or another place where you can volunteer also seems to have larger impacts on the elderly. Perhaps because the connections formed there can give you some commonality of purpose and a desire to help others, involvement in these types of things, keeps people from being lonely. Knowing that you are contributing to society and that your input is needed and appreciated can do a great deal to stave off loneliness and depression. Those who choose not to be involved in these have higher rates of loneliness. Find out small ways to get involved in an activity that interests you, but this also helps others. It will be beneficial for the organization and for you!
Hobbies are another option for pushing off loneliness. The data is not conclusive on why hobbies can help, but it seems reasonable enough to say that if you have a hobby that you’re passionate about, you’re probably a bit more interesting to talk to. If you find someone that is interested in the same thing, you can connect with them on a deeper level of communication than just the weather. Even if the other person is not interested in exactly the same thing, they’ll understand your passion and your interaction will be livelier. You may also learn about what they are passionate about!
Loneliness can have huge and lasting impacts on our health. It is said to be just as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day! It can lower your immune system’s ability to fight. It can also cause you to be pushed to the outside of social networks with others who are lonely. It is a strange conundrum that if you are feeling lonely, people tend to push you further away. This may be because your loneliness makes them feel more lonely, in turn. But all of these things are based upon people’s feelings & perceptions of their situations. If you can change those feelings and perceptions, you can change being lonely.
A recent study in the UK watched people on public transport. Those who initiated conversations with strangers were reported as less lonely. Those who only talked if someone else initiated conversation were more lonely and those who refused to interact with strangers were the most lonely. They then studied the same people and asked those who were not generally comfortable with initiating conversation to begin doing that. It is a simple and seemingly inconsequential change for someone to make, but it had huge impacts on their feelings afterward. They felt generally more positive and less lonely!
You may be feeling lonely and isolated, but that does not mean you have to become an extreme extrovert to overcome those feelings. Sometimes it is the small, daily acts that can have the largest impact over the course of months of our lives! Initiate conversation. Get a hobby. Start volunteering. Recognize the loneliness dissipate.
Food is a matter of much discussion all across the country. It evokes emotions all across the spectrum, especially if people have food related illnesses that need to be controlled, like diabetes. Food is a topic of debate even with people in their younger years. Should you have more protein in your diet or more fat? Should you limit your carbohydrates? How much sugar is acceptable and which forms of sugar are healthy? How do dietary needs change as we get older? We can easily open up a can of worms if you bring up a specific kind of diet plan, and everyone seems to have an opinion about what is best.
For elderly people, diet and meal planning may not be as much of a hot topic but it has, perhaps the greatest potential to change health outcomes among any group of people alive. The method discussed below will be for a one or two person household that has to plan for every meal throughout the week. But it can be applied to a larger family or groups of individuals - such as those living in assisted living or independent living communities. There are a variety of ways to make this process even easier, one is by using an internet-based food delivery system. Another way is to use Amazon.com or another internet-based business to order staple supplies, like canned goods, that you can used for multiple meals. It saves you the expense and trouble of arranging the transportation of going to the grocery store. There are other systems, such as nutria-system, that will do the work of meal planning for you and you only need to arrange for the pick up or delivery of the food. If you are on a tight budget, also look into a program called, “Meals on Wheels” which may be available in your area for a meal on a regular basis.
If you are starting from scratch, print a blank calendar for one month. Divide each day into 3 sections by placing lines across the box. On a separate piece of paper write down the things you’ve discussed with your doctor or nutritionist that need to be incorporated into your diet. Many elderly people find that they are not getting enough protein, some also find that they need to cut sugar out of their diets. Some need to include more foods with iron or calcium. Whatever your needs are, write them out on the paper beside your calendar so that you do not lose sight of that while you’re making your plan. Research which foods carry the goal nutrients you’re hoping to increase & write them beside your list. If you choose to plan for an entire month, but most people plan for 2 weeks at a time. If you meal plan for a month, plan to use fresh, quickly perishable foods at the beginning of the month (berries, asparagus, etc). Longer lasting produce in the middle of the month (carrots, cabbage, apples). And finally, canned options for later in the month.
Now, think about your day & your natural appetite. If you are not usually hungry in the morning, you can still plan for what you’ll eat for breakfast but make the portions smaller so that you do not feel ill upon eating. Be sure to write water at the top of each day’s meal if you are trying to improve your hydration. It is a simple item that often gets overlooked when one lives alone.
As you plan for your breakfast, be sure to include a protein, fat, carbohydrate and a fruit or vegetable each meal. Protein is very important at the first meal because it helps to keep your blood sugars stabilized throughout the day. The carbohydrate will give you the quick energy that you need to get up an get moving. An example of a balanced breakfasts might be: 1 scrambled egg (or egg white) with spinach, 1 piece of toast with butter, & a handful of cherries.
Another option might be: A bowl of oatmeal with fruit and cream, and a hard-boiled egg. Some people try to eliminate anything sweet from their diets, but it is better to include fruit with a low glycemic index so that you eat a bit occasionally instead of starving yourself of it and then crashing and eating half of a chocolate cake. If you find that you need to reduce your sugar intake drastically but cannot kick the cravings, begin taking a strong probiotic. These bacteria help to digest the sugars and the candida in your body, balance out your own gut bacteria and eventually nearly eliminate cravings for sugars.
Lunches are generally the largest meal of the day, but feel free to adjust to your own lifestyle. Include a type of starchy carbohydrate to hold you over for the afternoon, something like rice, potatoes or pasta. Whole grains options are much better for sluggish digestion than their enriched and bleached counterparts. Add in a protein, and a lot of vegetable options. Have milk or another type of drink that includes calcium if you’re supposed to be improving your calcium intake. This is generally the best time to take vitamins, as well, as your stomach will be more stable and the heavier food makes it easier to digest them without upset.
Suppers should include similar things to lunch, but in lighter proportions for easier and faster digestion. Remember that you’ll be lying down a few hours after you eat, so if you like spicy food, you may want to have it over the lunch hour rather than the supper hour so that heartburn will not keep you awake!
With all of these things in mind, make out your meal plan. Include a few foods that you enjoy, but do not have regularly, like fish perhaps. This gives you something to look forward as you begin to prepare for your week.
From Grocery Store to Pantry Shelves
After you’ve finished shopping in the store or online, and before you put the items away, get your meal plan out. Look at what types of meals you have listed. If you have several meals that include ground beef, for instance, that need to be browned, take the opportunity to brown it now. You can freeze it in individual meal portions for use later in the week or month. Also take care of washing, shredding, dicing and chopping any produce that will need that preparation. One of the chief complaints that I hear from senior citizens regarding food preparation is that it doesn’t seem worth it to go to all that trouble and have all those dishes “just for me”. If you consolidate the food prep into one evening, it cuts down drastically on the dishes because instead of having to haul out the frying pan for each time you need to brown a ¼ # of meat, you only haul it out once and wash it once.
Make sure to mark any of the portions that you refrigerate or freeze in advance so you know what is included and perhaps even write which meal you planned it for.
Sharing Is Fun
Another thing to consider when you’re making your meal plan, if you have the funds to do so, is to plan a couple of meals that you could share with others. Plan on having someone over a couple of times during the month. This will give you confidence to do so without having to come up with a plan at the last minute. It will also help you to have something to look forward to. If you have young children that come to visit, consider adding the ingredients for cookies or a dessert to your shopping list so that you’re prepared.
Whichever combination of tools you use to be sure that you’re eating properly, be sure to use a meal plan of some kind. Any large changes to your current diet should be considered with your health professional and/or doctor. A healthy diet can be the difference between years of good health and energy and years of just getting by with little energy and stress. No one really likes to plan meals well in advance, but stress is eliminated, budgets are easier to maintain and health is improved when we do! Good luck! If you run out of ideas, have someone over to eat with you and maybe you can brainstorm together some options that might be good for both of you to include on your menus in the future!
Recognizing Excellence - Chris Thomas of BeeHive Homes!
Today we recognize and highlight one of our many top team members, Chris Thomas, who is an administrator for our BeeHive Home in Santa Fe, the BeeHive Home in White Rock and the BeeHive Home in Raton. At BeeHive Homes we always try to attract the best caregivers and talent in the world. Chris is a great example to all who provide care for others. He joined the BeeHive team almost three years ago, leading his team to not just engage our residents but showing how best to build relationships through service, activities and genuine concern and love for all.
Recently we received the following letter from the daughter of one of our residents.
Letter Dated Jan 8, 2021
Dear BeeHive Assisted Living -
As the daughter of a resident at the [name of home removed] Beehive, I wish to commend Chris Thomas, Administrator for the exemplary work he is doing.
I spent many years in healthcare working as a nurse for both non and for - profit organizations. Chris is an administrator working hands on to ensure the safety and care of my mother in a way that is not only impressive but a rare quality seldom seen in administrators. He goes the extra mile and deserves recognition from his supervisor and/or owner of this franchise.
I did not find an email address for the BeeHive Corporate Office or the owner of Santa Fe's BeeHive Home in searching online so I am sending this the old fashioned way, USPS.
Elise R. LPN, B.F.A.
Thank you Chris for your efforts to brighten the day of everyone who crosses your path! We value and appreciate your leadership and example to others in the assisted living industry! Thank you for offering the best in senior care through your meaningful relationships and service to those cherished residents thriving in our homes!
25 Assisted Living Care Facilities in New Mexico
24 Assisted Living Care Facilities in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico has a lot of recreational activities to offer such as skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. Additionally, nature lovers would especially like the beauty of its landscape, including desert, dense forests, mesas, and snowy mountains. In fact, New Mexico is at the top of the list for seniors looking for an affordable but beautiful retirement destination. Most seniors now choose New Mexico as the best place to put down roots during their golden years.
If you’re one of those who are considering New Mexico as a retirement destination, you should know that Roswell, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces are less expensive destinations than Santa Fe. If you’re planning to find assisted living in New Mexico, you can check any of our suggestions below. For your consideration, we have chosen 24 assisted living care facilities in New Mexico that offer care, love, and security for you and your aging loved one—facilities which can be considered the HOME of the residents.
1. BeeHive Homes of Alamogordo
BeeHive Homes of Alamogordo
Featuring a wonderful home-style living, BeeHive Homes of Alamogordo is specifically designed to accommodate and care residents with memory loss. Its assisted living home is small by design, which creates a more family-like environment.
Residents receive more time from the caregivers to ensure that their need requirements are consistently met and real relationships between staff and residents grow. Each resident has his/her own individual room and bathroom for personal independence and privacy. Their delicious meals are served in a family-like setting as opposed to a large cafeteria. Residents can participate in individual and/or group activities.
Family members are also encouraged to visit and participate in their lives and care as well.
2. BeeHive Homes of Albuquerque
BeeHive Homes of Albuquerque
Known as one of the premier Albuquerque assisted living facilities, BeeHive Village provides a wonderful home-like environment, making it the perfect transition from an independent living facility. This facility promotes senior independent living with caregivers who can help/assist.
The facility offers the finest of assisted living care. Residents can enjoy home-cooked meals, healthy and rejuvenating activities, and most especially meaningful relationships.
3. BeeHive Homes of Albuquerque West
BeeHive Homes of Albuquerque West
BeeHive Homes of Albuquerque West offers better health and happiness. The facility has trained staff who can provide medication assistance and serve 3 meals every day with each one tailor-made to your aging parent’s changing health needs.
Since relatives and friends are not always available, BeeHive Homes of Albuquerque West has professional caregivers providing loving care to your aging loved one. The facility hires only the most compassionate and kindest individuals to care for the residents. You need not worry about your aging parents well-being as the facility staff members endeavor to provide a safe, secure, and enjoyable environment for their residents.
4. BeeHive Homes of Four Hills
BeeHive Homes of Four Hills
Featuring home-style living in smaller facilities, BeeHive Homes of Four Hills is intended to offer a family feel with more quality care and intimacy to your aging loved one. The residents of this facility enjoy individual rooms and bathrooms to support independence, delicious home-cooked meals, activities and exercise, caring and compassionate caregivers, group association with open dining and living areas, and family participation. Each home in the facility has 12–16 rooms.
5. BeeHive Homes of Taylor Ranch
BeeHive Homes of Taylor Ranch
Designed as a smaller home with 12–16 rooms for a more comfortable atmosphere, BeeHive Homes of Taylor Ranch focuses on providing the very best assisted living services to its residents. Although small, the facility is still able to provide plenty of privacy for your aging loved one. But it also has a family-style living with a large open dining room and living room where your aging parent can have plenty of contact with the caregivers and other residents
This facility provides a private room with individual three-quarter bathroom, large room that can accommodate an individual or a couple, a family home environment, pendent emergency call system, private telephone jack or use of house phone, cable TV access, home-cooked meals, 24-hour care and assistance, medication administration and assistance, individualized and group daily activities, and linen, laundry, and daily housekeeping services. It also has an inviting large living room, dining area, convenient bathing area, kitchen, patio, and porch. To ensure personalized care, the facility has excellent resident to staff ratios.
Its additional services which are payable to service providers include nursing services provided by a Home Health Care Agency, Home Health Care Agency and Hospice services, private phone, pedicures, and beautician/barber services.
6. BeeHive Homes of Volcano Cliffs
BeeHive Homes of Volcano Cliffs
At BeeHive Homes of Volcano Cliffs, your aging parent can enjoy an individual spacious room with bathroom to promote individual independence, independent living and personal care, delicious chef-prepared home-cooked meals, activities and exercise catered to the seniors, compassionate and caring caregivers, group interaction with open living and dining room areas, and continual family participation.
7. BeeHive Homes of Bernalillo
BeeHive Homes of Bernalillo
BeeHive Homes of Bernalillo also offers a home-like setting with home-cooked dietitian-approved meals and snacks served in a home-style dining room, private rooms and baths, as well as amazing care, love, and security for you and your aging parent. The facility has an open door policy and no designated visiting hours.
Every day, the facility allows four hours of activities to keep the residents’ body and the mind active with dominos, bingo, arts and crafts, card games, and range of motion exercises.
The facility staff provides daily housekeeping, laundry, appointment scheduling, transportation arrangement, medication assistance, and general health monitoring. It also has an on-call registered nurse who is available as needed and an emergency call system.
8. BeeHive Homes of Bosque Farms
BeeHive Homes of Bosque Farms
For a homier more comfortable atmosphere, BeeHive Homes of Bosque Farms provides 2 smaller homes with 15 rooms each. Despite it being small, the facility still provides plenty of privacy for its residents. It also provides a family-style living with a large open dining room and living room for your aging parent to have plenty of contact with other residents and caregivers or private space.
Like other Beehive Homes, this facility also provides delicious home-cooked meals, a family home environment, 24-hour care and assistance, medication administration and assistance, trained staff (including dementia care), and excellent resident to staff ratios to ensure personalized care, among others.
What’s more, both homes in Bosque Farms are senior assisted living homes and other facilities offer Alzheimer’s/dementia secured assisted living homes for residents with cognitive impairment.
9. BeeHive Homes of Clovis
BeeHive Homes of Clovis
Featuring a family-style living environment, BeeHive Homes of Clovis offers a small home-like atmosphere with plenty of privacy. It allows residents to comfortably transition from independent care. It also has family-style living with a large open dining room and living room where your aging loved one can enjoy with other residents and caregivers.
At BeeHive Homes of Clovis, your aging parent can enjoy a private room, which can accommodate an individual or a couple, with individual three-quarter bathroom, pendent emergency call system, private telephone jack or use of house phone, as well as deliciously cooked meals, 24-hour care and assistance, medication administration and assistance. It also has excellent resident to staff ratios to ensure personalized care.
What’s more, BeeHive Homes of Clovis has trained staff for dementia care. It has both Senior Assisted Living homes and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Secured Assisted Living homes for residents with cognitive impairment. It has electronic security and enclosed yards and patios to prevent cognitively impaired residents from wandering.
10. BeeHive Homes of Deming
BeeHive Homes of Deming
BeeHive Homes of Deming offers individual rooms and bathrooms to promote and support independence, delicious home-cooked meals, activities and exercise, and caring caregivers to its residents. What’s more, this facility offers respite services to those who need a bit of extra help before returning home after a hospital or rehab stay.
11. BeeHive Homes of Edgewood
BeeHive Homes of Edgewood
BeeHive Homes of Edgewood offers assistance to residents with their activities of daily living, meal preparation (three times a day), activities, and medication management. It has excellent resident to staff ratios for personalized care.
Your aging loved one can enjoy a family, home-like environment, home-cooked and dietician-approved meals, and 24-hour staff onsite.
Other services provided include home health care, hospice, nursing or therapy provided by home health, podiatry care, beautician and barber services, as well as private phone.
12. BeeHive Homes of Farmington #1
BeeHive Homes of Farmington #1
Offering care, love, and security for you and your aging parent, BeeHive Homes of Farmington has an open door policy and no designated visiting hours. It is considered the home of the residents and not a facility.
Residents enjoy three dietitian-approved meals and snacks served in a home-style dining room. They are able to enjoy 4 hours of daily activities, such as dominos, bingo, arts and crafts, card games, and range of motion exercises, to keep their minds and bodies active. What’s more, BeeHive Homes of Farmington residents are provided with an on-call consulting Registered Nurse available as needed and an emergency call system.
13. BeeHive Homes of Farmington #2
BeeHive Homes of Farmington #2
BeeHive Homes of Farmington provides three restaurant quality, dietitian-approved meals daily and snacks served in a home-style dining room. Residents can enjoy activities that will keep their bodies and minds active every day. They are given spacious private rooms with cable/satellite TV hookups. On-call registered nurses are also available as needed.
BeeHive Homes of Farmington offers responsible and caring staff to assist residents with their ADLs.
14. BeeHive Homes of Farmington #3
BeeHive Homes of Farmington #3
BeeHive Homes of Farmington #3 provides residents with individual rooms and bathrooms, the best home-cooked meals, daily activities and exercise to keep their minds and bodies active, group association with open dining and living areas, and responsible caregivers.
15. BeeHive Homes of Farmington #4
BeeHive Homes of Farmington #4
BeeHive Homes of Farmington #4 provides residents with individual rooms and bathrooms, the best home-cooked meals, daily activities and exercise to keep their minds and bodies active, group association with open dining and living areas, and responsible caregivers.
16. BeeHive Homes of Gallup
BeeHive Homes of Gallup
BeeHive Homes of Gallup offers three daily restaurant quality, dietitian-approved meals and snacks to residents, daily activities that will help keep your aging parent’s body and mind active, responsible and caring staff who can provide assistance with ADLs and medication. On-call consulting registered nurses are also available as needed.
17. BeeHive Homes of Hobbs
BeeHive Homes of Hobbs
Providing the best of elderly care for residents with dementia and memory loss, BeeHive Homes of Hobbs assisted living makes every effort to bring the comforts of home into its facility. Your aging parent will surely enjoy home-cooked meals, healthy and rejuvenating activities, as well as meaningful relationships.
18. BeeHive Homes of Portales
BeeHive Homes of Portales
Taking great pride in its staff, facilities, and residents, BeeHive Homes of Portales is well maintained and exceptionally clean to constantly provide a nurturing and welcoming environment for you and your aging loved one. The facility provides well-trained staff/caregivers who are not only qualified from a skill level but also hold values and standards that support the mission and core values of BeeHive Homes. It has trained staff who can provide dementia care.
Since the facility is designed for cognitively impaired residents, it has both senior assisted living homes and Alzheimer’s/dementia secured assisted living homes.
Electronic security in Alzheimer’s/dementia secured assisted living homes are installed and yards and patios are enclosed to prevent cognitively impaired residents from wandering.
19. BeeHive Homes of Raton
BeeHive Homes of Raton
BeeHive Homes of Raton provides private furnished rooms, which can accommodate an individual or a couple, with cable and telephone hookups and pendant emergency call systems. It has excellent resident to staff ratios to ensure personalized care.
Residents will surely be provided with three home-cooked, dietitian-approved meals daily and snacks available throughout the day. They are also provided with ADL assistance by 24-hour trained professional staff. They also join activities that promote daily physical fitness and creative and social interaction.
20. BeeHive Homes of Enchanted Hills
BeeHive Homes of Enchanted Hills
BeeHive Homes of Rio Rancho strives to maintain a clean, positive environment for you and your aging loved one.
Residents enjoy private furnished rooms with cable and telephone hookups and pendant emergency call systems. The rooms can accommodate an individual or a couple; it’s huge enough. They are also provided with three home-cooked, dietitian-approved meals daily and snacks and maintenance-free living with daily housekeeping and weekly laundry services. They have access to 24-hour trained professional staff (including dementia care).
The facility has excellent resident to staff ratios to ensure personalized care. It prepares daily activities to promote physical fitness and creative and social interaction of the residents.
Since the facility is designed for cognitively impaired residents, it has both senior assisted living homes and Alzheimer’s/dementia secured assisted living homes. To prevent cognitively impaired residents from wandering, they install electronic security and enclose its yards and patios.
21. BeeHive Homes of Rio Rancho #1
BeeHive Homes of Rio Rancho #1
Featuring a family home environment, BeeHive Homes of Rio Rancho #1 offers 24-hour care and assistance to its residents. This facility is also designed for cognitively impaired residents that’s why it has both Senior Assisted Living homes and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Secured Assisted Living homes.
At BeeHive Homes of Rio Rancho #1, personalized care is guaranteed as it has excellent resident to staff ratios.
22. BeeHive Homes of Rio Rancho #2
BeeHive Homes of Rio Rancho #2
Offering the very best of elderly care, BeeHive Homes of Rio Rancho #2 makes every effort to bring the comforts of home into the facility. It is designed for cognitively impaired residents—having both Senior Assisted Living homes and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Secured Assisted Living homes.
23. BeeHive Homes of Roswell
BeeHive Homes of Roswell
Featuring a family-style living in a residential setting, BeeHive Homes of Roswell maintains a low resident to staff ratio to allow the residents to receive the maximum attention and the best quality of care.
24. BeeHive Homes of Santa Fe
BeeHive Homes of Santa Fe
At BeeHive Homes of Santa Fe, your aging parent will experience the very best in elderly care services with dietitian-approved homemade meals, wellness activities, and meaningful association.
25. BeeHive Homes of White Rock
BeeHive Homes of White Rock
Opening soon, BeeHive Homes of White Rock takes pride in maintaining a clean and welcoming environment for you and your aging loved one, with a positive, caring, and supportive staff.
How to Choose The Best Assisted Living Facility
How to Choose the Best Assisted Living Facility
As you’re about to send out your aging loved one for care, you would want to search for a place where he or she will feel comfortable, happy, safe, and well cared for the rest of their life. However, many families would not begin their search unless they’re faced with a health crisis that needs urgent action. This situation is oftentimes associated with time pressure, and you may not find the best facility/community for your loved one if that is the case. The particular community that you want for your aging parent may have waiting lists as well.
Older Adults in an Assisted Living Home
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a facility/community for older adults who are not capable of living on their own, but do not require full-time medical care. According to assisted living expert Peggy Flannigan, PhD, assisted living residents typically need help with at least three activities of their daily living activities, such as transferring to and from a wheelchair, toileting, bathing, eating, and dressing. Older adults who need less assistance may want to consider a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) or an independent living community.
Making it to the best assisted living facility can be challenging even when you’re being realistic about the necessity to look for a facility/community for your aging parent. There are innumerable assisted living services available. You might be thinking of ways on how to choose the best assisted living facility for your aging loved one.
Finding the Best Assisted Living Facility
When looking for the best assisted living facility for your aging parent, location is one of the most important decision factors. You have to decide whether to choose a facility in the community where your aging loved one is currently living or maybe you want her/him to move close to supportive friends or relatives who can visit and coordinate with the staff.
Once you have decided on the location, you can begin your search and create a list of facilities in the area. Then using the ideas we’ve set below, you can begin your strategic assessment. Although you can find potential facilities on the Internet, it’s still better to ask your family and friends, faith communities, and agencies that advocate for the aging if there are any residential facilities they can suggest.
With a solid list of facilities, you can start with the following steps before you visit and tour facilities.
Be realistic about the needs of your aging parent, and what she might need in the future. Making a list of priority concerns and needs can help.
Start making calls to the facilities you’re interested in or head to each community’s website and look for important information, such as assisted living services, costs, and brochures.
Create a budget plan to make this move. Remember that, according to AARP, 4 out of 5 people pay out of pocket for assisted living services.
List all your priority questions, using your own research and our guide below.
Set a schedule to visit and tour the facilities of your best choice. During your visit, talk to the staff and some of the residents and keep track of the details.
To know and get a feel for the facility outside of standard touring hours, you can make a second visit without calling them ahead.
Before signing the contract, ask for a copy for your review. Make sure you read and understand everything in the contract from the services offered to the costs and extra costs. If you’re unsure what the contract says, you can also ask for help from family or a lawyer.
The decision to help your loved one move out of the home she has lived in for years can be bittersweet. Your aging parent will also likely be downsizing, which can contribute to their sense of loss.
It’s a great idea to see some of the available rooms of the facility and ask about what decorations your aging parent can bring with them.
Activities of Daily Living Assistance
Your aging parent’s inability to manage independently throughout the day is sometimes the main reason to decide to move to assisted living. Activities of daily living include cleaning, undressing, laundry, hobbies, bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and shaving. During your visit, it is important that you ask for the services provided and whether it has extra costs. You would want a cheerful and helpful community staff to assist your aging parent; thus, assessing the mood of the facility is also important.
Food and Dining
One of the top concerns of many resident families is their aging parent’s meals.
Fortunately, most facilities today provide various eating options for residents, like chef-prepared meals in a shared dining room; others even provide kitchenettes so your aging parent can make her own snacks or meals. It would be even better if you try and experience eating at the available locations in the community during your tour/visit.
Exercise and Fitness
Assisted living services often include fitness options for its residents who want to find low-impact ways to stay fit, become more active, or stay active. Don’t forget to look for walking paths or tracks, fitness rooms or gyms, or group exercise classes for all abilities during your tour to the facility. Some facilities also provide access to a pool or other fitness programs as well.
During your visit to the community, take a look also at their activity calendar and ask about specific activities that your aging parent is interested in. If they’re not available, feel free to talk to the activity director about requesting new activities. Socializing is essential and it will be more comfortable for your aging parent to be with people in a similar mobility level or similar age range; thus, considering the age of the residents you see is also helpful.
It is highly important to ask about the medical assistance provided as your aging parent might need it on an as-needed basis. Make sure you understand which of the services are covered in the residence base cost and which may entail extra cost.
Transportation and Parking
Check also for parking lot availability as your aging loved one may still be able or want to drive.
Assisted living communities typically include cleaning and laundry services. Be sure to ask about the housekeeping schedule and if there’s any add-on cleaning services that may cost more.
Other Assisted Living Services
You can also find a number of other services in assisted living facilities, including café or bank, faith services, a beauty salon or barber. Some services offered on site might be permanent, others have professionals to visit the facility on certain days to provide those services.
After you’ve visited all assisted living facilities you desire, you should have a better look at what is important to you and what is available. Make sure you’ve taken good notes of the details of the assisted living you are considering to select the best match for your aging loved one.
What to Ask and Look For During Your Search
It’s challenging to hunt for the best assisted living facility. After all, you want to choose the best place for your aging parent—a place that is well managed, clean, and within your price range. You need to know what the community is really like, and not just what the advertisements show.
Although it’s challenging, it does not need to be overwhelming or intimidating. To help you narrow down the choices of the best facility, we’re giving you three simple steps you can follow:
Step 1: Do research (online or by phone) of the assisted living facilities for your consideration.
Step 2: Visit and tour each community to personally know what it really feels like.
Step 3: Follow up for more in-depth information for the communities you like best.
You’ll have these checklists for moving into assisted living to come back to over time: the Assisted Living Research Checklist, Assisted Living Tour Checklist, and Assisted Living Follow-Up Checklist.
An Assisted Living Research Checklist
You can begin your research online to find communities near you or your aging parent using the following search terms: “assisted living facilities near me,” “assisted living near me,” “senior assisted living facilities near me,” “list of assisted living facilities near me,” “top rated assisted living facilities near me,” “list of assisted living near me,” “senior assisted living near me,” and “assisted living near me now.”
Other than online research, you can also find communities through word-of-mouth recommendations or in the phone book.
You can narrow down your options with these questions:
Is the location of the facility convenient for the resident’s loved ones to visit? To help you figure out driving distances to and from the community, use Google Maps.
Is the facility near hotels, doctor’s offices, a pharmacy, shops, and other important places? To explore the facility neighborhood virtually, you can use some features on Google Maps.
Is the facility neighborhood considered safe? To evaluate neighborhood crime rate and safety, check with Trulia, Neighborhood Scout, and Crime Reports.
The first question to ask as you speak to providers over the phone for the first time is whether they’re still accepting new residents. If they respond on the affirmative, good; otherwise, ask about their waiting lists.
You may also want to know early on about how expensive the facility is. Assisted living pricing can significantly vary based on the location as well as your aging parent’s needs. It’s also important to know what the modes of payment of the provider are and when and how long do tours last. You’d also want to know what they will show you during your tour—will you be allowed to meet with other residents or try the meals provided.
Assisted Living Facility Tours
Other facilities with a little paint missing can be cheerful, and some with beautiful facilities can be a dreary place. To know what the assisted living facility really feels like, going for several visits can help you determine if that particular facility will be the best for your aging parent. Don’t forget to take copious notes of the details of each facility and capture photos as well.
It’s worthwhile to tour a number of communities first before bringing your aging parent to see the top 3 best facilities on your list.
Review your checklist first before making a visit/tour. Make sure to underline the questions most relevant to you and cross off those that are not.
As you’re on your way to the assisted living community, consider the following questions below:
Is the facility providing safe places for your loved one to walk and socialize?
Is the facility providing a parking lot should you want to visit your aging parent in the residence?
Is the exterior and interior of the building clean and attractive?
Are the grounds filled with plants and trees?
The Walking Tour
When you’re walking around, pay attention to what you’re feeling, seeing, smelling, and hearing in each of the spaces. Try to talk not only to the marketing director, but also to the staff members and different residents so you get a fuller idea of what the community is really like. Also keep an eye to the common spaces, residents’ living spaces, foods, activities, staff, care plan, and most especially, its cost.
Choosing the best assisted living facility for your aging parent can be challenging plus the decision to help her move out from the house she’s lived in for decades can be bittersweet.
Your Aging Parent with a Caring and Cheerful Staff Member
Although the task is challenging, imagine sending your aging loved one to a community where she is accompanied and well taken care of by the caring and cheerful staff and can feel comfortable, safe, and happy. Isn’t it worth it?
Your Best Memory Care Homes in New Mexico
Your Best Memory Care Homes in New Mexico
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, about 7 in 10 seniors will, at some point in their lives, need long-term care. In some estimates, almost 68% of seniors in nursing homes or residential care have cognitive impairment to some degree.
Resident with trained staff in memory care
What is memory care?
A memory care community is either a wing/unit of a residential care facility or a residential care facility that is specifically designed for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Its goal is to provide personalized care that will lead to a high quality of life for residents while also reducing the symptoms such as depression, anger, aggression, and wandering.
Some nursing homes and assisted living facilities also have staff or medical teams specially trained to deal with people who have dementia. They may have a specific wing in the community for those residents. However, despite the prevalence of cognitive impairment, not all residential care facilities and nursing homes offer the same kind of care for people with dementia.
The US Department of Health and Human Services reported in 2017 the different percentages of nursing home and residential care facility residents with cognitive impairment and residential care facilities offering beds to address dementia care needs.
The US Department of Health and Human Services Reported in 2017
Despite the national data suggesting that over 60% and 40% of nursing home residents and residential care facility residents, respectively, in the USA have dementia, only about 17% residential care facilities offer beds to address dementia care needs. Moreover, the definition of a memory care from one state to another is not so consistent; thus, the Alzheimer’s Association encourages people who have a loved one suffering from dementia to advocate for consistent policy as regards memory care.
Basically, memory care communities provide a high quality of life for its residents while taking additional measures, such as putting security measures in place or locking some units so that residents can neither wander nor leave to ensure their safety. There are other communities as well that take a less formal approach to security, but they are securing the outside grounds so that no one can leave the property.
Memory care facilities also help your aging loved ones to manage their healthcare and medications by giving you the option of specialized care. They not only care for the residents’ medical needs; they also offer opportunities to engage in activities that work best for people with cognitive impairment. Some communities even offer activities that are known to be beneficial for people with cognitive changes, such as musical entertainment, therapy pets, or the opportunity to spend time in the gardens.
Things to know about memory care
Care for your aging loved one can come with a higher price. According to CareScout, monthly cost for care for aging adults ranges from $1,560 to $9,000—this is based on the data from 440 regions across the USA. Generally, dementia care is estimated to add an average of $13,000 annually to the expected costs for residential care. But the costs vary depending on the services needed as well as your location. Moreover, some facilities may not disclose additional charges for memory care upfront unless you personally inquire for them.
The good thing about living in a memory care unit is that it offers several benefits, including less use of antipsychotic medications and physical restraints for patients, less likelihood of tube feeding, improved medical care for other health issues, and of course higher quality of life for our aging loved ones.
Although many facilities may declare that they have staff trained in memory care or in a memory care wing, it is noteworthy that, as part of the Nursing Care Center Accreditation Program, the Joint Commission has crafted specific requirements for a Memory Care Certification in 2014.
The following are the five key areas that memory care accreditation considers:
To ensure comprehensive care, your loved one’s team will work together, as well as your aging parent as appropriate.
Knowledge and competency of the staff
In order to prepare the staff to work with people who have cognitive impairments, they can demonstrate training and other necessary skills.
Ability-based activity programming
There are activities available that fit your aging loved one’s physical function, language, attention span, cognitive ability, reasoning ability, and memory.
The behaviors linked to dementia are addressed first using non-pharmacological means, such as taking a look at scheduling, environment, and other potential causes for behavior.
Safe and supportive physical environment
In order to keep all residents safe and to reduce stress and overstimulation, the physical environment is well managed by the staff.
Memory care certification that are optional
Facilities need not have a specific area or a wing to house residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. To be certified, a facility must demonstrate the following instead:
Care and programming that is intended for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It can also be tailored to suit your senior’s needs, abilities, and preferences; the staff trained in memory care conduct the programming.
Advanced demonstrated competence and staff training in today’s best practices in dementia care.
The facility should organize events welcoming for all ages for socializing around meals and recreational times, which can also include family members of the residents.
Interior environments that are, first and foremost, safe and functional for residents and/or patients with dementia and designed to keep noise at a minimum, as well as environments that reduce confusing visual cues.
As part of an institutional commitment to professional learning, the facility must also demonstrate welcoming and organizing activities with national organizations aimed at educating about dementia.
Finally, the facility must also organize support groups for families and caregivers.
Services and amenities provided in memory care facilities
Staffed by trained professionals providing care to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, memory care communities are licensed facilities designed to accommodate residents (older adults) with progressive cognitive impairment.
Memory care facilities offer similar care provided in an assisted living community, including help with daily living activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and medication management. Collaborative care coordination is one of the most crucial amenities which is tailored to your aging parent’s needs and abilities.
Similar with assisted living, the following are also provided in memory care communities: meals, private or semi-private units, social activities, housekeeping, transportation to doctor’s appointments and other outings, and access to round-the-clock nurses.
Research suggests that activities such as art, gardening, music, and dancing help people with cognitive impairments, but it also depends on their physical abilities. Thus, some memory care facilities also organize these activities led by their trained staff or volunteers.
There are also memory care programs that support faith for your aging loved one who has always been involved in a faith practice. Those having trouble remembering names and new faces may still be comforted by the rituals, music, and traditions associated with their lifetime of religious observance.
Majority of the memory care communities are intended to make residents feel oriented, secure, and safe in their environment. To prevent the residents from wandering, they include specially designed features such as doors with alarm and secured courtyards. They also used security cameras and personal monitoring devices. As part of the commitment to safety, food and drinks made available are also considered.
Cognitive therapies and programs are offered by many of these communities to keep the residents’ brain active and engaged. Likewise, light stretching and other appropriate physical activities may be offered to protect the balance and flexibility of the residents.
Moreover, many memory care communities planned activities in the facility involving families of residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease so that they can still enjoy their family.
Quality Time with Family in Memory Care
Comparison between memory care and other senior care options
Understanding the different types of long-term residential care available is important as you start considering the right long-term care solution for your aging loved ones.
To help you make the best decisions, here is a look at two different but increasingly common residential care options for your aging loved ones—memory care and assisted living.
Assisted living is designed for generally healthy older adults needing some help with their daily living activities. Residents in those communities still live as independently as they can, even knowing that their helping hands are just one call away. They typically have apartments or private studios, but some also prefer to share an apartment with another resident. Most apartments are equipped with kitchenettes, full bathrooms, enough space to engage in hobbies, relax, and enjoy time with family and friends.
Many assisted living facilities also organize a variety of social events, classes, and activities for residents. They further organize regular outings to shopping centers, restaurants, and other attractions to help residents stay active and engaged in their communities. Moreover, they also offer transportation to their doctor’s appointment.
Types of care provided
Assisted living communities provide trained staff on site to assist the residents with ADLs; at most communities, facilities and nurses are available around the clock to help residents with basic activities including bathing, eating, dressing, and toileting. Additionally, some have on-site medical clinics.
In most communities, additional levels of care are provided for older adults needing more assistance, including pain management and physical therapy.
Memory care setting
Memory care facilities, on the other hand, have well-trained nurses or staff to provide care to residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive impairments to ensure their wellbeing.
They provide residents with highly supervised care including assistance with ADLs and managing medication. They also ensure that the residents are able to enjoy the highest quality of life possible by organizing fun, stimulating activities specifically designed for adults with dementia.
Most memory care facilities offer secure private and shared rooms equipped with emergency call systems. In order to lower the likelihood of a resident wandering, the rooms are highly monitored. These facilities generally provide meals, transportation to nearby clinics and shopping, social activities, specialized exercise programs, and 24-hour staff supervision.
Assisted living communities typically charge a base monthly rate covering daily meals, some transportation, housekeeping, and rent; additional services like laundry and specialized care may either have additional cost or are already included in the community’s overall monthly fee.
The average cost for assisted living may vary depending on its geographic location, apartment size, and healthcare requirements of the resident. According to the Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, its monthly average cost ranges from $3,293 to $6,965.
The cost for memory care facilities, on the other hand, is higher compared with assisted living as people with cognitive impairment typically require more specialized and extensive care than other healthy older adults. Its costs, however, cover the same types of services as in assisted living communities.
Depending on where you live, the monthly average cost for memory care ranges from $3,700 to $7,000.
Best memory care homes in New Mexico
One of the top cities for memory care is New Mexico. This diverse state consists of a diverse array of memory care providers, from urban centers to rural desert towns.
BeeHive Homes of Assisted Living Albuquerque NM - Dementia Care & Alzheimer Care Facilities, located at 6401 Corona Ave NE Building B, in the heart of Albuquerque, is a leading operator of assisted living, dementia & Alzheimer care communities. Phone: (505) 796-9139
BeeHive Assisted Living Santa Fe NM - ( Alzheimer & Senior Care / Dementia & Memory Care ), located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, offers Dementia and Alzheimer's services for your aging loved one. Phone: (505) 629-1714
BeeHive Assisted Living Homes of Rio Rancho provides an assortment of community features. It provides free wi-fi and high speed internet as well as guest parking. This community, located at 204 Silent Spring Road Northeast, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, provides the support of dementia & memory care. Phone: (505) 591-7021
Memory care communities come in different names in different places across the USA. If you are preparing or looking for your best memory care home in your area, you can utilize the internet and search the following terms: “memory care near me,” “alzheimer's care facilities near me,” and “dementia facilities near me.”
Memory care and assisted living are two communities intended for our aging loved ones. However, these two are different. The former is designed for older adults with cognitive impairment, while the latter is intended for generally healthy seniors who need assistance with their ADLs. But there are also some assisted living communities that have a wing or unit for memory care.
Should you have an aging loved one who is generally healthy but needs help with ADLs, an assisted living community is for you. But if your aging parent has cognitive impairment, then you can look for memory care facilities in your area.