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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Watson

Five Reasons A Small Environment is Better For Someone with Dementia

seniors laughing

Finding the right placement for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia can be a challenge. In Houston and in most parts of the country memory care facilities are popping up like popcorn. Every corner seems to have a new facility, each one professing to be the best. They boast of the amenities they offer. Some are fancy with chandeliers while others have a home town feel complete with a soda shop and movie theater.

What Really Matters

man in wheelchair with caregiver

Small Memory Care Homes

There are a lot of small memory care homes, many in neighborhoods just like where you may live. In fact there may be one around the corner from you and you don’t even know it. Here are 5 reasons these smaller homes may be the best choice for someone you love with Alzheimer’s.

It Feels Like Home

Most people did not grow up in a large apartment building and eat their meals in a restaurant environment. They grew up in a home with a few people, a family. They ate their meals together around a table, they watched TV together and played games. A Small Memory Care Home provides this environment. Though some of these homes are as large as 16 people most have between 6 to 10 residents. It feels like a home because it is a home.

More Caregivers For Each Resident

One of the biggest problems with the larger facilities is the lack of caregivers. Most will have 1 caregiver caring for 8 to 10 residents. When you visit you will likely be told that the ratio is much higher. But the truth is they are often counting the office staff and managers in that ratio.

In a Memory Care Home, you will usually have 1 caregiver for every 4 or 5 residents. That means mom will get more care and attention. After all isn’t that what you want.

Fewer Residents = More Individualized Programs

Caregiver playing cards with elderly lady

In a large facility, there is often an activity director who plans a schedule for the residents. Because there may be 25 or more residents she will try to do activities that appeal to everyone. The trouble with this is a lot of people with different likes will get left out.

On the other hand, a smaller home will be able to get to know each resident. They will learn their likes and dislikes and can plan activities accordingly. On top of that they are able to do the same things they would have done in their own home. After all, this is their home.

More Caregivers to Notice Changes

In a small environment it is much easier for the caregivers to notice that Miss Jane doesn't seem quite herself today. The small subtle changes that may occur with an infection are often picked up on quicker in this environment. As such the caregiver can alert the family, the nurse or someone else who can discover what may be wrong.

Time For Personal Grooming

Let's face it, if you have to care for 8 to 10 residents who all need help bathing, dressing and more, you probably don't have a lot of time to focus on one. But with just a few to take care of, you are able to help Miss Mae with her makeup and miss Jane with her hair.

It's those little extra touches that makes residents in a smaller home feel special. Isn't that what you really want for mom?

Pat Mack has been helping families make the right decisions to care for someone they love since 1997. Email Her Today for more information.

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