Some individuals with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia become upset when they are overstimulated. If this characterizes your parent, you know how challenging it can be to calm them down after mentally or emotionally stimulating events. As you evaluate different assisted living facilities for your parent, look for those that provide peaceful places and individualized attention to avoid this stress as much as possible.
Memory care wings are advantageous for helping patients stay centered and settle down after experiences that require more mental and emotional energy than usual.
Dementia & Overstimulation
It's a frustrating conundrum. You want your parent to continue living as fulfilling a life as possible, and sometimes that means going out for lunch, attending a family gathering or being a guest at a holiday party. Your parent may very well enjoy the activity, but wind up becoming agitated or even aggressive afterward.
Relatives of dementia patients sometimes wonder if they should stop providing these rewarding activities for their loved ones. The right assisted living community helps residents continue enjoying life while managing the disorientation that can develop after a higher level of activity than normal.
Assisted Living Features to Look For
Look for a memory care wing that has calming, soothing effects. You should be able to sense this as you tour the building. The residential rooms or apartments should have an atmosphere of serenity instead of a hospital-like environment. The residential areas should be far enough away from the community TV room, activity room and dining areas so the residents can get peace and quiet when they need it.
How Memory Care Professionals Manage Restlessness & Aggravation
Staff members in a memory care wing provide more individualized attention than residents receive in other areas of the community.
Nursing assistants take note of when each individual patient tends to experience reduced comprehension and heightened restlessness. Prompt assistance is provided when a resident becomes upset. Recreational activities are customized for the residents instead of being presented as a general group venture. Employees also can engage a restless resident in a useful task so this person feels a sense of purpose.
All these features are very helpful when a person with dementia enjoys a fun day outside of the community or at a party within the community, but deals with the unsettling effects of overstimulation afterward.
What You Can Do Now
Contact assisted living facilities in your region that look promising. Visit communities you're interested in at least twice at different days and times so you can get a good sense of the environment. Talk to family members of residents if you can. Take into account how your parent feels about each of these communities. Then you can make a decision on the best assisted living community for your particular needs.