What is Alzheimer's disease and how widespread is it?
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disease that impairs memory and the ability to perform the activities of daily living. Over 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease and that number is growing. One out of every 8 people 65 years and older are affected, and almost half of those 85 and older have Alzheimer's disease.
I thought only skilled nursing centers could care for those with Alzheimer's?
That used to be the case. However, more and more states are enabling assisted living communities to specialize in this level of care. More rigorous staffing, physical plant and training standards must be met. Today, however, specialized assisted living communities, like The Arbors, are an attractive option to those seeking care outside the home.
What makes Americare's memory care assisted living services different from their traditional assisted living services?
All the services provided in our Arbors communities — from dining to nursing to activities — are designed around the unique needs of the memory-impaired. By working closely with loved ones, we preserve the life story of every resident of The Arbors — creating a guide to the past and the present to prevent loneliness, helplessness and boredom. Days are quietly structured to provide a sense of order. Residents are engaged more readily in this setting thru verbal cues and daily routines.
Is the staffing different?
Yes. The staff-to-resident ratio higher than in a traditional assisted living setting. Also, every employee at The Arbors successfully undergoes training on the Best Friends™ Approach, as well as the person-centered CARES training, developed in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association. The decision to work in this level of care is an important one. We screen prospective caregivers on the front end to ensure they have both the passion and temperament to work with these special individuals.
What about security?
What's wonderful about Americare's Arbors communities is that the security is there — but not readily apparent to the resident. All doors are equipped with keypad entry/exits. Our outdoor living areas are also secured and are monitored through closed-circuit cameras. Residents who may require additional oversight are given discreet monitoring bracelets.
Why is the size of the Arbors communities so important?
Research shows that residents with Alzheimer's or other forms of memory impairment do best when they're in a calm, intimate setting and know their caregivers. With no more than 24 units (most with only 14), The Arbors neighborhood allows for flexibility with structure. So each person's daily routine remains, whatever that may be. Our entire building is specifically designed (not just retrofitted) for the memory-impaired resident.