Look for a peaceful atmosphere.

If your loved one is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, they need a place that offers social activities and amenities — but they also need a place that has plenty of tranquil, quiet areas. Whether it’s private and muted interior spaces or secure outdoor spaces, access to peace and quiet can be a healthy addition to the lives of those with memory-related dementias.

Nature in particular can be hugely beneficial for those experiencing cognitive changes. Time spent outdoors (especially walking in nature) can improve your loved one’s sense of well-being, sleep quality, healing ability, and physical health, and it will almost certainly reduce feelings of boredom and apathy that are much too common for those who live in assisted living or senior care facilities.

Nature benefits people of all ages, so it’s no surprise it helps those with memory-related conditions live enriching and healthy lives. When choosing a memory care or Alzheimer’s care center in Vermont, find places that offer plenty of trees, grass, sidewalks, and benches for maximum outdoor enjoyment.
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Look for personalized care.

Every human being is different, and so is every memory-related condition. That’s why it’s important to choose a memory care facility that offers personalized care for your loved one. It’s not just about the big things like choices in living space floor plans or the ability to hang up pictures and bring in other important belongings — it has to do with customized levels of assistance, a wide variety of amenities, and anything else that will make your loved one feel comfortable.

Your loved one deserves to live the lifestyle they want to live, and that’s exactly what a high-quality memory care community provides. Look for a community that offers the best care and way of life for a truly personalized experience.
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Look for safety and accessibility.

Safety is always an issue for those dealing with Alzheimer’s or other related dementias. Any space they live in needs to ensure their wellbeing and comfort at all hours of the day and night. The National Institute on Aging’s Home Safety Checklist for Alzheimer’s Disease covers a lot of great tips for keeping a home space free of safety hazards, and these tips should absolutely be put in action in any professional memory care center. In summary, most safe spaces should have:

  • Operational smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Secure locks on all doors and windows
  • Extension cords tacked to baseboards (to remove trip hazards)
  • Childproof plugs for outlets
  • Adequate lighting in high-traffic areas
  • Grip strips and handrails in stairways

In addition to safety, accessibility should be a high priority when looking for memory care living for your loved ones. A simple living layout, open floor plans, clear vision lines, and houseware organization can make it much easier for those with memory issues to navigate in their living space and find the things they need when they need them. The easier time your loved one has performing life’s daily tasks, the less confusion and anxiety they will experience, and the more they’ll enjoy themselves.
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Look for social opportunities.

Strong relationships are a huge component of overall happiness, especially for those with memory issues. We all have the desire to socialize to some extent — however, our environment must be constructed in a way that make socialization easy and accessible.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case in senior living and memory care centers. Some of these facilities have limited socializing space, or their socializing spaces are centered around the television — either way, there isn’t much room for true human interaction.

The best Alzheimer’s care centers design their floor plans with social interactions in mind. They often center their plans around an open dining space — the perfect location to encourage residents meet and interact with each other — which increases a sense of family and community within the space. Great families dine together, and the same goes for those in memory care centers!

Great memory care communities also have plenty of spaces for physical activities, artistic activities, recreational activities like playing cards, and relaxing spaces for reading — all of which can lead to positive social interactions among residents.

A little socialization can go a long way to make your loved one more comfortable and fulfilled when they move to a memory care center. Look for centers with plenty of social spaces, and keep your loved one’s passions and recreational interests in mind for the best overall fit!
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Look for amenities.

Most assisted living centers, regardless of their specialty of care, offer the usual run of amenities: outdoor spaces, activity rooms, and the like. But the best facilities offer more than that. Many offer social outings that include transportation and supervision into other parts of town, or they’ll bring musical guests and other entertainers into the community. Some communities even offer spa services, whirlpool baths, in-house occupational therapy, and more so their residents feel happy and healthy.

When choosing a memory care center for your loved one, don’t forget to factor in the bells and whistles. It might not seem like a lot, but a few activities and a little spa time can go a long way toward health and happiness.
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Look for friendly staff members.

Before you commit to a memory care community, you need to do some in-person research and check things out for yourself. That means you’ll get a chance to view facilities, see how residents interact, and of course, meet staff members. This might be the most important step in choosing a new home for your loved one — if you don’t get a good feeling about a community when you talk to its staff members, it might not be the best fit. Staff members should be friendly, energetic, and friendly to residents, and they should answer all of your questions fully and transparently. If this isn’t the case, it’s time to move on to the next care center on your list.
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Look for a place that feels like home.

Ultimately, your choice of memory care center in Vermont comes down to one question: Will my loved one feel at home? Once you’ve visited facilities, learned about their amenities and services, met staff members, and gauged the overall atmosphere, you’ll be able to make the best decision possible going forward. In the end, you’ll want an exceptionally high standard of care and an atmosphere that makes your loved one feel comfortable, safe, appreciated, and fulfilled.

In Vermont, Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community’s Judith Brogren Memory Care Center is the perfect place for loved ones who need exceptional care and an enriching lifestyle. We provide a wide variety of on- and off-campus amenities and services, have flexible floorplans, provide fresh meals and snacks daily, and take advantage of highly trained and friendly staff members who make Cedar Hill feel like home to dozens of loved ones across the state. Feel free to call us with inquiries, email us, and schedule a tour of our memory care center today.
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Judith Brogren Memory Care Ad for Burlington Free Press 2018