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Memory care therapy is a type of therapy commonly utilized in assisted living facilities or nursing homes to help residents combat the symptoms of aging and conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Memory loss and cognitive impairment can cause significant changes to a person’s perception and senses, which can not only be distressing and uncomfortable to the sufferer, but can increase the likelihood of accidents like falls. It’s for these reasons that memory care therapy is a crucial part of care services offered in assisted living homes.
Senior care communities like nursing homes, assisted living homes, and specialty facilities like memory care facilities focus on creating a safe environment that still promotes independence in Alzheimer’s patients or people dealing with dementia. This feeling of continued independence maintains a high quality of life and makes residents feel more at home, relieving stress. Dedicated memory care facilities often have their own specialized care strategies but in today’s blog we’ll be discussing common therapy techniques used in standard assisted living homes.
Phototherapy, or light therapy, is another type of therapy commonly used for dementia patients. Light therapy is a type of therapy that is primarily administered via exposing patients to a bright light for a set amount of time, and is designed to stimulate the production of certain chemicals and hormones in the brain that affect sleep regulation and mood, and can help regulate sleep cycles. This therapy may also address seasonal affective disorder and decrease the incidence of unwanted daytime sleeping.
Aromatherapy is a type of therapy that revolves around the use of aromatics like essential oils and plant extracts to promote both a healthy body and mind. Aromatherapy has been shown to promote both mental and physical health, and can help reduce stress in patients and reduce the occurence of difficult behaviors. This type of therapy can also help promote sleep, reduce anxiety, and improve mood.
Sensory stimulation is exactly as it sounds: it involves the stimulation of the five senses of smell, taste, vision, sound, and touch. The stimulation of these senses can be helpful as a part of memory care by triggering forgotten memories, bringing up positive emotions, and helping seniors feel connected to their environment. Assisted living communities often provide residents with “memory boxes” in or near their rooms with items that can help trigger positive memories, keeping their minds sharp and active.
Assisted living communities often use a variety of other methods in addition to the above therapies. In fact, these facilities are usually designed with memory care as a structural element in mind! Color is often used as a part of this design strategy. For example, toilets may be placed in front of bright colored walls that contrast with the toilet to make them easier to see. Color coding may be used in the design of activity rooms, as well. Bright, exciting colors are often used for rooms intended for exercise or entertainment, while subtle, muted colors are used in rooms intended for relaxation.
Contact Pasadena Nursing Center to learn more about our facility and our memory care services.