As our population ages, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is on the rise. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is projected to nearly triple by 2050. With this increase in dementia cases, it’s more important than ever to ensure that these individuals have access to high-quality care that is tailored to their unique needs.
One approach that has been gaining popularity in recent years is the use of smaller assisted living homes for individuals with dementia. The homes providing this care are our members. Our member’s homes typically have a capacity of 6-12 residents, as opposed to larger assisted living facilities which can have several hundreds of residents, and are specifically designed to provide a more homelike, intimate environment for individuals with dementia.
The smaller size of these homes allows for a higher staff-to-resident ratio, which can be beneficial for individuals with dementia. Staff members are better able to get to know the residents and provide more individualized care. Additionally, the more home-like environment of these smaller homes can be less overwhelming for residents with dementia, who may feel disoriented and confused in a large, institutional setting.
Another important aspect of smaller assisted living homes for individuals with dementia is that they are often designed to be more secure. Because individuals with dementia may be prone to wandering, it’s important to have a safe, secure environment that can prevent them from leaving the facility. Smaller homes can be more easily secured, and staff members are better able to keep track of residents and ensure their safety. There are fewer lost residents and fewer falls in smaller assisted living homes.
In addition to physical security, smaller assisted living homes can also provide emotional security for residents with dementia. These homes can provide a sense of community and belonging that can be especially important for individuals with dementia, who may feel isolated and lonely. Staff members can also provide emotional support and companionship, which can be essential for the well-being of individuals with dementia.
It’s also important to note that smaller assisted living homes can be more affordable than larger facilities. The lower operating costs of these homes often translate into lower costs for residents and their families.
With the number of people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease on the rise, there has been a greater focus on specialized memory care services. Smaller assisted living homes typically have higher percentages of residents with memory care issues than the large facilities and are increasingly committing to service delivery to this population. Moreover, many smaller homes are specifically developing memory care units, as well as specialized programs and staffing to meet the unique needs of individuals with memory impairment.
The smaller size of these homes, along with their homelike environment and high staff-to-resident ratio, can provide a more individualized, secure, and comfortable setting for individuals with dementia. With the number of individuals living with dementia on the rise, it’s important to ensure that they have access to high-quality care that is tailored to their unique needs.