Dementia Care in Texas: 5 Services You Need
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, five million Americans are living with dementia now, and that number is expected to rise in the coming years. Chances are, you have a family member or know someone who struggles with some form of dementia.
When someone we know is afflicted by this disease, it can be difficult to care for them on your own. Some people opt for help from in-home care professionals, while others prefer the security and peace of mind of a dementia care community, which provides 24/7 support. Even if you use in-home care for a period of time, it’s likely that at some point you’ll need full-time support from a community.
But no matter what type of support you’re looking for at this point, caring for someone with dementia is something you don’t have to do alone. When you find the right care services, you can ease the burden on yourself, your family and your friends.
We’ve compiled a list of useful services to look for when caring for a person with dementia. These services are all available in Texas and are adaptable, meaning you can look for them in full-time dementia care, such as a Texas memory care community, or from in-home health aids if you’re not ready to make a move right now.
5 Care Services for Dementia Patients in Texas
1. Assistance with Daily Tasks
Dementia can affect both cognitive abilities and physical functions, making it difficult for someone with the disease to complete common tasks like getting dressed or cleaning. They may simply forget to perform the task, or struggle to have the range of motion needed to do it comfortably.
Getting help with daily tasks will make life easier for individuals with dementia as well as the friends and relatives who would normally help them with those tasks. That assistance may include:
- Helping with bathing or showering
- Assisting with getting dressed and groomed in the morning
- Providing exercise and range of motion training
- Assisting or supervising during meals
- Helping to get ready for bed
- Basic housekeeping tasks
In a memory care community, this assistance may go a few steps further, helping individuals with medication management or providing physical, occupational or speech therapy.
2. Activities and Companionship
While routines are comforting for those with dementia, they shouldn’t be boring or sedentary. It’s easy for all adults, even those who are young and healthy, to fall into a routine of watching television or other sedentary activities. That can be detrimental to those with dementia.
That’s why the best dementia care services include activities and social events to keep people active. Activities could be anything from going for a walk outside to playing games. In a memory care community, they might include pet therapy, which brings gentle animals into the community for residents to bond with.
Many activities, especially those in a community, include social aspects. During pet therapy, residents may talk with their friends and neighbors about the pets they’ve had in their lives, for example. Other events include community birthday celebrations or move nights, all of which help keep residents engaged and building new memories.
3. Meal Services
Many individuals with dementia forget to eat or have trouble cooking, and when they do eat, they often eat easy meals such as frozen dinners that don’t provide the nutrition they need. As part of dementia care services, meal service eliminates the need to prepare food and helps individuals remember to eat so they can keep their body healthy.
Combined with exercise and adequate hydration, a consistent and nutrient-packed diet can help maintain good physical and mental health. Memory care communities always provide comprehensive, nutritious meal plans for their residents.
If you’re not ready to move to a community now, however, there are multiple organizations that offer healthy meals and will deliver them on a regular schedule, ready-to-eat. Meals on Wheels is an especially budget-friendly option. Often, these businesses will deliver to the homes of people with mobility issues or drop off meals at senior centers and cafes for pickup.
4. Respite Care
Are you a caregiver? Being the primary caregiver for someone with dementia is a challenging task. It’s normal for caregivers to become stressed or overwhelmed at points, and sometimes you need a break to prevent burnout. That’s where respite care providers can help.
If you have to go to work, go out of town, or need some time away to regroup, respite care — also called replacement care — is designed to fill the gaps in the current routine. While some memory care communities provide this service, you can also enlist the help of in-home professionals or a willing family member to handle the tasks you’d normally see to yourself.
If you find yourself needing respite care frequently, however, then it may be time to consider a move to a memory care community full-time. A full-time memory care community will remove your caregiving responsibilities so you have less stress and, more importantly, more time to focus on your relationship with your friend or relative. When you no longer have to care for their everyday needs, you can spend your time building memories instead.
5. Specialized Memory Care Programs
Many activities are beneficial for adults with dementia, as we saw above, but some may be more beneficial than others. For example, it’s just as important to keep the mind occupied as it is to exercise the body, especially as we advance in age. For those with dementia, specialized activities that are designed to stimulate cognition can help recover treasured memories and provide moments of joy even in a challenging time.
Specialized memory care programming is typically designed based on scientific research. What activities are calming? Which ones stimulate the areas of the brain affected by dementia? That research drives the programs that many dementia care services include, such as:
- Music activities, which have been shown to sooth and relax individuals with dementia
- Art, which is a positive form of self-expression, especially when individuals with dementia are struggling with speech
- Trivia, which stimulates the brain without causing stress
All these activities are carefully designed to be accessible to individuals with dementia. That means they may not look like normal music, art and trivia events that you’ve seen before. Instead, they’ll be personalized to the abilities of every individual participating to ensure they provide the engagement and stimulation participants want and need. Many memory care communities include an activity schedule for this purpose.
Finding the Right Dementia Care in Texas
No matter where you are in Texas, chances are that there are communities or people near you who can provide some or all of the services above. For example, Plano memory care communities like Spring Creek offer all these services and more. Many individuals and families even choose to make the 30 minute drive from Dallas to Plano retirement communities to receive these services in a more relaxing environment.
If you have questions about dementia care services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help you find the right solution for yourself and your family. If you’d like more information before reaching out, feel free to download our complimentary Memory Care Resource Guide as well.