What it Means to be in a Secure Memory Care Facility

A memory care facility or unit within a facility provides around the clock supervised care for the residents living there. This is an important feature because people living with dementia can often get confused or lost easily. They may go somewhere they are not supposed to because they do not realize where they are, or they think they need to go somewhere.

As a caregiver of someone living with dementia, the stress of trying to protect and care for someone 24 hours a day can be extremely stressful and draining. Many caregivers experience burnout or medical problems as a result of the stress associated with caring for someone with dementia.

When caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia, one of the scariest things in the world can be realizing they are not where they are supposed to be. Many areas now have what is called a silver alert. Similar to an amber alert, it is designed to quickly get information about the individual including a photo out to the public via the local media channels. Silver alerts are used to help locate older individuals when they go missing.

To someone who has never cared for a person with dementia, putting them in a secure memory care facility may seem extreme like locking them up. However, it is important to remember that the security is solely for their protection. It is to ensure they remain in a safe and protected environment where they cannot get lost, hurt, or taken advantage of.

A secure memory care facility also provides the family with the peace of mind knowing their loved one is safe and protected at all times. Saying a facility is secure does not mean the patients are locked in or that they never get to go outside. Often times, it means something as simple as the patients wearing some kind of device that will alert staff if they get too close to an exit.

Most facilities also have a secured outdoor area like a patio that allows the patients to go outside while still being in a safe place. The patio may be completed enclosed or closed off, so that the patient can only leave the patio by going back through the building.

Memory care facilities are a relatively new phenomenon. As the medical community has gained a better understanding of dementia and how best to help people living with dementia, facilities have changed to provide a better and safer quality of life, which has included memory care facilities that are staffed by people trained to understand and handle dementia.

The needs of a dementia patient can be drastically different than the needs of a typical nursing home patient. For example, a dementia patient may be in perfect physical health. They are not there due to the need for around the clock nursing care, mobility problems, or other health concerns. They are there solely because they experience dementia to a point that they can not be left alone for their own safety.

Secure memory care facilities came to be as the number of patients with different forms of dementia grew, and the need for secure areas became clear. A secure memory care facility can mean a lot of different things and it can look like a lot of different things.

While they have grown significantly throughout the United States, there are facilities throughout Europe that have gone so far as to create secure villages and communities that allow dementia patients to feel like they are still living independently. These facilities make the quality of life and respect of the patient as the top concern along with safety.

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