What exactly is Memory Care? It puts residents in a good place

What exactly is Memory Care? It puts residents in a good place

What exactly is Memory Care? It puts residents in a good place

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Personal Care provides a fun and engaging lifestyle in a comfortable apartment, no matter what level of support or assistance is needed

Almost 10 percent of American adults who are 65 or older have dementia, while another 22 percent have mild cognitive impairment, a recent Columbia University study found. So it’s important to consider the possibilities of Memory Care living for a loved one or to plan out contingencies for yourself years into the future.

If a loved one recently has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you’re undoubtedly experiencing many emotions. This blog can help. We’ll explore, among other things: What exactly is Memory Care, and how can you select the best campus?

Memory Care serves the whole person

Memory Care, at its best, provides a pleasant home atmosphere for residents while also keeping them safe in apartments and community areas created for their needs.

With person-centered Memory Care, residents have a sense of freedom and the ability, while numerous measures are in place to keep them safe, to interact with as many people around them as they’d like.

At Episcopal Church Home continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Louisville's beautiful Graymoor-Devondale neighborhood, team members are trained to work with residents who have cognitive issues and to meet their unique needs. Team members also receive ongoing annual training to keep them updated on developments in the field.

When someone with memory loss enters Memory Care, it allows their care partner to spend less time as a caregiver and more time interacting with them in relaxing and fun ways, with professional care being provided for them.

A benefit of a CCRC is they provide a continuum of care, so people can move into apartments where they live independently – without any assistance – and as their health-care needs change, they can receive increasing levels of care, either for Memory Care or other forms of assistance.

Fun programs for Memory Care residents at Episcopal Church Home include music therapy and activities that promote fine motor activity, such as puzzles. They also offer art therapy and word games, among other activities. Residents in one program baked dog treats that were donated to an animal shelter.

Socializing, when residents choose

Residents eat together but also have the option of eating in their own apartments if they wish, and they can eat when they choose, said Bryan Berman, a household coordinator at Episcopal Church Home.

The campus’ model for care “is to meet people’s desire for freedom, choice, and purpose in their daily lives, as well as the care needs that are specific to them,” he said.

The dining and activity rooms are on the same floor as the Memory Care apartments.

“We work to balance being a secure level of care and providing a sense of freedom and ability to move,” Bryan said. Doors are secured, “but the residents can walk freely about the community space. They can walk from one side to the other, from the dining room to the common area and the activity room, and just all around our loop as much as they like. They just can’t leave the floor without assistance.”


There's so much to enjoy and engage in with neighbors just beyond their studio apartment.

Safety and Convenience of Memory Care

When someone with memory loss enters Memory Care, it allows their care partners to spend less time being a caregiver and more time interacting with them in more relaxing and fun ways, with professional care being provided for them.

For example, dedicated team members help with important health tasks, such as administering medications.

Team members prepare and serve three meals a day, and housekeeping is provided regularly.

Residents’ apartments have pull-strings in bathrooms, and they all have pendants to wear in case of falls.

Residents of the memory-support households have their own activities calendars created specifically for them.

“We’re very careful with our activities and our life enrichment that we’re promoting things that allow them to create art themselves, or create flower arrangements and plant pots themselves, with guidance," Bryan said. 

“We do the fun things like BINGO for prizes,” he said. “If we’re not doing Baking in the Kitchen, we’re doing arts and crafts; we often create things to decorate our activity room. They enjoy Music & Memory, Noodle Ball, and Morning Stretch. We plan a wide variety of group activities to foster gathering.”

Social interactions are cultivated and are made available for residents to chat in common areas.

Is it time for Memory Care?

It’s time to consider memory care if you are concerned about your loved one’s ability to make sound decisions for themselves – for example, if you see they’re making decisions they wouldn’t have made before, or they’re having issues with their short-term memory.

Bryan recommends exploring communities and trusting their staff will recommend a level of care that is appropriate for them.

“We as staff assess each person whose application is accepted,” he said. “We assess them, and we encourage families to be realistic about their loved one’s capabilities and needs."

Tour Memory Care communities

Bryan highly recommends families tour Memory Care communities.

“That’s how you can really see what a community’s like, what the different households are like,” he said. “At Episcopal Church Home, we have different households, and we all have different personalities in communities. So if you’re looking at a specific level of care, it’s good to know what those communities are like. It’s important that your loved one’s care needs are met; it’s also important that their community needs are met. So you want to be looking at a place you can see them calling home.”

Tours not only let you evaluate the campus and its team members, but how life-giving the atmosphere is and the quality of activities and the apartments.

We would love to give you a tour of Lyndon House, our comfortable new Personal Care building or renovated Memory Care or Skilled Care households. For information about the continuum of care at Episcopal Church Home, contact Elizabeth Pace at (502) 736-8043 or email her at epace@erslife.org.

Benefits of Episcopal Church Home

Bryan said he recommends Episcopal Church Home because, “You’ll be joining a community in which there’s every level of care. So as your loved one progresses either physically or cognitively, we have the means, the staff, and the resources to care for your loved one and to continue them not only in our services but in our building.”

As their needs change, they may have to move to another household, ”but they don’t have to leave Episcopal Church Home,” he said. “And I think that is a significant thing to consider when you’re considering a community, is looking forward to future moves to another level of care.”

Residents are cared for with a ‘person-centered’ approach. For example, they can wake up and eat when they like. They’re also treated with great respect.

“Yes, this is a memory-care floor, but we have a resident meeting. We ask our residents if they have been enjoying the activities. Have they been enjoying the food? And obviously, our answers, our engagement, and our discussion are vastly different than if it were an independent living, but we still allow that respect and dignity of asking them those questions, and we really treat this as their home. And we really treat them as loved ones, as family.”

Residents are cared for physically, emotionally, and mentally, and he said: “And we don’t sacrifice on that just because we’re serving people who are cognitively impaired.”

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Mike Rutledge

Mike Rutledge

Mike Rutledge has been Content Marketing Specialist for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) since early 2022. He writes articles, blogs and other information to inform people about things happening at ERS’ retirement communities of Marjorie P. Lee an... Read More >

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