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Memory Care Living: Redefining “Living Space”

Memory Care Living: Redefining “Living Space”

This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org

When family members explore a memory care assisted living community for a loved one, it’s easy for the apartment itself to become the focus of attention. How big is it? Does it have a nice view? Will her furniture fit? For adult children especially, it can be very hard to think about a parent “downsizing” to a studio-sized apartment.

As the collaborative care advisor at NewBridge on the Charles, part of my role is to educate family members about memory care and the way our environmental design maximizes quality of life. For people with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease, the goal of memory care assisted living is to encourage socialization, self-expression and to maximize cognitive stimulation. The keys to these goals are not the real estate, but the quality of staff, the nature and extent of programming offered, as well as the culture of the community. As long as the apartment is personalized and comfortable, the ideal memory care assisted living apartment is often a small one.

Family members are often surprised by the way their loved ones respond to their new accommodations.  One family I counseled needed an immediate placement, so reluctantly took an apartment with a parking lot view with the plan to move when another opened up. Unexpectedly, their parent was immediately comforted by the hustle & bustle of cars – as it evoked memories of the urban home she had as a new housewife in Brookline.

Selecting a memory care assisted living community is so much more than selecting an apartment. It’s important to recognize that what mattered before may not matter as much now. Look beyond real estate for a community that can best meet your loved one’s needs as they are today. 

Memory Care at Assisted Living at NewBridge on the Charles 

NewBridge on the Charles offers the Gilda and Alfred A. Slifka Memory Care Assisted Living Residences to seniors with early stage and mid-stage Alzheimer's Disease and/or a related dementia. The Memory Care Assisted Living Residences at NewBridge on the Charles provides a personalized and meaningful assisted living experience for residents based on the history, preferences and goals of each individual. Short-term stays now available. 

Learn more about Memory Care at NewBridge

Tara Fleming Caruso, MA, LMHC's picture

About the Blogger

Collaborative Care Advisor at NewBridge on the Charles

Tara serves as the collaborative care advisor for the NewBridge campus, making her an important resource for each of our residents and their families. Tara helps each senior moving to NewBridge both understand and access the variety of supports our continuum of care offers so each can live their best life possible. Tara brings almost 25 years of elder care experience to this role, including developing an expressive therapy program in a skilled nursing facility, serving as a program manager at a dementia-specific assisted living, and working at NewBridge on the Charles since 2009. She is a...

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