St. Anthony's Senior Living

Understanding Memory Care: Specialized Care for Seniors with Dementia in Kansas City

Seniors who are living with dementia or other memory loss illnesses often require a higher level of care that is difficult for adult children or other loved ones to maintain full-time. This is why many Kansas City seniors move to St. Anthony’s Care Center to receive the safety and attentive care they need in a supportive, loving environment.

We believe in honoring the legacies and dignity of every person, so when you entrust your loved one to St. Anthony’s Care Center, you can rest assured they are being cared for as if they were our very own family!


What is Memory Care?

Memory care is a type of senior living designed for older adults living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. When someone moves to a memory care facility, it is often because their dementia has progressed to the point where they are unable to care for themselves or live alone safely. Many of them may already be enjoying life at St. Anthony’s in assisted living, but are at the point where they need the extra safety and 24/7 support that memory care provides.


When Do Seniors Need Memory Care?

The point at which a senior requires memory care differs for each individual. Some may need it sooner if they don’t have anyone able to live with them and provide support during the earlier stages of dementia. In contrast, others may be able to remain at home or in assisted living for longer.

Since dementia progresses differently for each person, here are some symptoms you should monitor to decide when the right time is for your loved one to make the move to memory care.


1. Increased Memory Loss

Memory loss that has reached the severity of requiring 24/7 care goes beyond simple forgetfulness. When your loved one increasingly forgets people, places, and other important details, it may be time to look into memory care.


2. Significant Behavior Changes

The loss of one’s memory is extremely disheartening to experience, as well as confusing. Your loved one may start behaving differently as a result, showing heightened irritability and major mood swings. Others may withdraw and become more isolated due to embarrassment about their forgetfulness.


3. Declining Health or Hygiene

If your loved one is living alone and you have noticed their hygiene declining, this could be due to either memory loss or physical ability loss. If their memory is still intact, but they struggle with activities of daily living, moving to an assisted living facility with the option to transition into memory care down the road may be a better option. If the hygiene and health declines are due to forgetting to bathe, change clothes, or drink water, then memory care may be just what they need.


4. Matters of Safety

One of the most significant factors in moving a loved one to memory care is their safety. Significant memory loss can lead to dangerous situations such as getting lost, forgetting to turn off appliances, or other accidents that make it unsafe for seniors with severe dementia to live alone.


How Memory Care Helps with Dementia

Memory care facilities exist to create a safe environment where seniors experiencing dementia can thrive and enjoy life while receiving the care and support they need. Instead of living in isolation from their peers, seniors get to join a community of fellow seniors who are dealing with similar difficulties.

Memory care centers provide nostalgic activities such as music therapy to aid with memory retention and even empower residents to make brand-new memories! Living in a memory care facility like St. Anthony’s Care Center can slow the progression of dementia and help stimulate memory, keeping residents engaged with the world around them as long as possible.


An Inside Look at St. Anthony’s Memory Care

The success of a memory care program in slowing and decreasing symptoms while creating a positive experience for residents depends on the approach. At St. Anthony’s, we take a holistic approach to wellness in memory care and have developed a research-based and people-first program. Our approach to memory care includes six key signatures.


1. Wellness

Wellness at St. Anthony’s Care Center is about much more than medication management and physical health. Our holistic approach prioritizes every part of our residents’ well-being, from emotional health and social happiness to physical and spiritual connectedness.


2. Dining Experience

One of our goals in memory care is to empower autonomy as much as possible. That’s why memory care dining is a family-style event with lots of finger foods that residents can easily manage and serve themselves. While our highly-trained staff are always ready to help when needed, the goal is to help residents make their own choices and take action to feed themselves three healthy meals a day.


3. Personalized, Supportive Environment

Rigid routines and strict schedules don’t work for seniors with dementia, who may fluctuate between very alert, engaged days and more withdrawn phases. We take a personalized, supportive approach to memory care in which caregivers work closely with residents to support them daily in a way that works best for them. Again, this is all about empowering decisions and honoring the independence of each individual!


4. Life Enrichment

While we have a full and fun activities calendar for our memory care residents, life enrichment doesn’t stop there at St. Anthony’s. Flexibility is an essential component of dementia care, so we provide a variety of activities and choices each resident can make along a daily path that ensures their basic needs, such as food and hygiene, are met.


5. Team Development

Providing the best care for our residents starts with providing the best support and training for our staff! Our goal at St. Anthony’s is to have every single staff member certified as a dementia practitioner so all can support our residents when needed.


6. Family Partnerships

You have not failed your parent or other loved one by moving them to a memory care facility — you are doing what is best for them! Part of that means remaining involved in their lives as well, which is why family partnerships are just as meaningful as every other key signature in our memory care program at St. Anthony’s. You know your loved one better than anyone, so you should be involved in choices about their care!


The Legacy Lives on at St. Anthony’s Care Center!

Dementia is not the end of a legacy, but a chance for it to live on in a whole new way! We would be honored to support your loved one through this next phase of life, learning about them and celebrating their incredible life as we empower them to retain independence in a safe environment. Come take a tour of St. Anthony’s Care Center to learn more!