Maintaining a high quality of life in those with dementia is essential for a person’s overall health and wellbeing.
As dementia progresses, quality of life can decline if proper interventions aren’t in place.
However, the factors that influence quality of life overlap with a person’s basic needs for proper nutrition, social engagement, physical activity, and overall meaningful activities.
The question for family members and caregivers then becomes, how can we increase and implement these activities?
Let’s take a look at the factors that influence quality of life with dementia, and how a specialized memory care community such as Kensington Place Redwood City is equipped to improve the quality of life of its residents.
What factors influence quality of life (QOL) in dementia patients?
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia significantly impact quality of life as they progress.
In the early stages of memory loss, those with dementia are often able to discuss their experiences and the ways that their life is impacted.
Dementia studies that include people with dementia, as well as feedback from their caregivers, have found that the most influential factors surrounding quality of life involve the following:
- Maintaining a positive mood
- Ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Engagement in purposeful and pleasant activities
Depression is common among those with any degree of cognitive impairment, including mild cognitive impairment.
Maintaining a positive mood relies on a person’s access to social engagement and fun activities, as well as assistance with their ADLs when needed. Studies show that dopamine increases when people socialize and engage in group activities.
Basic ADLs include the ability to perform the following skills:
- Bathing and personal hygiene
- Walking and moving around
For example, it’s normal to misplace our keys from time to time or forget why we walked into a room for something.
It’s not normal to forget what a key is used for or to forget how to put on our clothes in the morning.
The increasing loss of independence among those with dementia can impact their mood and affect their relationships with family members and friends.
How to tell when your loved one with dementia needs more quality of life support
Increasing cognitive impairment can naturally lead to depression and a loss of life quality. This happens if the person is not receiving the proper support from family members or caregivers.
This often isn’t the fault of the caregiver, but instead a lack of resources. Most caregivers are not healthcare professionals and don’t have the proper training to assist family members with dementia.
When the time comes, a specialized memory care community often is the best place for a loved one to “age in place.” These communities will offer a safe, secure home with support services and trained staff to assist with their ADLs and a calendar filled with life enrichment activities.
Discussions about transitioning to a care community should take place in the early stage of your loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. This way, they can still be a part of the decision and the transition will be smoother.
Listen in on our recording of a recent event we hosted that was focused on transitioning into senior living. Tune in for additional support and the answers to all of your questions, as our experts guide you through the warning signs to help you guide your decision, as well as the do’s and don’ts behind a successful transition.
How memory care communities improve quality of life in those with dementia
Specialized memory care communities are equipped to handle a full spectrum of clinical support.
The “full spectrum” goes beyond medical care, and into a person’s overall health and wellness.
Kensington Place Redwood City’s team understands the impact of memory loss on both the individual and those closest to them.
Our memory care program considers the levels of memory loss, the comfort and safety of the individual, and all the ways we can preserve and improve quality of life. We partner with families and residents to provide the best care, and take the worry off of families.
Let’s take a look at how our community boosts the quality of life for our residents through our numerous onsite services, amenities, and resources.
One major component of quality of life with dementia is maintaining and maximizing independence.
Kensington Place Redwood City is able to maximize the independence of our residents through comprehensive rehab and therapy services.
We offer tailored programs to fit individual needs, including the following:
- Physical therapy to improve mobility, balance, range of motion, and physical strength
- Occupational therapy to provide training and guidance on self-care skills such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and grooming
- Speech therapy to help with all aspects of communication and memory, as well as chewing and swallowing problems
We also offer wellness and educational programs to support healthy living.
Physical, occupational, and speech therapies can help seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia maintain the skills necessary to perform their daily ADLs and implement modifications where necessary.
These treatments allow for greater independence and improved quality of life.
Flavorful and nutritionally balanced dining
A healthy diet may have the power to protect the brain.
According to research, eating certain foods and avoiding others may potentially slow brain aging by 7.5 years, and reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers point to the combination of two diets, the DASH diet, and the Mediterranean diet, as the ideal diet for brain health.
The new combined diet, known as the MIND diet, incorporates the following foods:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Blueberries and strawberries
- Olive oil
- Beans and lentils
Kensington Place Redwood City’s dining team is able to accommodate many special dietary needs and preferences, including low sodium, low fat, pureed, mechanical soft, and renal diets.
Chef Tony’s passion is community health and providing residents with nutritious, well-balanced meals that meet dietary needs and food sensitivities, as well as meeting high standards of presentation and quality.
Life enrichment optimized for all stages of dementia
Activities and social interaction reduce stress, preserve wellness, keep the mind sharp, and increase feelings of worth in seniors with dementia.
Kensington Place provides meaningful, fun social activities for residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the activities are specifically tailored to resident interests.
Our life enrichment team is always searching for new ways to stimulate the mind, strengthen the body, and nourish the spirit through our full calendar of activities. From travel clubs to brain gymnastics, happy hour seven days a week with live entertainers, there is something for everyone!
We focus on the unique contributions of our residents, including their musical abilities, passions for food and cooking, or interests in sports, art, crafts, nature, or other preferences and interests. Live entertainment and dancing are ongoing, 7 days a week.
We also schedule regular outings and offer Pocket Programming, which is customized small-group activities based on residents’ interests, hobbies and needs that encourage resident participation.
Kensington Place Redwood City is your care partner
At Kensington Place, Our Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.
We welcome all residents to our community, no matter how great their needs.
In this way, we are able to provide true aging in place, where no matter how a senior’s care needs change over time, we can support them and help them achieve a higher quality of life.
We offer two memory care “neighborhoods,” Connections and Haven, that are specially designed to match your loved one’s level of care.
Connections is for individuals in the early stage of dementia, while Haven is for those in the middle stages to late stages.
Reach out to our community today to learn more about our support services and amenities, and all the ways we are able to help your loved ones enjoy their lives and find a deeper purpose within our community.