Dr. Christopher Zambakari, B.S., MBA, M.I.S., LP.D.
Owner/Operator; Desert Haven Home Care, Apollo Residential Assisted Living, Villa Fiore Assisted Living-Prescott Valley
Under a single home care umbrella, Desert Haven Home Care, Apollo Residential Assisted Living, and Villa Fiore Assisted Living-Prescott feature unparalleled care, feature unparalleled care, service and advocacy in the compassionate treatment of senior citizens in need of medical attention. Offered in a familial setting, the facilities are teamed by professionals passionate about their work and fully engaged in the welfare of residents. Each facility proudly provides patient-centric supervisory, assisted and directed care, short-term respite stays and memory care support for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
The following exploration of the benefits of smaller, homelike care residences over larger treatment facilities for dementia patients is one in a series of regular informational blogs relative to the field of service, care and the treatment of our elderly.
Editor’s note: It is important to clarify that dementia is not a specific disease but rather a general term referencing loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities. Notes Ability Central, a California-based nonprofit assisting families and caregivers, dementia is a group of symptoms caused by other conditions, and Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, contributing to 60-70 percent of all dementia cases. Other forms of dementia include Lewy body, frontotemporal, Huntington’s, mixed dementia and vascular.
When it comes to dementia care, finding the right living arrangement is crucial for the well-being and quality of life of individuals affected by these conditions. Residential care homes, also known as small-scale care homes, offer a unique and advantageous alternative to larger facilities. In this article, we explore the importance and advantages of choosing residential care homes over larger facilities for dementia care.
Personalized and individualized care
Residential care homes provide a more personalized and individualized approach to care. With a smaller number of residents, caregivers can devote more time and attention to each individual, tailoring their care plans to meet specific needs and preferences, what we call “person-centered” care. This personalized treatment fosters a sense of familiarity, promotes emotional well-being and enhances the overall quality of life for residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Enhanced sense of community
Size of facility is an important consideration when placing a loved one in a care home.
In residential care homes, residents live in a smaller, more intimate setting, allowing for the development of a close-knit community. The smaller number of residents encourages social interaction, companionship and the formation of meaningful relationships among residents and caregivers. This sense of community creates a supportive environment where individuals with dementia feel understood, valued and connected.
Comfort, well-being and quality of life are impacted by your loved one’s surroundings when placed in a care facility.
One of the significant advantages of residential care homes is the homelike atmosphere they provide. These facilities are typically designed to resemble a residential home (many were residences in a previous life!), with cozy and familiar surroundings. The smaller size and comfortable setting help residents feel more at ease and reduce feelings of disorientation or confusion, which often occur in larger institutional settings. The homelike environment promotes a sense of security, reducing anxiety and improving overall well-being.
Consistency and continuity of care
Routine and familiarity are foundational elements in the care of dementia patients, and are more easily built into the care and attention provided at smaller, more intimate residences.
In residential care homes, the staff-to-resident ratio is typically higher when compared with larger facilities. This allows for more consistent and continuous care, as caregivers are able to build stronger and more meaningful relationships with the residents. Familiarity with and consistency in caregiving activities and attention contribute to a smoother transition and better overall care experience for individuals with dementia.
Individualized activities and programs
Flexibility in care and treatment activities is a hallmark of smaller, more homelike assisted living residences. Flexibility allows for constant improvements in care as dementia progresses and requires changes in approach that best fit the needs and preferences of residents.
These residential care homes have the flexibility to offer individualized activities and programs that cater to the specific interests and abilities of each resident. With fewer residents to accommodate, caregivers can tailor activities to promote engagement, stimulate cognitive function and encourage social interaction. These tailored programs provide meaningful experiences, improve quality of life and maintain a sense of purpose for residents.
Residential care homes provide a more personalized and individualized approach to care.
Reduced overstimulation and improved safety
Environment, as noted earlier, plays an important role in the comfort and well-being of dementia patients.
Larger facilities can be overwhelming for individuals with dementia. Too many things to look at or listen to – large communal areas, loud noises and higher foot traffic among them – retards engagement. Smaller, more homelike residential care homes provide a calmer and less overstimulating environment. The smaller size minimizes distractions and allows for better supervision and monitoring, ensuring the safety and well-being of residents.
When it comes to dementia care – Alzheimer’s, Lewy body, frontotemporal, Huntington’s, etc. – the advantages of residential care homes over larger facilities are many. Personalized and individualized care, enhanced sense of community, homelike environment, consistency of care, individualized activities, reduced overstimulation and improved safety are just a few of the benefits that smaller facilities offer.
By choosing smaller, more personalized residential care homes, individuals with dementia can experience a higher quality of life, tailored care and a supportive community that understands their unique needs. As the healthcare community seeks to provide the best care for our loved ones, residential care homes present an excellent option that prioritizes individual well-being and fosters a warm and nurturing environment.
For more information, you can reach me or one of my team at email@example.com
About the Author
Dr. Christopher Zambakari is the owner and operator of three Arizona-based assisted living care homes – Desert Haven Home Care in Phoenix, Apollo Residential Assisted Living in Glendale, and Villa Fiore Assisted Living in Prescott Valley, Arizona. He provides direction and oversight to a team of licensed medical and caregiving professionals to ensure the highest levels of customized care, service and advocacy at each of his facilities. Zambakari is founder and CEO of The Zambakari Advisory, an international consultancy in the areas of strategic intelligence, program design and transitional processes. He is a Hartley B. and Ruth B. Barker Endowed Rotary Peace Fellow, and the assistant editor of the Bulletin of The Sudans Studies Association.