Specialized Dementia Care

A dedicated unit for individuals with memory impairment to enhance their quality of life.

The needs of those with memory impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, often exceed the level of care that can be provided for them at home or in a traditional assisted living setting. To accommodate individuals with memory impairment, many of our assisted living centers have a dedicated unit focused on memory care.

This unit, the Terrace, provides a controlled environment for the care of residents suffering from memory impairments. Memory impairment often causes a decline in communication and social skills in the sufferer, as well as decline in the ability for the individual to perform many tasks they face in daily life. The Terrace has been designed to reduce situations and obstacles that may cause stress in residents, enhancing their quality of life. We also control access to The Terrace for the safety of our residents and the peace of mind of residents’ family members.

Specialized support from The Terrace includes:

  • Person-centered care—we plan care to meet the needs of the individual, not to focus on their condition or lost abilities
  • Guided social interaction with staff, peers, and visitors
  • Support for family members providing care
  • Establishing and maintaining daily routines
  • Support for individuals that allows them to retain as much independence as possible in performing daily tasks
  • Activities and visual and physical prompts to help residents maintain mental function
  • Encouragement to participate in senior-friendly physical activity
  • Enjoyable activities to enhance residents’ joy and self-esteem

In addition, residents of The Terrace also receive the same services and benefits as our other assisted living center residents, included in the basic monthly fee.

  • Competent, empathetic staff available at all times to assist with resident needs
  • Delicious snacks and beverages available on demand, throughout the day
  • Three daily meals that are homemade and nutritionally sound
  • A variety of available apartment layouts to meet the needs and preferences of our residents
  • Lots of scheduled events including games, outings, exercise, worship, crafts, and parties
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Monthly wellness checks performed by staff LPNs
  • Medication assistance, available at all times and supervised by a nurse on staff

Should additional support be required, we also offer supplementary services for an ancillary charge. Additional services include, but are certainly not limited to the following:

  • Assistance with dressing, bathing, and grooming
  • Complex medication administration and testing
  • Assistance during meals
  • Assistance with toileting and managing incontinence

Find a Heritage Senior Community Near You

Find a Heritage Senior Community Near You

Specialized Dementia Care Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know if my mom needs dementia care?

When someone with dementia begins to have difficulty navigating through their day, is at risk of wandering away from their home or living center, or begins to feel left out or ostracized by their neighbors it is likely time to consider dementia specialty care. Our communities are designed to reduce confusing environmental stimuli.

Our staff is able to help you evaluate your specific situation and aid you in making the right choice for her. For more details, feel free to contact the administrator of the assisted living home of your choice.

How can I be sure my mother with dementia gets all the care she needs?

We will do a Personal Needs Assessment before your mother moves in to determine exactly what support services she requires in regards to her dementia and otherwise. This assessment will be reviewed with you, your mom and other family members as well as her physician. From this assessment we develop a service plan that is unique to your mother’s needs. This plan serves as a guide so our staff knows exactly what support your mom needs—and how we can best meet those needs.

This assessment will be updated 30 days after your mother moves in, to allow us to confirm the accuracy of the initial assessment and to give her time to adjust to her new home. From that point on, this assessment is updated quarterly or upon any significant change in her physical or mental status.

My mother has always been the hostess—she loves entertaining family and friends, but since she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she just gets frustrated. Can you help?

Residents are encouraged to invite family and friends to join them for a meal or a snack at any time for a nominal fee. We also have a private dining room, which may be reserved for special occasions. Our staff can handle all the preparation and service details, which will allow your mother to enjoy the event with her guests, without the work or the worry!

Dad never did any of the housekeeping and now he gets pretty ornery when he realizes his stuff is moved. How do you approach this?

Our housekeepers are trained to communicate with residents who have dementia – they understand that the resident may become anxious when their room is cleaned or things are moved. We try to put things back exactly as they were. For some residents, it works best if their apartment is cleaned while they are at lunch, taking a bath or involved in an activity outside their room. Because we recognize each resident as an individual, we know that sometimes we have to take several passes to get a room clean—taking care to clean the most needy areas first—and getting to the less critical areas at a later time.

When I was a little girl my grandma was so wonderful—now she thinks I’m my mom or my aunt. I just get so frustrated and sad. Would it be better if I didn’t come see her at all?

We know how frustrating it is to watch dementia take our loved ones from us. It is a horrendous condition. The dementia has erased a lot of the most recent memories of your grandmother. Every person with dementia is first of all a person—they are still the person they always were on the inside. It is still important for you to spend time with her, even if she doesn’t know the grown-up you! She may not be able to remember what happened this morning or yesterday or even the past few years because a person with dementia is often more present in their older memories. If you can accept these changes you will be able to find more joy and less frustration in your visits with grandma.

Try to talk with her and share with her things that she may recall more easily—events of your youth or even her youth, smells and tastes that she knew well, even pictures of her younger years may make for lively conversations.

You might want to look at a great book titled Creating Moments of Joy, by Jolene Brackey (©2007, Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, IN), which offers many practical yet simple suggestions for our interactions with persons with dementia.

I’m concerned my parents are not getting enough nutrition. Mom is easily distracted and doesn’t finish a meal and dad has become so picky I don’t know what he will eat from day to day. How can you ensure they eat enough to stay healthy?

You just described two of the most common mealtime challenges that people with dementia face. Many times they are just not able to stay focused to eat a whole meal, or the plate of food is too confusing so they just walk away. For others, they become very sensitive to textures and temperatures of food. Our staff is very practiced in the “try, try, try again” approach to helping our residents eat. We limit distractions during meals, provide additional staff support for those residents who lose their focus, offer “finger-friendly” food for those who may need to wander and truly just keep trying. It can be very challenging to satisfy the nutritional needs of persons with dementia, but our culinary and resident support staff make meals and snacks a priority.

I have so many questions. Do you have additional information I can review?

Moving a loved one to a specialized dementia care facility is a big decision. We know that you want to ensure your parent gets the quality care they need and deserve. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have about our home and the services that are available here for residents with dementia. Feel free to contact the administrator at the assisted living home of your choice. They will be happy to answer your questions and talk to you about any of your concerns.

We also encourage you to check out our Helpful Resources section for additional help.

My mom doesn’t know what the emergency cord is—what happens if she pulls it?

Our staff responds to all emergency cord signals. We know that residents with dementia are often not able to relate pulling the cord to calling a staff person. When we respond to dementia signals, we just shut off the signal and check on your loved one and their surrounding area to be sure everything is okay. From there, we follow protocol based on how your loved one is doing.

My dad has become very inactive, and is reluctant to interact with others. What do you have that will get him up and going again?

We offer a wide variety of activities. He may be interested in our Men’s Group, coffee group, regularly organized games, or our daily exercise program. Our staff is trained to work with dementia residents, and will encourage him to attend activities that interest him. Each assisted living home with specialized dementia care maintains their own activities calendar based on the interests of the residents; to view it online select the assisted living home of your choice and select the “Events” link.

Does Medicare cover the cost of the monthly fee?

Medicare does not cover the cost of dementia care.

What about health care insurance? Is there any help available to pay for it?

Health care insurance does not cover specialized dementia care or assisted living, but many long-term care insurance policies do and some plans can be purchased into your 80s.

If you are a veteran, or the spouse or dependent of a veteran, you may qualify for certain financial supports through the Veterans Benefits Administration at 800-827-1000.

Life Settlements offer a unique opportunity to supplement your resources through the sale of a life insurance policy that may no longer be needed.

In some cases, the MI Choice Waiver Program may be available if a person meets certain level of care, income and asset eligibility requirements.

Is dementia care tax deductible?

Under IRS guidelines, the entire cost of assisted living associated with dementia care may be deductible. Refer to IRS Form 502 for more information and be sure to check with your accountant, financial planner or attorney.