Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, so if you are looking for the best treatment for a loved one that has been diagnosed with a memory illness then a dementia care facility that promotes quality of life is ideal. Non-medical treatments families should look out for include, cognitive stimulation coupled with round the clock specialised dementia care. Many family members feel guilty about the decision to move their loved one to a dementia care facility, however it has been proven that specialised memory care treatments like cognitive stimulation therapy really do make a difference to a person with dementia. Trying to replicate this at home in a home-care situation is often impossible or extremely challenging, and can cause a lot of strain on one person or family. 

Dementia care facilities that specialise in treatment for loved ones with dementia, such as Livewell, offer both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment for dementia and dementia-related side effects. Specialised dementia care is still largely underrepresented in South Africa, with Livewell being one of the very few dedicated facilities leading the way. 

Specialised dementia care for your loved one

There is a distinct lack of specialised dementia care facilities in South Africa, and partly due to the fact that most people do not realise how important they are in treating the disease. A dementia care facility needs to have uniquely trained staff that understand the disease and how to properly take care of the residents in their care – medically, emotionally and cognitively.

Both senior living homes and dementia care facilities cater to the needs of our senior loved ones, with the one difference that dementia care facilities focus specifically on dementia care in addition to elderly medical care, and or frail care. This includes, but not limited to catering to dementia patients dietary requirements (to help boost brain functions); providing mental stimulation as well as exercise and also providing companion care – a trusted person who is there for them every day (which may or may not be a nurse as well).

The best environment for someone with dementia is a specialised dementia care facility, with access to an expert team of neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, doctors, and individual dementia carers. Moreover, a person with dementia needs a person-centred, abilities-focused approach to their treatment to have the biggest impact on their wellbeing. Dementia care specialists are able to work on a person’s unique interests and build a tailored program of cognitive stimulation therapies and activities that take into account the stage of their disease. 

Cognitive Stimulation Activities

Studies suggest cognitive stimulation through memory care activities slows degeneration. Cognitive stimulation involves memory care activities that stimulate general thinking, concentration, and memory. People with mild to moderate dementia are most likely to benefit from this kind of treatment when coupled with the right medicine.

At Livewell, there is a range of over 30 memory care activities that include arts and crafts, sports and exercise, yoga, baking, musical experiences, drumming, gardening, croquet, bowling, woodwork and electrical, golf, and other games. All our programmes ensure a memory-care focused lifestyle by actively engaging with the individual needs of our residents and addressing their unique requirements. Loved ones are taken care of by highly trained staff that specialise in dementia and memory care and are available 24/7.   

Medication Management

Someone who has memory impairment or dementia will forget to take their medication regularly, and also run the risk of accidentally overdosing or underdosing, which can be extremely dangerous. Livewell offers medication management to ensure that your loved one gets the correct dose every day.

Making the decision to move your aging loved ones into a facility is not an easy one, and with so many options and so much information at your fingertips, it can be a difficult time. We understand what you are going through and have helped many families in the same position, which is why we have our family advisors available to walk this journey right alongside you. We hope that you reach out to us for more guidance, whether you would like to move your loved one in immediately or still need some more time to process your decision.