If you have an elderly loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you know how challenging memory loss can be. As the condition progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to cater to health needs at home. That’s why more and more families are turning to memory care homes. Of course, choosing a memory care home isn’t always easy. Not only do you need a home that provides health services, but you also want an environment where your loved one feels comfortable. At Catered Living at Ocean Pines, the best senior living community in Maryland, we employ a small home model that fosters a sense of community and puts residents at ease. Let’s take a closer look at what the small home model is and the unique benefits it brings. 

What Is the Small Home Model for Memory Care?

When you envision assisted living and memory care facilities, your mind may jump to large, institutional buildings where residents are treated like patients. The small home model deviates from this formula by creating a safe and secure environment that models a home more than an institution. Homes that follow this model typically have a small resident capacity, which helps foster a close-knit community where staff and residents get to know one another. Ultimately, they combine the professional health services found in large institutions with the cozy, personalized feel of at-home care. 

Senior woman and caregiver having a laugh concept image for personalized care.

What Are the Benefits of a Small Home Model?

Are you wondering whether the small home model is right for your loved one? Check out these top benefits. 

Higher Levels of Individualized Care 

In larger environments, it may be difficult for caregivers to connect with every resident. Small home models, on the other hand, give staff an opportunity to get to know residents beyond their health needs. For example, at Catered Living at Ocean Pines, we employ a high staff-to-resident ratio and a low resident capacity. This enables us to provide highly individualized care that meets the unique needs of every resident. 

As part of our health services, we offer round-the-clock care, medication technicians and a registered nurse. Residents can also take advantage of weekly house doctor visits, personal alarm systems and safety amenities (including shower benches and grab bars).  

More Personalized Atmosphere 

Another factor that makes small home models stand out is their personalized environments. These facilities are decorated to resemble actual homes — for example, at our communities, you’ll find private suites with kitchenettes, a dining room and communal living areas. As a result, residents feel as though they’re part of a community as opposed to a health care institution. 

Not only do small home models feel more like home, but they also give residents a chance to impart their own personality to the facility. In our homes, for instance, we encourage residents to decorate their suites to their liking. They’re also welcome to spend time in both the private rooms and communal areas, offering a nice balance between privacy and socialization. 

Personalized room at Catered living in Ocean Pines.

Stronger Connections 

A common issue for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s is social isolation. When patients are separated from friends and family, they’re more likely to experience negative symptoms, including wandering, hallucinations and aggression. While institutions can help prevent isolation, it’s harder for residents to form friendships in large environments.

Smaller memory care homes, on the other hand, help residents forge new connections by maintaining limited communities where they can see the same faces every day. At our homes, we combine small resident capacities with plenty of opportunities for socialization. In addition to spending time in communal areas, residents participate in daily activities, which include physical, emotional and intellectual programs. 

Reduced Behavioral Problems 

According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, small memory care homes can reduce behavioral problems among patients with dementia. This is due to two main reasons: the lack of crowds and the higher level of personalization. Smaller crowds are directly linked to lower levels of cognitive stress and depression, while more personalized environments increase comfort and decrease psychiatric symptoms. 

A smaller environment can also boost confidence, helping residents complete tasks they may otherwise feel nervous about. One example of this is using the bathroom — the study revealed that when bathrooms were highly accessible and less crowded, patients with dementia felt more comfortable using them. 

Improved Safety 

A big concern among families of patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia is safety. Because patients with memory loss often forget about their surroundings, they’re more prone to random wandering. Not only can wandering lead to getting lost, but it can also increase the chances of falling. Small home models help prevent this by providing cozier, navigable environments. It’s easier for residents to explore the entire home, which helps them get familiar with their surroundings. Not to mention, the distance between different rooms is generally short. 

At our homes, we supplement our small environments with advanced safety amenities. These include emergency alarms on all exits, maglocks on room doors and smoke detectors throughout the building. We also have residents participate in emergency drills. 

Senior couple dining together.

Where Can I Find a Small Home Model for My Loved One?

If you’re looking for an environment that provides medical care while replicating the comforts of home, the small home model fits the bill. From more personalized care to stronger social connections, there are many benefits to these smaller homes. For the best results, you should search for a home with a dedicated staff, like Catered Living at Ocean Pines.

We offer memory care in Worcester County, Maryland, just a stone’s throw away from Ocean City, Berlin and Newark. In our residence, you’ll find cozy rooms, small resident capacities and high staff-to-resident ratios. In addition to a small atmosphere, we provide the following amenities:

  • Free basic cable
  • Housekeeping and laundry 
  • Kitchenettes and oversized bathrooms 
  • Mobile labs and X-rays 
  • Therapy and group recreation 
  • Three nutritious meals a day 

You can trust us to deliver expert care, all while providing a personal touch that makes your loved one feel right at home. To learn more about our memory care home, feel free to contact us online or call us at (410) 208-1000