For seniors suffering from dementia, memory care can provide a nurturing, supportive environment with a high level of personal care. Memory care communities typically offer a number of specialized features to reduce residents’ anxiety and risk of wandering.
In memory care, compassionate staff members may be able to help your loved one maintain independence for as long as possible. If you’re considering memory care, what questions should you ask to be sure that the community you choose is the right fit for your family member?
What Services Do You Offer?
Typical services in memory care communities include:
- Activities and social opportunities
- Access to medical care
- Nutritious meals
- Security features and 24-hour staffing
- Laundry and housekeeping
Some services may be included in a standard monthly rate while others may require additional fees.
What Is the Approach to Clinical Care and Staff Training?
It’s important to understand the community’s care model and how staff members are trained. What type of training is provided, and how many hours must team members have? Does the community meet minimum regulatory requirements, or does it adhere to a broader scope of training? Is additional training required on an ongoing basis?
You’ll also want to inquire about the number of caregivers on duty during the day and at night. Is a nurse present in the community 24 hours a day?
How Do You Provide Personalized Care and Programming?
A reputable memory care community will provide services tailored to the specific needs and abilities of the residents. To determine the type and level of care required, community representatives will want to know some specifics about your loved one, including degree of mobility, tendencies to wander, any medical conditions and any need for assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing and bathing.
Be sure to ask what the community’s memory care philosophy is and how that philosophy informs programming and activities. Activity programming breadth and depth can vary greatly as well as how well it is tailored to the various stages of the disease process.
Does the community offer secure neighborhoods with regular monitoring? How does the community provide the best possible quality of life for residents with dementia throughout the early, middle and late stages of the disease process?
How Will You Keep Me Updated?
Ask how often the community will provide you with regular updates on the well-being of your loved one. Can you choose how you’re contacted — for instance, via text message rather than getting a phone call? In addition, be sure you understand the community’s policies for seeking treatment for your loved one — and notifying you — should a medical emergency occur.
Understanding the community’s policy on visiting your loved one also is important. Is visiting limited to certain hours? Do visitors need to be registered with the community?
By asking the right questions, you can ensure that the memory care community you select provides a supportive environment for your loved one’s continued health and happiness.