6 Elements to Consider When Seeking the Best Memory Care Program for Your Loved One
October 12, 2020
When looking for a memory care community that meets the needs of your loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, or maybe experiencing memory loss, the best possible place for them to be is in a community where they will have the proper support and care necessary to maintain a high quality of life even as their cognitive issues progress.
Research has shown that residents in memory care communities experience a multitude of benefits. They generally take less medication, have a reduced risk of falls and injuries, have improved wellness and nutrition, enjoy more independence and socialization, and visit the hospital less often.
Here are six important elements to consider when searching for the right memory care community and program for your loved one:
It’s important to ask yourself whether the team at the community you’re evaluating appears to be knowledgeable and caring. Find out their level of training and experience and whether any team members are certified dementia care managers. Another important factor to consider is the staff-to-resident ratio, both during the day and at night.
Six out of 10 Alzheimer’s patients have the tendency to wander, so it’s a good idea to find out if the memory care community you’re considering has safeguards against residents getting lost or leaving the premises. Some of these safety precautions may include 24-hour staff supervision, frequent safety checks, emergency alert systems, alarmed doors and windows, wander prevention technology, enclosed courtyards and more.
Consider how often the community updates families about the resident’s well-being. To this end, the Lodge at Grand Junction uses the Serenity Engage app, a senior care communication tool that is both compliant with federal health privacy laws (HIPAA) and offers instantaneous back and forth messaging in real-time. This allows families and the community staff to communicate as needed about a resident’s care.
Think about what level of care your loved one needs, from basic services like meal prep and laundry to specialized medical care and assistance with daily activities. Find out the standard procedures for medical emergencies, especially if your loved one has underlying conditions. You may also want to ask what kinds of therapies the facility offers, such as pet, music, reminiscence, light, art, or another type of specialized therapy.
Levels of Care
Other important information to gather is whether the Wellness Director and memory care team develops an individual care plan for residents upon moving in, and how residents are engaged by team members with verbal queues and prompting. If necessary, ask whether the community can care for residents who exhibit disruptive behavior. If your loved one is not quite ready for memory care, you can also ask whether they have an assisted living to Alzheimer’s care bridge program for early-stage residents.
Finally, determine what the living arrangements are in the community you are considering: are there memory care neighborhoods? Are the apartments arranged around shared common areas like a living room or activities space? Some communities offer special memory care dining programs or outdoor walking paths for residents prone to wandering. Other amenities you might want to check for include concierge services and fitness or wellness programs.
Before deciding, determine your loved one’s personal needs and then evaluate the memory care program and community as much as possible: take a tour, read reviews online, talk to residents and staff, and, most importantly, ask questions!
The Lodge at Grand Junction Senior Living in Grand Junction, Colorado, offers assisted living and memory care options. To learn more about our offerings, call (970) 716-6092 or schedule your tour