A family member’s diagnosis with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is a considerable challenge to their loved ones. Caring for a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease at home can be challenging, hence a need for memory care. Memory care refers to a type of senior living providing specialized and intensive care for individuals with memory issues. Most nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have special memory care departments to cater for these patients. There are also stand-alone memory care facilities. The quality of memory care units and regulations vary from one state to another. Therefore, it is essential to visit a facility and ask any questions before deciding whether it is the best for your loved ones.
Memory care is different from other facilities because workers provide help, meals, and personal care to dementia or Alzheimer’s patients. However, the employees have special training in dealing with unique problems arising from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Memory care is better than other facilities because the workers regularly check on the patient’s offering extra support and structure to navigate their time efficiently. It is different from regular assisted living because the residents must manage their menus time and mealtimes without staff checking on them. Such a plan cannot work for dementia or Alzheimer’s patients and the need for memory care.
While choosing the best memory care facility for your loved one, it is advisable to do intensive research. The data can be found on Alzheimer’s Association community and other senior care services online directories. You will be required to include your zip code to get all information regarding whether a facility offers memory care. After narrowing down your preferred choices, it is recommendable to visit each one of them severally. You should consider doing unannounced visits during evenings when staffing is lower.
Some of the factors to consider include the physical environment and layout. The facility that you choose should be pleasant and clean. Additionally, they should have circular hallways to avoid frustrating residences by dead ends. The doors and rooms should also be labeled with pictures and words to enable residents to find their way easily. Observe whether the residents look happy or sad. Another factor is staffing. You should first find out the type of dementia or Alzheimer’s specific training given to the employees. Similarly, find out if a nurse is within the building and if residents’ needs are promptly met.
Lastly, check on food and activities. The preferred facility should offer activities that keep the residents engaged. Also, find out the techniques used by staff to encourage residents to take their meals. Also, observe whether the staff knows residents personally and the extent to which they engage them during these activities.