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A prioritized list of questions to ask memory care facilities while you look for a community for your loved one. Today’s memory care homes are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. When evaluating memory care communities, you’ll want to ensure that your loved one’s needs are met, that their care is compassionate and that their new caregivers are Alzheimer’s and dementia specialists.
If you have been a caretaker, surrendering that job may be difficult, but it will be beneficial for both you and your loved one. While there are numerous communities in your neighborhood, they are all quite distinct. As you begin your evaluation and due diligence, you’re likely to wonder what questions to ask memory care facilities to verify they match your criteria. We’ve developed a comprehensive list of questions to ask during first phone calls and community tours organized by category to aid you in your search for a memory care home.
Concerns About Memory Care Services
Choosing a memory care center that will provide expert, empathetic care for your loved one is critical. Memory care homes offer therapy programs to help those with memory impairment, wandering, and other behavioral concerns. The community should provide high-quality care to residents, meeting them cognitively where they are and ensuring that their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and medical needs are met. You can contact a memory care facility for your loved ones.
When searching for a memory care center, affordability and cost are the most frequently asked questions. The sorts of services required by your loved one, the level of care needed, and the size of the community all affect pricing. Always conduct thorough due diligence regarding hidden charges; while some communities may claim to be “all-inclusive,” the word varies per community. “All-inclusive” may refer to the fact that utilities are included, but it may also refer to the fact that lodging, meals, and care services are included; make an informed choice and be sure to inquire.
Questions of a General Nature
Never hesitate to inquire about different topics such as residences, security, comfort, seasonality, home upkeep, and state inspections. A knowledgeable senior living specialist will accommodate all of these preferences and aid you in locating a community that is a good fit for your loved one’s needs.
Do you have after-hours security on-site? Is the neighborhood gated?
- Are pets permitted?
- What happens if the weather is inclement? (Hurricanes, forest fires, and blizzards, to name a few)
- What amenities are available to residents?
- Does a maintenance crew staff you?
- Are you able to provide housekeeping and laundry services?
- Is your flat furnished when you move in?
- Are you able to give a floor plan of the available apartments?
- Can the apartments be customized?
- Do you own more locations/properties for your business?
Are you a spa/salon?
While there are numerous additional questions you may ask a memory care facility in addition to those on this list, this is a comprehensive checklist to get you started. While touring communities, do not hesitate to ask questions; this will be your loved ones’ home, and you want them to feel at ease. Speak with current residents/families to learn about their experiences with the community and invite your loved one to join you for a meal to get a feel for the neighborhood. Visual inspections of the community’s furnishings, floors/baseboards, and ceilings provide insight into the community’s hygiene, cleanliness, and attention to detail. When making this decision, trust your gut and don’t be scared to walk away if something feels wrong. If you’ve made it this far, you’re well on your way to making an informed and rational decision for your loved one.
How to Evaluate a Memory Care Facility
Moving into a memory care center isn’t taken lightly. Find a haven for your loved one. Because memory care facilities vary, you must choose the one that best suits your needs. Consider these factors while selecting the most acceptable memory care program for your needs. What to ask memory care facility?
What Services and Care Does the Home Provide?
People in the early or moderate stages of dementia may not require full-time care. Instead, they may require a haven where they can obtain help if they need it. Memory care residents may be able to dress and tidy up independently but may need assistance with time management, such as remembering when lunch is due. An adaptive memory care program is vital to find.
Staff should aid residents while allowing them to be as self-sufficient as possible. Because residents’ needs change daily, staff must assist them as needed without compromising their autonomy. A memory care facility’s employees must prevent wandering. Closed doors and other amenities are essential to keep inhabitants safe.
What Special Needs Can It Meet?
However, some people have unique requirements, such as regular blood pressure monitoring or a special diet. Everyone involved in their care prioritizes these needs. When contacting memory care programs, ask if they experience various issues. Gout, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis are examples. The more experience the program and its personnel have, the better.
Dietary restrictions are another factor. Vegans and low-sodium dieters shouldn’t be forced to consume dishes they dislike. Examine the memory care facility’s nutritional policies.
What is the Patient-to-Staff Ratio?
While you are unlikely to find a memory care program that provides 24/7 care, look for one with a low patient-to-staff ratio. Fewer residents per staff member mean more individualized care. The low employee-to-resident ratio allows workers to know residents and learn how best to support them.
Some facilities will solely focus on the best ratio. Ask about the balance during the day, night, weekends, and holidays. Weekdays have the best ratio. Consider whether the employees are awake. Some institutions have on-call caretakers who sleep at the facility at night. Memory care professionals must be sharp and ready to assist residents at night.
What Activities Does the Home Offer?
Home activities can keep people interested. Mental, cognitive, and physical skills can improve. It’s essential to find a program that your loved one will appreciate. Smaller memory care homes will cater to their current residents.
What Are the Family and Friends Policies?
Memory care residents crave familiarity. So, find out how family and friend visits are handled. Some facilities allow family members to visit their loved ones 24/7. Friendship policies may differ.
How Medical Needs Are Met
Memory care patients need medical attention. Find out how these are met. Most memory care centers provide transportation to medical appointments.