Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients live in a world fraught with fear, confusion, grief, and memory loss. Their loved ones or caregivers also have the difficult task of caring for them while the disease progresses.
There can come a time when a diagnosis or worsening of symptoms requires considering a memory care facility. Senior living communities that provide memory care support offer a safe and comfortable environment with an individualized approach for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
Once you’ve decided to transition to a memory care facility, the next step is choosing the right one for you or a loved one. This article will provide many questions you need to ask when searching for a memory care facility.
Why Do People Need Memory Care Support?
Memory loss affects each person with dementia differently according to the stage and severity of the disease. Some people may have mild memory loss and still live independently, while others may need 24-hour care to stay safe.
The main reasons why someone with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s disease may need memory care support can include the following:
- A decline in physical health: With disease progression, there is the inability to independently carry out activities of daily living due to mobility issues.
- Lack of mental capacity: When they cannot take care of themselves or refuse care.
- Memory loss: Forgetting to take their medications, pay bills, or complete familiar tasks.
- Behavioral changes: They may become confused, agitated, irritable, or have other behavioral issues, perhaps due to the disease process, and a family member or caregiver can’t cope because they’re untrained to handle such situations.
- Wandering and falls: They may be at a higher risk of wandering into unsafe places where they can get lost or hurt. When they forget where they are, they can put their physical safety at risk.
- Isolation: Social isolation can increase their risk of anxiety and depression.
- Caregiver burnout: Caring for a loved one with dementia is challenging, taxing, and stressful, particularly when the disease worsens and needs increase. It can affect the quality of life for both parties involved.
Questions to Consider When Choosing a Memory Care Facility
Ask the following questions to get a better idea of what daily life may be like and what level of care is available for a loved one with dementia. An honest and detailed response from the facility will help you decide if it is the right place for them.
- What level of care does memory support offer?
- What special training do the staff have?
- Do you offer 24/7 care for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients?
- How much does memory support cost? Is it all-inclusive, or are there additional costs for services?
- What amenities do they have? Do they have outdoor and indoor recreational areas or on or off-site activities?
- What kind of living arrangements do you offer? Do you have private and semi-private rooms? Can couples with varying care and cognitive needs live together?
- What are the policies for medical emergencies?
- What is your visiting policy for family members?
- Do safety measures do you have in place?
- Do you accommodate special dietary restrictions? For example, gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegetarian?
- Are housekeeping and laundry services provided?
- What specific programs does the facility offer? For example, exercise, physical therapy, or social?
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio in your memory care facility during the day and at night?
- Are there channels of communication for families with loved ones in memory care?
- Are medical services and doctor’s visits included in memory care?
- Does the memory care facility offer virtual or in-person tours to learn more about their community?
Services at memory care facilities can include:
- Support with activities of daily living example, eating, dressing, moving, and hygiene
- Assistance with medication
- Safe, secure spaces and environments
- 24/7 onsite care
- Physician consultations and appointments
- Safety checks with emergency alert systems
- Chef-prepared meals and daily snacks
- Daily activities and exercises
The Club at Mattison
Finding a memory care community for yourself or a loved one is a big decision. You want to ensure the memory care facility can provide care with understanding, kindness, compassion, and the appropriate training.
The questions above can help determine if the facility meets your expectations. If you need more information, contact Mattison Crossing to schedule a tour.