It takes dedication and compassion to take care of your family members, but when your loved one suffers from a more serious memory condition such as Alzheimer’s, another form of dementia, or memory loss, it can be overwhelming to navigate the various options for care.
One in 9 people over 65 has a memory loss problem, and this number is expected to rise. The demand for special memory care is higher than ever before. It’s, therefore, important to know what to look for when choosing the right community to care for your loved one and make sure they receive the best care possible.
What Is Memory Care?
Memory care is a specialized round-the-clock care for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease or other progressive-degenerative dementia illnesses. Seniors who need high-level support that is given in assisted living, or who have advanced dementia are best fit for a memory care community.
While nursing homes have 24/7 skilled nursing care, memory care communities are a secure environment specially designed to offer protection against self harm. These communities also offer different social and recreational activities to help residents be engaged and stimulated.
What Services Do Memory Care Facilities Offer?
Memory care communities offer several services including:
- 24/7 supervision and care
- Individualized care plans
- Daily group and personal therapeutic recreational plans
- In-house medication management, such as medical alert systems
- Three daily nutritious meals
- Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as housekeeping chores and personal laundry
- Social and recreational programs
- Transportation to appointments, social events, and other outings
- Semi-private or private accommodation
What to Look for in Memory Care Communities
Below are a few factors you should consider when choosing the right memory care community for your loved one.
Staff Qualifications and Training
The staff members in these facilities should be specifically trained to care for people with memory impairments, such as Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related diseases. They have a deeper understanding of the unique challenges and needs of seniors with cognitive impairments. They also have the skills and knowledge needed to provide the highest quality and support.
Ask about the qualifications of the staff members when evaluating the facilities. Look for a facility that has a team of licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants, and other experienced professionals. It’s also crucial to inquire about the ongoing training and professional development opportunities for the staff members. Since memory care is a rapidly evolving field, it’s necessary that caregivers stay up-to-date with the latest approaches.
Type of Living Quarters
Most memory care facilities offer semi-private rooms shared by two residents. These rooms have two beds, two dressers, and two closets, separated by a divider. Semi-private rooms are a good choice for residents who love socializing and want to have a roommate to bond with.
In addition to the semi-private rooms, some facilities offer private rooms. These are more spacious and offer more privacy to residents who would prefer to have their own space. They include a bathroom, bed, dresser, and closet. When evaluating a facility, consider your loved one’s unique preferences to decide the best living quarter.
Safety and Security
Specific aspects to look for to ensure your loved one is protected are:
- Secured entrances
- Alarms on doors and windows
- Safe outdoor areas
- Emergency procedure, such as fire emergency exits and medical
- Staff-to-resident ratio for close supervision
A safe and secure environment is necessary for residents who may be at risk of wandering and getting lost.
Medical Emergencies Procedure
In any senior facility, medical emergencies can be stressful and uncertain. It is important to have a clear understanding of the medical emergency procedures in place at the facility. The medical emergency plan should have a detailed protocol of handling emergencies, supplies available on-site, and how to contact emergency medical services. These should be well-documented and communicated with all staff members, residents, and families.
The facility should also train medical personnel, such as nurses or EMTs, who are readily available to respond to emergencies as required. If a medical emergency arises, the staff at the facility should be well-prepared to respond quickly. It may involve calling service providers, administering CPR or first aid,and other life-saving procedures. It’s vital for families to understand their role should an emergency occur. You should provide the facility with your contact information and any medical history or current medications.
Care Services and Amenities
Memory care facilities offer specialized care and assistance to people suffering from memory issues such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. They often provide a variety of care amenities and services that are customized for the specific requirements of their residents.
These services include ADL support, medication management, social and recreational activities, meals, cleaning, laundry services, and transportation. Meals are often served in a common dining room and can be adjusted to individual residents’ dietary needs and preferences. Housekeeping and laundry services assist to keep the living environment clean and comfortable, while transportation services can help residents travel to appointments, social events, and other trips.
A high-quality memory care home should be known for offering individualized and compassionate care that corresponds to the specific requirements of its residents. To assess the level of care given, read reviews and speak with other families who have dealt with the community.
The community’s track record for quality of care, such as regulatory compliance and any recorded cases of abuse or neglect, must be evaluated. Finally, find out if the community has earned any awards or accolades for its high level of care. You can make an informed selection and choose a community that will provide the best degree of care and support for your loved one by examining a memory care community’s reputation for quality of care.
Safety and security, staff training and qualifications, customized care, facilities and activities, and quality of care are the most critical considerations when selecting a memory care center for a loved one. It is critical to visit the communities in person, read reviews, and chat with other families to get a feel of the culture, ambiance, and quality of care.
If you live in the Everett, WA region, you might want to look at Memory Care Everett WA as memory care communities. These communities offer specialized care and assistance to people with memory problems, with an emphasis on customized care, safety, and engagement.