Did you know that about 3.4 million people, or 13.9 percent of the population age 71 and older, have some form of dementia? Most cognitive impairments, like memory loss and dementia, are progressive. This means that they almost certainly get worse over time and will require long-term care.
The good news is that dementia can be slowed down or paused for extended periods of time. This all depends on finding the right treatment plan for your loved one. A dementia care facility can help.
Choosing the right facility can be daunting, that’s where this guide comes in. These six questions will help you narrow down your options and ensure you’re making the right decision.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
1. What Are My Loved One’s Needs?
The first step to finding the right memory care facility is identifying what your loved one’s needs are. Do they need assistance with activities of daily living, such as eating or dressing? Do they have chronic health conditions that require regular injections or medications?
These questions will help you understand what the absolute necessities are and once you know what is essential for your loved one, you’ll be able to prioritize those qualities and keep them at the top of your checklist.
There’s a handful of questions you can start with, including:
- Does my loved one require 24-hour supervision?
- Does my loved one get lost, wander, or seek exits frequently?
- Does my loved one show difficult behaviors?
- Does my loved one need help using the restroom?
Once you begin to answer some essential questions, you’ll be on your way to narrowing down the facilities that can accommodate those needs.
2. How Experienced and Caring Is the Staff?
Dementia care is no easy task and as you look for dementia care facilities, you’ll want to look for a place that has a history of providing professional care. Finding out how the staff handles difficult dementia behaviors is a great way to assess if a community’s understanding of memory loss care is up to date.
As you speak to different facilities, see how providers help when someone with dementia is in distress and how difficult behaviors are prevented.
You’ll also want to assess staff experience by looking at the longevity of the staff working there. See how willing they are to get to know your loved one as a person, beyond their memory loss.
One simple way to discover more about the staff members’ involvement is to find out how well they know the people they care for. You can ask them about memory care vs assisted living, dementia techniques, and any training requirements you’re curious about.
3. What Amenities Are Available?
Finding the best dementia care facility shouldn’t be solely about a loved one’s survival, it should also be about finding a place where they can thrive. This is why you want to ask about what amenities are offered.
Different facilities offer a variety of amenities, from meals that cater to specific diets, to concierge services. Go back to your loved ones’ needs and interests to determine which amenities are the priority.
Ask about the different types of living accommodations, the number of meals provided each day, if there are fitness and wellness programs, and the type of activities available.
Moving to a new place can be frightening for senior citizens, especially if they are dealing with memory loss. Finding a facility that brings joy to their lives is important.
4. How Safe Is the Facility?
One of the biggest concerns for people searching for a memory care facility is safety. Many communities tend to incorporate a variety of safety technology so you can rest assured that your loved one is in good hands. Memory care safety features are particularly important to prevent wandering.
There are a variety of features available and it’s crucial to have a list of safety questions ready as you tour the community.
You’ll want to ensure that there is keypad entry, alarms on emergency exits, supervised care, emergency alert systems, and interior courtyards. You can also ask about the features in private rooms, such as automatic lights for bathrooms and handrails for stability.
5. How Are the Care Plans Created?
The main difference between memory care vs assisted living is that a dementia care facility offers person-centered care by understanding their resident’s past experiences, preferences, and care needs. Once the staff takes time to develop a relationship with seniors and their families, a personalized dementia care plan is created.
This care plan meets the resident’s unique needs and supports their well-being.
As you visit different communities, ask the staff how they create care plans and how they manage changes if the resident’s health declines. Generally, you’ll want a facility that assesses care plans every two or three months.
6. What Is the Total Cost of Memory Care?
It’s no secret that cost is a major consideration when selecting a memory care facility. There are a variety of factors that affect the total cost, including amenities, level of care provided, and location.
As you evaluate costs, be sure to ask how monthly fees are determined, the cost structure, and any additional fees you need to know about.
As you search for ‘memory care near me‘, you’ll have the right questions to guide you toward the best dementia care facility.
Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Dementia Care Facility
Once you’re able to answer these questions, you can look at your list of options and narrow down the ideal dementia care facility for your loved one. With that said, there’s no substitute for visiting in person or virtually so be sure to have a checklist as you evaluate the different choices in your area.
It can be challenging to help family or friends who are dealing with memory loss but it isn’t impossible. All you need is a little bit of research and it’ll make a huge difference.
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