The care for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other memory-related deficiencies in senior living communities is on the rise. When looking for a care community for your family member, it's essential to find a community that is passionate about the well-being of its residents, well versed in the different care programs and medications, and the willingness to personalize the care they provide to each individual.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of choices in your area, what’s covered by your family member's insurance, or even where to start when you are touring communities. Here are a few questions you can ask your memory care community when looking for the perfect place for your family member to call home.
How do you personalize care plans to fit a resident’s needs?
The brain is a complex organ, and it makes each different from the rest, which means that not every memory care plan is going to work on every resident. It is best to ask your care community what kind of program works best for your loved one, whether they have religious or medical requirements that will best suit their needs, and how flexible the staff are to treatments, and how knowledgeable they are to alternative practices that may be the best suited for them.
What is the protocol for when residents become agitated or confused?
Memory care is sometimes overwhelming to residents, and it may be difficult to know what may upset or confuse a resident should a care session go awry. It would be helpful to ask what steps the staff will take to ensure their resident’s well-being to keep community members safe and cared for well. During this visit, it would also be a great time to ask about specific circumstances that may upset your family member and see if they have ever experienced this type of behavior before.
How do you involve family members in the care process?
One of the best things about memory care is having someone available that is familiar to the resident. Ask your care community how you can involve yourself in the care plan, will they offer you to attend sessions, ask you to visit during certain times of the day, and how will they contact you in the event of an emergency. A good community will be warm and welcome to you being along for every step of the way to ensure your loved one’s response to the care.
What are the safety protocols for the community?
Over 70% of residents enrolled in memory care are also participating in other senior living services. You’ll want to know how the staff to resident ratio is, the hours of care your family member can expect, and if they can also provide for their other needs. Notice as you take your tour if there are security cameras in place, secure railings in hallways, and functioning locks on doors. You can even ask about how they store medication and distribute it. It is important to note that there are never too many questions when caring for to your family member's needs.
What makes your program stand out above the rest?
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of communities in your area or price bracket, and after visiting so many, they might all start to look the same. Ask the staff what they think makes their community the best one for your family member, see what they believe to be their best characteristics and if they sound excited about answering your question. The communities that show passion for their work and provide exciting opportunities for their residents will be able to stand out in your mind, and make the decision making in the future much more comfortable.
Memory disabilities are common within the senior population every day, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. A good memory care community is going to be enthusiastic and open to answering any of your questions and will provide you with a sense of security knowing that your family member is well cared for.
Learn more about our memory care communities and if they are right for you and your family here.