What to Look for in a Memory Care Community

Did you know nearly 8 million men and women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia each year? That’s right – your loved one is not alone. Finding the right memory care community for your loved one is essential. Memory care communities offer specialized services and settings that benefit your loved one, from empathetic staff and enjoyable amenities and activities to personalized care plans and secured units. Choosing a memory care community for your loved one can seem overwhelming, but the team at New Perspective has a variety of essential qualities we encourage you to consider when selecting the best environment for your loved one.

What Is Memory Care?

If your loved one is living with the cognitive challenges related to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, memory care is a unique form of skilled nursing care specializing in working with these individuals. Memory care communities offer around the clock medical treatment and personalized care plans based on their unique needs, so your loved one can have the best care possible. Placing your loved one in a memory care community will ensure they’re continually monitored and observed for the variety of unique behaviors those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can exhibit, such as:

  • Wandering
  • Incontinence
  • Repetitive speech or actions
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Sleeplessness/sundowning

Memory care communities are an excellent choice for your loved one as skilled staff can help manage the symptoms of the behaviors listed above. Your loved one will be comfortable, have the opportunity to participate in various enjoyable activities, and spend time with fellow residents doing the hobbies they love.

Each memory care community offers various remarkable services, from housekeeping and transportation to on-site dining, fitness, and nutrition. Your loved one will have 24-hour supervised care from licensed physicians, on-site nurses, and physical, speech, and occupational therapists. When choosing a memory care community for your loved one, there are many top qualities that you must consider so you can select the best location for your loved one.

Realistic Staff-to-Resident Ratio

Each caregiver should have a select number of residents to care for, and assessing the staff-to-resident ratio of the memory care communities you’re considering for your loved one is essential. You want your loved one to have access to high-quality care around the clock, so their individual needs can be met at any time. The caregiver providing care for your loved one should be familiar with caring for seniors with cognitive challenges related to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Each team member should also know the differences between the types of dementia and how each manifests in people. Below are a few qualities you should look for in the members of your loved one’s caregiving team:

  • Empathetic
  • Positive
  • Caring
  • Verbal/nonverbal communication proficient 
  • Friendly
  • Approachable

Personalized Care Plan

Both of you should feel comfortable with the memory care community that’s selected. Learning about each location’s approach to care is essential. A community that offers a personalized approach to care is vital because the caregiving team will learn about your loved one on a more personal level. Not only will your loved one’s physical and emotional needs be considered, but the staff will also make accommodations for any disabilities, so your loved one is always comfortable. Many memory care communities offer comprehensive therapy programs that exercise different skill sets like meditation, art therapy, and communication. New Perspective in particular offers physical therapy services at each community, and most communities have a therapy gym. These distinctive forms of therapy help improve your loved one’s moods, abilities, and more.

Enjoyable Amenities

Each of us has hobbies and activities we enjoy, and the memory care community you choose for your loved one must offer daily activities they’ll be fond of. Outstanding amenities and daily activities will help your loved one preserve their independence and dignity in this new environment. Take time to review the activity calendar of each memory care community you’re considering, as this will give you clarity on how the caregiving team promotes socialization and helping your loved one feel empowered each day. A full activity calendar will also keep your loved one busy each day and provide therapeutic benefits. Here at New Perspective, we offer a variety of enjoyable amenities for every resident living in our memory care communities, such as:

  • Non-intimidating living spaces
  • Medical monitoring
  • Chef-designed meals
  • Exercise programs
  • Assistance with daily living activities
  • Emergency call systems
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Social activities and programs
  • Secure courtyards

Unique Design Elements

You may experience your loved one becoming easily overwhelmed because of the numerous cognitive challenges related to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. You and your loved one need to know that this isn’t unusual. Because of this, many memory care communities are designed with unique features to help create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere for residents. Whether it’s a circular floor plan to help residents better navigate the hallways, 24/7 entrance security, or varying wall textures and coloring, assessing the aesthetics of each memory care community you’re considering is vital. Many design choices in memory care communities are specifically tailored to residents with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia as visual and spatial information is processed differently.

Community Emphasis

While finding a memory care community that caters to the hobbies and activities your loved one enjoys is essential, choosing a location that considers the many feelings and emotions of those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia is vital. Your loved one may be experiencing feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression, or even boredom. Many top memory care communities offer group activities and regular daily interactions to combat these feelings and engage residents. Assessing how the memory care communities you’re considering emphasize community is essential whether through daily communal games and events, field trips to visit local attractions, home-cooked group dining, or coordinated intergenerational programs. Group activities have a positive impact on your loved one’s mental well-being as they’re more likely to feel engaged, connected, and appreciated in their new environment.

Tour New Perspective’s Memory Care Communities Today

Choosing the best memory care community for your loved one should be a thorough, considerate process as you want them to have a space they enjoy each day. Taking time to understand how different communities administer care, engage residents, and provide security are just a few qualities to consider when selecting your loved one’s new home. We encourage you to bring family members to each tour, so you can gather as much information as possible about the communities you’re considering.