If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, they’re not alone. Finding the right memory care community for your loved one is essential, and that takes knowing what to expect from a memory care facility and how to choose the right one for your loved one.
Learning how to evaluate a memory care facility and what to look for can seem overwhelming. Our team at New Perspective has put together this list of qualities we think are essential to consider when choosing the best place for your loved one who needs memory.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to find a good memory care facility.
What is Memory Care?
Memory care communities offer specialized services and settings that will benefit your loved one from empathetic staff and enjoyable amenities and activities to personalized care plans and secured units.
If your loved one is living with cognitive challenges related to Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, memory care is a unique form of specialized housing that particularly serves these individuals. Memory care communities offer around-the-clock medical treatment and personalized care plans based on each person’s unique needs.
Placing your older adult in memory care can ensure they’re continually monitored and observed for a variety of behaviors common for those living with these cognitive challenges. These may include:
- Repetitive speech or actions
As you learn what to expect from a memory care facility, rest assured that these communities are an excellent choice for your loved one since skilled staff can help manage these symptoms and behaviors. Your loved one will be comfortable, have the opportunity to participate in various enjoyable activities, and spend time with fellow residents.
What to Expect From a Memory Care Facility
Knowing what to look for in a memory care community can help in picking the right place for your loved one. Each community offers various services and care options. When choosing a memory care community, there are certain top qualities you should consider to make sure you’re making the best choice.
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 memory-related cognitive challenges. Below are a few qualities you should look for in the members of a care team:
- Positive attitude
Personalized Care Plan
Both you and your loved one should feel comfortable with the memory care community selected. A community that offers a personalized approach to care can be vital in this comfortability, since the care team will learn about your loved one on a personal and individualized level.
Your loved one’s physical and emotional needs will be considered, and the staff will also make accommodations for any disabilities. Many memory care communities offer comprehensive therapy programs that exercise different skill sets like meditation, art therapy, and communication.
New Perspective in particular offers third-party physical therapy services at each of our communities.
These distinctive forms of therapy can help improve your loved one’s moods, abilities, and more.
Each of us has hobbies and activities we enjoy, and the memory care community you choose should support similar activities that your loved one is fond of. Outstanding amenities and daily activities can help your loved one preserve their independence and dignity in this new environment.
Review the activity calendars of the communities you’re considering since they’ll give you a good idea of how the team promotes socialization. A full activity calendar will also help keep your loved one busy and could provide therapeutic benefits. We offer a variety of enjoyable amenities at our New Perspective communities for every resident, including:
- Non-intimidating living spaces
- Chef-designed meals
- Exercise programs
- Assistance with activities of daily living
- Emergency call systems
- Housekeeping and laundry service
- Social activities and programs
- Secure courtyards
Unique Design Elements
Your loved one may become easily overwhelmed due to their cognitive challenges, but it’s important for both of you to know that this isn’t unusual.
Many memory care communities are therefore designed with unique features to help create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere for residents since those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia tend to process visual and spatial information differently. Whether it’s a circular floor plan to help residents better navigate hallways, 24/7 entrance security, or varying wall textures and coloring, assessing these aesthetics is an important step of choosing a memory care community.
While it’s important to find a memory care community that caters to hobbies and activities your loved one enjoys, choosing a location that considers the many feelings, emotions, and experiences of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia is essential.
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 communities you’re considering emphasize community is a crucial part of making this decision. See if they have daily communal games or 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 since they can help them feel more engaged, connected, and appreciated.
Questions to Ask the Team at a Memory Care Community
The best way to evaluate a memory care community is by asking all your questions. You should feel comfortable enough at a community to ask them anything that relates to your loved one’s care. If you’re wondering how to find a good memory care facility, here are three questions you can start with.
1. What are the specific amenities and services?
Amenities and services can vary widely between communities. You should always feel free to ask what services your loved one will have access to and how they can help enrich your loved one’s life. Some facilities may cater to special diets, for example, while others might not. Make sure to ask specifically about any and all of your loved one’s unique needs and preferences.
2. Are there any security measures?
When it comes to residents dealing with cognitive challenges, safety and security should be a top priority. Memory care facilities should have the right features and technology to keep your loved one safe regardless of their cognitive abilities. These features should help prevent dangerous reactions, accidents, and injuries. Things like motion sensors, handrails, emergency call buttons, and auto lighting are helpful security measures for a community to have.
3. Is the staff specifically trained to work with patients like your loved one?
Patients dealing with cognitive challenges need specialized care, and your chosen memory care community should be equipped with a team of trained, kind, compassionate, effective, and knowledgeable people who can help. Ask questions about how the community handles specific behaviors such as aggression, resisting care, or other common, difficult behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Tour New Perspective’s Memory Care Communities Today
Choosing the best memory care community for your loved one should be a thorough, considerate process. Taking time to understand how different communities administer care, engage residents, and provide security are a few essential qualities to consider when selecting your loved one’s new home. We encourage you to bring family members for a tour so you can gather the information you need to make the right decision. Reach out to us today if you have any questions.