Many families like yours are struggling with an Alzheimer’s, dementia, or a memory related diagnosis. When combined with the health issues of aging parents, it may be hard to meet everyone’s medical and care needs.
You may be busy with work, your own health issues or may not feel confident in your ability to provide care. You may not even live close enough to your parents to provide the care they need.
In such cases, a memory care community might be just what you need. A memory care community is an assisted living community that provides dementia care services. They help maintain the quality of life of your senior loved one as they progress through the disease.
You have to consider many factors when deciding on a dementia care services or memory care facility. It depends on what dementia care services the facility offers. Is there personal care, 24/7 security, and recreational opportunities? Do your research online and in person by visiting the dementia care services facility.
But before you choose the facility that offers the most of what you want, how do you know it’s the right place? Here are four things to consider when about the dementia care services facility.
#1 Facility’s Licensing and State Survey Results
Memory care services are usually part of an assisted living community. What’s great about assisted living communities is that they are licensed! Each state outlines the regulations that assisted living communities must follow. This provides a safe place for your senior loved one.
Visit your state’s Department of Health or Aging website to learn more. Assisted living community rules are usually outlined on their website. Some websites even include an area for reviews or the state survey. Read them and see if the community’s brochure lives up to their promises.
If there are no reviews online, ask the dementia care services community to look at a copy of the state survey. The survey will show you the reviews collected by the state. Many communities keep them on hand.
#2 Visit Dementia Care Services in Person – MANY times.
Survey results will show you how people felt about the facility in the past. In person visits can show you what the facility is like now. But visiting many times is ideal. Why?
To assess how the staff handles the differing needs that arise over the course of a typical day.
Pay attention to staff and residents interactions when things are busy like at meals, at waking and before bed. Are staff respectful and kind to residents even during stressful situations? Do the staff have positive relationships with the residents? Are the staff ratios adequate for the demands of your senior loved one? What happens when a resident doesn’t cooperate with the staff?
Bringing a list of questions never hurts. Some good ideas include:
● What is the ratio of staff to residents? Sometimes this is hard to tell during visits with staff busy seeing to residents’ needs.
● What is the staff turnover? It’s hard to keep a consistent level of care if staff are often leaving due to burnout. Hiring and training new employees takes time.
● What types of work and life experience do staff need to get hired?
● What kind of training do staff receive and how often is it updated? Do they receive training specific to working with dementia patients?
● What accommodations does the dining hall make for specific dietary needs? How would they prepare and serve food for your loved one with allergies?
● How does the facility meet the unique needs of people with dementia? Though inside an assisted living community, other residents may not need as much care as a dementia patient. How are these unique needs met within the whole community?
#3 What are the Safety Protocols and other Security Systems
The safety of your loved one with dementia is likely very high on your list of concerns. Many families find that ensuring the safety of the aging parent to be the hardest need to fulfill at home. So you’re not alone when it comes to considering dementia care services for this need!
The dementia care services facility should have built the facility with safety in mind. Are there smoke detectors? Fire suppression systems in the common areas and rooms? Does the security systems keep residents from leaving without making them feel trapped? Are there handrails in hallways, on stairs and in bathrooms to minimize the risk of falling?
#4 Recreational Opportunities for Dementia Patients
The quality of life for your aging parent is a vital part of choosing a dementia care services facility. A diagnosis of dementia doesn’t have to mean a life devoid of fun and meaning.
The right care facility will have recreational and enrichment opportunities for your loved one. By engaging in creative or exciting activities, your senior loved one can continue to live a great life. They can continue to feel independent to retain their dignity and self-esteem.
Look through or ask for a calendar of activities specifically for dementia patients. Go sit in the recreational spaces and observe. If possible, visit with current patients while they engage in activities.
Dementia Care Services at Emerson House
If you or a loved one need dementia care services in Boise, Idaho come and see us! Schedule a tour so that we can tell you more about us and show you our amazing, modern facility. Call or contact us now!