When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or another age related memory loss issue, it can be a long and exhausting process to find the right facility for the respite care, or full time care, that your loved one needs. Having a loved one go through this process can be very difficult, and it can be especially hard to know where to turn. To help, we have compiled a list of the things to look for in a memory care facility, to make looking around for a place to help care for you or your aging relatives a little bit easier.
In-home Care, Respite Care or 24-Hour Care for Dementia and Alzheimer’s?
First, you will need to decide what kind of care your loved one needs at this time. In the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, it may be safe enough for the patient to stay in their own home, but as the diseases progress, there is a loss of ability to care for themselves, and the strain may become too much for a relative as a caregiver. In the beginning stages, you may simply be looking for day care, or respite care, which is care for a day, or a few days, as you need it, to give the primary caregiver a respite.
In the more advanced stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, staying at home can often become a hazard. 24-hour care is needed to make sure that your loved one is safe at all times, and it can be very costly to hire in-home help. A specialized memory care facility can provide the 24-hour care your loved one needs, while allowing them to still live a rich and full life. This type of care is usually offered in a separate wing or floor in a long term care facility, with specialized staff dedicated to treating memory loss patients.
Questions to help determine when to go to memory care:
- Is your loved one safe at home, or are they becoming a danger to themselves or others?
- Do they wander off, or try to leave the house regularly?
- Are you, as a caregiver, capable of handling their physical needs?
- Are you becoming an irritable, stressed, or impatient caregiver?
- Are they becoming aggressive, or is their behavior changing drastically?
If you’re looking for respite care, you may not need to go as in-depth as you would looking into full-time placement, but there are still certain questions you’ll want to ask the facility before you turn over the care of your loved one. Take a tour of the facility before you sign any paperwork, to make sure that what they say on paper really adds up to what they do in person.
Questions to ask on your first tour of a Memory Care Facility:
There are a lot of questions that you’ll want to ask, but there are some that will be true for every facility you visit.
- What level of care does the facility provide? If there are multiple levels, you may want to ask about each level, so that your loved one can start in the right place for them.
- What type of training does the staff of the facility have?
- What level of personal assistance can the resident expect to receive?
- What programs (exercise, physical therapy, social activities, etc.) does the facility provide?
- How is the community secured?
- What is the cost of care?
- What is the discharge policy?
- What is the staff to resident ratio?
- Is there an RN on staff? Are they available on call?
These questions will help you to get a better sense of the care facility. You should do your online research, of course, but the best way to get a sense of the facility is to visit it personally. Make an appointment to be shown around the whole facility, and make sure to ask questions about your loved one’s needs. You don’t want to find a great facility that seems to be perfect, when in reality your loved one needs a higher level of care than the facility can offer.
Look for a Safe Environment for People with Memory Loss
Landmark Memory Care provides a safe environment for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. The facility is designed to keep your loved one safe, while providing a full and engaging day to keep them happy and healthy. Landmark is unique in that as a smaller facility, we get to know your loved one personally, our staff to resident ratio is 1:6, and we have two RN’s on staff who are on call 24/7. We are a family with a passion for Memory Care, so your family becomes part of our extended family.
What to look for in an age related memory loss care facility:
- Well trained staff, with the ability to meet the varying needs of residents, so that your loved one will get the treatment they need at every level.
- Secured grounds – you don’t want any chance of your loved one hurting themselves by getting out of the facility.
- Community – having a real sense of community and togetherness can be very helpful to those going through dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Structure – most memory care patients do best with a more structured approach to their day, such as having meals at the same time every day, and classes or physical therapy on a schedule.
Landmark Memory Care provides not just a home but a family for your family to rely on. To learn more about day care, respite care and other options for your loved one, please contact us today.