Trusting your loved one’s care to a memory care community may initially seem daunting.
Many questions can go through your mind as you weigh the pros and cons of different communities.
When touring a memory care community, asking staff about the services and amenities offered, safety and security, costs, staff training, and dining options is important.
To help you through this transition, we have compiled several common questions you can ask.
Who Is Memory Care For?
Memory care is a senior living option for people with cognitive and memory dysfunctions, such as Alzheimer’s. It can provide a safe and secure environment while offering activities to help enrich your loved one’s mind.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and by 2050, this number is expected to rise to nearly 13 million.
Alzheimer’s and dementia cause more than 1 in 3 senior deaths. That is why it is vital that you ask these questions to see how well your loved one’s mild cognitive impairment will be taken care of in the community of your choice.
What You Need to Know
You should ask any memory care community several questions before entrusting your loved one to their care. Here are some of the topics you should ask about:
Level of Care
What level of care does the community provide? Many steps should be taken to help keep the community accessible to all residents and welcoming. There should be an extensive schedule of daily activities meant to bring out the best in your loved one.
You should also ask if they have staff prepared to deal with various levels of dementia and how much independence the residents have. Are they supervised consistently?
Based on the level of care your loved one needs, you should understand what type of community is best for them.
What training does the staff have in dealing with cognitive decline? The memory care program should be designed to deal with varying levels of cognitive decline. The team should have undergone rigorous training to create an environment allowing residents to receive the care they need while prioritizing their health and wellness.
Emergency & First-Aid Training
Do all the staff have emergency or standard first-aid training? This should be standard for all staff in the community. Anything can happen, and having the proper treatment for the problem can mean life or death. All team members should take the health of the residents seriously and be ready to help if needed.
How do they accommodate dietary restrictions? Whether you have diabetes or need a soft die, memory care community kitchens should be prepared to create delectable dishes that meet your loved one’s dietary conditions and needs. The resident’s food intake should also be noted and documented for health records.
Daily Care Activities & Medication
How are the daily care activities and medications for each resident documented? There should be plenty of daily care activities for your loved one to participate in. Whether or not residents are participating in activities should be documented. Health staff should also strictly monitor their mood, overall health, and medications. If there are any concerns, they should be brought to the attention of their doctor and family.
Social & Therapy Courses
What social and therapy courses or activities are offered to residents? How frequently are they available? There should be many courses provided every day. Some activities work on maintaining physical fitness, while others should focus on cognitive abilities. Some activities should be strictly social to improve resident interactions and moods.
How are family members integrated into resident programs? Families and friends should be welcome to join and participate in activities. This bolsters the contentment of the residents as they get to spend quality time with those they love.
Are there apartments? Shared accommodations? Cottage-style living quarters? How much privacy do residents have?
The cleanliness of these living conditions should also be at the forefront of your mind. You should ask how frequently linens are changed and rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
What medical services are available? Your memory care community should have a wide range of amenities and services. These should include:
- 24/7 onsite personal care staff and nursing staff.
- Regular health assessments
- Medication management and dispersal
- Support groups
Is there a medical director on staff? How many RNs and LPNs are on staff? How many are on-site 24/7? The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) official policy on staffing requirements is that communities need to hire staff in sufficient numbers to meet the needs and preferences of the resident population adequately.
ALFA recommends that each community determine its staffing needs on a case-by-case basis. Make sure you ask the community so you know that emergency staff can handle your loved one’s condition.
Why Choose All American Assisted Living?
At All American Assisted Living, the comfort of those staying with us is paramount, and we aim to go the extra mile to care for your loved one.
When planning for memory care, your life drastically changes, and worries about caring for your loved one naturally arise. From questions about nutrition, room layouts, and what we do to make your loved one’s life with us comfortable, we’re here to answer all your questions. Take a tour with us, and see how we can care for your loved one the All-American Way.