December 30, 2019

When a parent or loved one is living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it’s essential to find care that meets their unique needs. While many caregivers want their loved ones to stay in a home environment as long as possible, eventually, they will need more care than can be provided at home. When this time comes, moving to an assisted living memory care community is one of the best decisions a family can make for the health and wellbeing of their loved one.

In an assisted living memory care community, older adults living with dementia receive expert care and support 24-hours a day in a soothing, supportive environment. Each resident has a personalized care plan that incorporates services, therapies, and treatment based on his or her specific health and behavioral needs. With enriching daily activities and programming designed to promote socialization and happiness, assisted living memory care improves the overall quality of life for older adults with dementia.

If you’re considering memory care for your loved one, understand that not all assisted living memory care communities are alike. It’s important to tour each of your top choices and ask plenty of questions to determine if a community is the best fit for your loved one.

Take along this helpful checklist of questions to ask when visiting each assisted living memory care community:

Environment and layout

  • How many residents live in the community?
  • Are the residents’ rooms private or semi-private?
  • Do the rooms and common areas have good lighting?
  • Does the community appear to be clean and well maintained?
  • Was the floorplan designed to be easy to navigate?
  • Is the décor neutral in color and pattern?

Safety and security

  • Does the community have security on staff 24/7?
  • Are there alarmed exits to prevent residents from wandering?
  • What alert systems are used in case of emergencies?
  • Are there enclosed courtyard areas so residents can safely enjoy the outdoors?

Quality of care

  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio? Are there caregivers and a skilled nurse on-site 24 hours a day?
  • Is there a visiting physician? Are residents offered transportation to off-site doctors’ appointments?
  • Is the staff well-trained to serve residents in the early, middle, and later stages of dementia? Do they receive ongoing training and education on the latest dementia care techniques?
  • How are emergency medical situations handled?
  • Do the staff members seem friendly when interacting with residents?
  • Do staff members regularly update family members on their loved one’s health condition? How often?

Dining services

  • Is the food nutritious and appetizing? Is it freshly prepared?
  • Are mealtimes flexible?
  • Is there a dietician or nutritionist on staff?
  • How does the community accommodate special diets, restrictions, and preferences?
  • Are snacks offered between meals?
  • Do residents have the option to eat in their rooms?

Activities and amenities

  • What types of activities are offered? Is there a good variety of options?
  • Are there both small and large group activities?
  • Does the community have music therapy? Pet therapy? Art therapy?
  • Are there on-site amenities, like a movie theater, fitness center, and a library?
  • How are special events celebrated?

During each tour, be sure to take notes or record the answers to these questions so you can compare the assisted living memory care communities later. Once you’ve narrowed down the list to your top choices, schedule follow-up visits at different times of the day, including mealtimes. If possible, involve your loved one in the selection process so they can see the options available.

For more information about assisted living memory care at Bethany Village, please contact us today.