Although looking for memory care for aging parents can be stressful and time-consuming, there are many features to consider when searching for the right home. Here are some helpful tips and considerations that will assist you in making an educated decision.
Specialized care is the kind of memory care that’s designed to provide an environment that helps people with cognitive challenges live their lives independently and comfortably. These facilities can range from short-term stays to long-term residential care, and they may include everything from assisted living to skilled nursing facilities.
24-hour staffing is important because it allows for round-the-clock supervision. Your dad needs to be able to reach out for help at any time of day or night and have someone there to answer their questions, meet their needs, and provide assistance with daily activities. This can be difficult if you run a business or are often traveling. Still, it's worth the expense: A memory care facility with 24/7 live-in staff will most likely have higher standards for quality than those with only part-time help available around the clock.
As you begin to research memory care facilities, it's important to consider the experience level of their staff. Most importantly, they should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work, nursing or psychology and at least one year of experience working with older adults with dementia or other forms of memory loss. They should also be trained in dementia care and crisis management techniques to help keep their parent safe when they become agitated or confused due to their condition.
Safety and security.
Safety and security are two of the most important aspects of memory care. Your parent will want to know that the staff members at their new home are trained in first aid, CPR, and fire safety. They should also be familiar with the use of alarms and how to detect behavior changes from residents who may be suffering from dementia or other cognitive impairments. Staff should also be able to recognize signs of drug abuse or neglect (such as if a resident is not dressed appropriately).
When you're looking for memory care, what activities will be offered? Does your loved one have an interest in any particular activity? Do they like to dance or sing? Do they play an instrument or take trips to the library and museum with friends? The more specific information you can provide about their interests, the better prepared you'll be to find a facility that meets those needs.
Nutritious meals and snacks.
A healthy diet is essential for a person with Alzheimer’s, but it cannot be easy to find out what foods are served at memory care facilities. In addition to asking staff members about the menu for each meal, ask them if there are any special dietary needs you should be aware of before selecting a facility. You might also want to take note of any food allergies or sensitivities your loved one has so that you can provide them with proper preparation instructions when preparing meals on your own.
Personalized care plans.
Personalized care plans are a great way to ensure your loved one receives the care they need. A personalized care plan should include the following:
- A list of all medications and dosages, including those taken by the resident.
- Medical conditions or illnesses that may require special attention.
- The type of assistance you would like from staff members when providing medication reminders (e-mail, phone call), bathing/dressing needs, etcetera.
The socialization process is important for many reasons. It’s critical for your aging parent's mental health and physical well-being. Socialization can help keep your loved one active and engaged in the world, both physically and mentally. It also helps with memory loss as well as depression, loneliness or even dementia.
The socialization program at a memory care facility will allow your loved one to make friends easily while still being able to participate fully in activities they used to enjoy doing before they became too ill to do so independently.
Location and accessibility.
Location and accessibility are two things you should consider when searching for memory care for your aging parent. The best place to put your loved one will be one they can easily visit, but it's not worth it if they can't travel around at all.
Suppose you're worried about getting her out of the house or even just having a conversation with her over the phone or video call instead of visiting them in person. You can always try Skype or FaceTime so that both parties see each other on their devices (or even better yet, get a second monitor).
Visiting policies that are flexible for both the resident and visitor.
A visiting policy should be flexible enough to allow visitors to visit at any time, as often as they like and for as long as they like. This is important because it allows older adults with limited mobility or dexterity in their hands or feet to enjoy the company of others without having to worry about how much time each visit would take. In addition, if you’re planning on taking your aging parents out special regularly—to dinner at an expensive restaurant or theme park—you don't want them having trouble finding someone who can drive them around safely!
It’s important to remember that finding the right memory care facility for your loved one is not easy, but it can be done. It takes a lot of research and asking questions of the staff who work there as well as family members. There are many factors to consider when looking at memory care facilities, but if you know what to look for, you can find a home that will truly be a home for your loved one and not just a place to sleep or die.
If you want to ensure your loved one is cared for with the best possible attention, then an assisted living community is the proven solution.