A close up of a senior woman's hands as she does a puzzle

The decision to place a senior loved one with memory issues such as dementia or Alzheimer’s in memory care can be difficult and heart-wrenching. Doing your research before making this life-changing choice can ease your worries. 

Selecting the right community means they get personalized care for their condition. We’ve put together some questions when choosing a memory care facility for your loved one with dementia.

What is Memory Care?

Memory care is long-term skilled nursing care specifically designed for residents suffering from memory impairment or loss. Residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have unique physical and emotional needs that require specialized care. 

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Memory Care Facility

Memory care communities should provide residents with safety, dignity, and some level of independence. The stage of cognitive impairment in a senior loved one determines the amount and type of care they require. 

Every memory care facility is different, and choosing the right one for a loved one includes some research on your part and asking the following questions:

What Are the Costs Associated with Memory Care?

Cost is a factor to consider when choosing a memory care facility. Knowing the standard monthly cost, rates for different levels of care, and whether an entry fee or deposit is required gives you a better picture of overall costs. 

If a memory care facility offers all-inclusive pricing, you won’t be surprised with unexpected fees or add-ons. 

What Programmes, Activities, & Meals Do They Offer?

There is no cure for dementia, but treatments, therapies, and lifestyle changes can manage symptoms and slow the progression. Many memory care facilities include these in the residents’ daily routines. 

Therapies and lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can contribute as much as pharmaceuticals, so it’s vital to ask about different lifestyle options when choosing a memory care facility. Some of these can include:

  • Full-range of social activities and comprehensive dementia programs
  • Outdoor areas such as walking paths and gardens
  • Music therapy
  • Registered dietician

What Level of Care Does the Memory Care Facility Provide?

When safety is an issue and depending on the progression of dementia, 24-hour care is necessary for overall health and well-being. 6 out of 10 people with dementia wander, posings a risk of falls and injuries. It’s also crucial to have 24-hour security and emergency call systems. 

Many seniors also suffer from other conditions with dementia and thus are not able to keep track of medications. 24-hour care with medication management ensures they receive their medication and daily nurse supervision monitor for signs of other health problems. 

What Is Their Staff/Resident Ratio?

Memory care facilities work differently from assisted living with a smaller staff-to-resident ratio to adequately meet the medical, social, and safety needs of individuals with dementia. As mentioned above, 24-hour care is essential for residents of memory care facilities. 

Ensuring your loved one receives attention throughout their stay is quantified by the number of caregivers versus residents. The ideal number of caregivers to patients is 1:5. 

Are the Staff Qualified to Care for Residents?

Some senior communities specialize in only memory care, and staff has specialized training to manage the full spectrum of dementia symptoms and behaviors with compassion and understanding, including:

  • Memory loss, poor judgment, and confusion
  • Difficulty with communication
  • Wandering 
  • Repeating questions
  • Taking longer to complete daily tasks
  • Losing interest 
  • Hallucinations and paranoia
  • Acting impulsively
  • Loss of balance and mobility issues

A caregiver in a senior living community holding the arm of a senior woman helping her walk

How Is the Memory Care Facility Designed?

The design of memory care facilities should meet the functional needs of residents with dementia. Residents can have custom-designed private rooms with no kitchens. 

Other features to look out for include:

  • Secure indoor and outdoor areas 
  • Natural lighting
  • Easy to navigate floor plans to minimize confusion
  • Colored walls and hallways
  • Mobility assistance
  • Fall prevention

Memory Care at Barton House

Memory care facilities provide a better quality of life for those with memory impairment. As a family member of a loved one with dementia, the best thing you can do for them is research memory care facilities thoroughly before choosing. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, so you feel confident in your choice. Finding a memory care facility doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Are you looking for personalized care for those with dementia? Call Barton House today.