When a loved one is diagnosed with a memory disorder such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed when it comes to the search for the right care and support for them. Memory care communities are specialist residential facilities designed to provide expert care for individuals with memory loss in a secure, safe environment. Memory care facilities are designed to meet the unique needs of the residents and offer a wide range of services geared towards helping them maintain their quality of life and independence as much as possible.
Memory Care Vs Other Senior Living Options
Memory care communities might look similar at first glance, but it’s important to note that they do differ from other senior living options, such as assisted living or nursing homes. In a memory care unit, you can expect there to be more staff on shift to ensure that each resident is able to quickly get care and support when required. Plus, staff are often more highly medically trained, and have been through specific training to handle the needs of people with memory loss. What’s more, memory care facilities tend to have more security measures in place compared to other senior living environments, with a more structured daily routine to help residents feel more secure.
Memory care facilities can be a very beneficial option for individuals with memory loss, and their families. As a relative of an older person with dementia or another memory loss condition, it’s not uncommon to spend a lot of time worrying about your loved one, especially if they live alone. A move to a memory care facility can provide you with the peace of mind you need when it comes to your loved one’s health, wellness, and safety.
Memory care is designed to provide care, services, and facilities that reduce the impact of memory loss on the individual. Everything from the layout to the schedule, to the meals that are served to the residents should be designed with that in mind.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Memory Care Community
Deciding to place your loved one in a memory care facility can be difficult and emotional. It is important to take the time to research and find an option that gives you the peace of mind you need. When in the right memory care community, individuals with memory loss are in the best place to receive the specialist care they need, while being able to remain as independent, active, and engaged as possible in their lives. If you are searching for memory care facilities Wichita, KS for your loved one right now, here is what you should look for:
1. Staff Training and Qualifications
One of the most important things to investigate when evaluating potential memory care communities for your loved one is how well-trained the staff are. In a memory care facility, staff should have been trained to a high standard in caring for individuals with memory loss. You may want to see proof of qualifications or certificates for peace of mind that your loved one is going to be in good hands. It’s also crucial to consider the staff-to-resident ratio; a higher ratio means that your loved one will be able to get more one-to-one attention.
2. Safety and Security
Individuals with memory loss may often become confused and may not be able to keep themselves safe. Wandering is not uncommon in patients with memory loss, during confusing periods where they may not know where they are or believe they must go somewhere else. A good memory care community should understand that the safety and security of the residents is top priority. Look for a community that has secure entrances and exits along with systems in place designed to prevent residents from wandering off. Pay a visit and look for areas that are easily accessible in case of emergency and extra security measures such as tracking systems or dedicated security staff. It’s also worth investigating the layout of the community to ensure that it’s easy for residents to navigate.
3. Recreational and Social Activities
A reputable memory care community should provide a social and recreational calendar of things for residents to do, with activities designed to encourage them to stay active and engaged. Speak to the community and find out more about the kind of activities that they offer. Ideally, they should be activities that are tailored to the cognitive abilities of the residents, and designed to promote independence, social benefits, and a sense of purpose.
4. Nutrition and Diet
Nutrition is an essential aspect of care for individuals with memory loss. Find out more about the kind of food you can expect your relative to be served. A memory care community should provide a well-balanced, nutritious diet while accommodating for any special dietary needs.
5. Medical Care and Support
Find out what kind of medical care and support you can expect your loved one to be able to access. Ideally, a memory care facility should have on-site medical staff and regular health assessments. This could look like round-the-clock nursing staff or an onsite doctor. It’s also worth finding out if your loved one will be easily able to access outside medical care if required.
6. Location and Accessibility
The location of the memory care community is likely to be one of the main factors you will consider before making a final decision. Regular contact with friends and family is crucial for individuals with memory loss. It helps to prevent further cognitive decline and reduces the risk of depression brought on by loneliness and isolation. Choose a memory care facility that’s easily accessible to family members and friends who may want to pay a visit.
7. Cost and Insurance Coverage
Finally, it’s important to consider the cost of moving your loved one into a memory care community. Spend some time weighing up the different options and investigate any insurance coverage options that they may be eligible for. Many memory care facilities will accept private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare.
Narrowing Down Your Options: How to Make the Right Decision
Before deciding on the right memory care facility for a loved one, it’s worth setting aside time to research, read reviews, speak to current residents and their families where possible, and pay in-person visits to different memory care communities. This will enable you to get a more realistic sense of what to expect.
It’s crucial to keep your loved one’s needs and preferences in mind throughout the process of evaluating different memory care communities. The community should not only provide care and facilities for memory loss but should also be suitable for any other needs they may have, such as accessible living spaces for somebody with mobility issues.
You may find it helpful to consult with healthcare professionals before making a final decision. Your relative’s primary care physician can assess your relative’s cognitive abilities and may be able to offer valuable input on choosing the ideal facility, based on the level of care and support that they believe they need.
Memory care communities are specialist living facilities designed to provide individuals with memory loss with a high level of specialist, tailored care. Choosing a memory care community for your loved one may be an emotional time but armed with the tools to find the right fit for them, you can help provide them with a safe and supportive living space that gives you peace of mind too.