Discovering that a loved one in your life has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia can be absolutely devastating. With over 5 million people in the US currently living with the degenerative disease, it is terrifying to know that someone you care about is now counted among them. However, every positive diagnosis comes with a family experiencing your exact situation, looking for a way provide the best possible care for their loved one — you do not have to carry this burden alone. Memory care facilities are specialized to provide Alzheimer’s treatment, but you’re going to want to make sure you find the right one to keep your family member’s quality of life riding high and happy. Here are four things to look for in an Alzheimer’s treatment facility:

  • 24 Hour Care: This seems obvious, but many assisted living homes are designed for older people who are simply having trouble living on their own, rather than those who are suffering from memory-related illnesses. As a result, their facilities only provide the basic amenities — laundry, food, the administering of medicine — and gloss over more personalized care. You’re going to want to make sure that the care facility you’ve chosen was specifically designed with memory in mind, and therefore ensures that your loved one is entirely safe and secure at all times.
  • Memory Programs: While some Alzheimer’s treatment centers provide around-the-clock care and supervision, stimulating mental activities created to help your family member remember their lives may not be apart of the program. By finding a place that tries, either on a daily or weekly basis, to keep your loved one thinking about their past and present — whether that relates to jobs, grandchildren, or just favorite activities — you can rest easy knowing that everything possible is being done to manage their dementia.
  • Secure Freedom: That may sound like an oxymoron, but this feature is vital to ensuring your loved ones are safe without making them feel trapped. Alzheimer’s patients exist on a spectrum of good days and bad days; you don’t want your parent or grandparent to feel like they can’t enjoy themselves and go for a walk on one of their good days just because they might have a bad day tomorrow. The balance between security and autonomy allows your family member to have fun and relax without the risk of hurting themselves.
  • Kindness: The most important aspect of all, kindness is an absolutely necessary quality of whatever care facility you choose. You want to surround your loved one with people who will treat them with the same amount of love and respect as you would — make sure you visit each facility and their caregivers in person to judge their characters firsthand and guarantee that your loved one will be just that: truly loved in their new home.

It goes without saying, but finding the right Alzheimer’s treatment facility is the most important aspect of caring for your loved one. Everyone will benefit from it: you can sleep easy without the burden of caring and worrying for your loved one, and they will be having the time of their lives at a beautiful facility with caring staff members nearby keeping them safe and providing for their every need. You’re not alone in this battle, and neither are they.