When considering a memory care plan for your elderly loved one, one of the first concerns is how to find a specialized care facility that’s right for their needs. It’s important for memory care centers to offer supervised care for residents round the clock, but what other qualities should you look for when making the best choice?
Here are five crucial inquiries to make during your first visit to a memory care facility.
1. What is the layout of the facility?
Some memory care units are part of assisted living communities. If the center you are visiting falls into this category, ask whether the memory care section is separate from the other areas in the facility. Find out whether the memory care section is on one level, and whether the residents’ rooms are private or shared. Depending on the needs of your loved one, this could make or break your decision to live within that community.
Don’t forget to take a look at the outdoor area! Seniors who are engaging in a memory care plan deserve an outdoor space to explore and get fresh air. Ensure that it is safely enclosed for forgetful community members and that the facility relies on clearly marked walking paths.
2. How is the safety of the facility?
The safety of your loved one is a central factor in choosing the best nursing home option. Ask the potential facility about safety features on the property, like lighting and alarms. You want a care facility that has good lighting in all common areas and hallways to avoid an accident from occurring. Ask whether all floor spaces are nonslip, especially within the bathrooms.
Inquire about the security of both the interior and exterior of the senior memory care community. Does the facility have ample security personnel to guarantee the safety of the residents? Ask how the facility accounts for all residents so they don’t wander off or get lost, too.
3. What is the nature of the facility’s orientation and comfort?
The comfort of your loved one is a paramount part of the whole memory care plan. For example, checking whether the doors and rooms have clear labels, complete with pictures and words. These labels are vital to assisting residents who need help orienting themselves. Are there memory boxes outside rooms to help residents identify the right room?
Take a look at the colors used throughout the facility. In general, you want to rely on a memory care facility that prioritizes comfort and natural lighting. Look for options that express a clean, pleasant, and peaceful atmosphere.
4. Are there sufficient, qualified staff members?
Senior memory care communities should have specialized caregivers to guarantee the success of the memory care plan. During your first visit to the center, ask what kind of dementia training the employees in the facility have completed. Observe how the staff members interact with the residents to get a better idea of the care they will offer your loved one. Do they seem to know the names, backgrounds, and personalities of each resident?
You should also ask about the staff-to-resident ratio. Is it the recommended one-to-seven ratio? Ample staff is needed to cope with any difficult behaviors of the residents, including mood swings, aggression and sundown syndrome. Generally, the staff members should be kind and attentive during your visit to the memory care facility.
5. What kind of food does the facility provide?
Good food helps improve mental health. Ask to see or taste some of the food the facility provides to ensure your loved one is getting tasty options. Do the residents seem to enjoy the meals? Ask what methods the facility uses to encourage residents who are uninterested in food to eat in the event a resident has trouble eating.
You should also ask about policies pertaining to your loved one’s individual needs. Ensure that there are individualized memory programs with your loved one in mind. That way, they can get the best care and attention possible.
Finding the right memory care center for your senior loved one is the first step towards implementing a memory care plan that will work for them. By asking the right kind of questions during your initial visit to a memory facility, you can tell whether the community has what it takes to cater to the special needs of your loved one. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Heritage Hills today.