Before we move on to our top 10 question recommendations to ask your memory facility before you make your final decision, we need to clarify some things first. Memory care is an integral part of long-term care. At the moment, there are 5.7 million people in the U.S. that have Alzheimer’s disease. This number doesn’t include the other ailments and medical conditions that might require you or a loved one to go to a memory care facility.
Because of the specific nature of this type of care, it is very important for you to make the most informed decision when making a choice regarding a memory care facility.
These kinds of decision shouldn’t be made without any thorough thought on the matter, and we will do our best to make it easier to get informed. But before we move on to that, let’s first clarify what does memory care entail?
What exactly is memory care?
What does memory care mean? Memory care is a type of long-term care that is provided in a specialized facility that is designed to provide care of that level. It is designed in mind for people that are affected by Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other dementia-related ailments.
This type of care gets the specialist classification because of the nature of conditions it is addressing. Patients in memory care facilities need a certain degree of understanding and treatment that other health care facilities are unable to provide.
As of lately, the number of memory care facilities in the U.S. has been steadily increasing. As a matter of fact, not too long ago, memory care was reported to be the long-term care with highest growth rate and demand.
1. What is the level of care you provide?
The most important thing you should focus on is the level of care provided by the facility, as the health condition and severity of any health issues your loved one might have may get worse with time. Therefore, finding out up to which level of care the facility is able to provide is most certainly at the top of the list of answers you should get.
As we said, since the condition of your loved one might worsen with time, you should plan for the future.
2. Training and qualifications of the staff at the facility
Every well-established facility is supposed to have quality training programs for their employees. When it comes to memory centers, this is even more important, as these people will be the ones in charge of taking care of people that are suffering from memory decline.
Before you decide on a facility, you should make sure and have a piece of mind that your loved one will be safe and taken care of by a certified and well-educated staff that are able to respond to any health or personal need he or she will have.
3. Costs and recurring fees
While it is of great importance for you and your loved one to receive the best care possible, its cost will almost certainly be something to think about. Gaining an insight on the costs, fees, and tariffs is also important.
It would be quite unfortunate if you had to move to a different memory care facility because the costs in the previous one were higher than anticipated.
4. What kind of rooms they have?
Privacy is a very important aspect for almost everyone. It allows people to keep their dignity when an accident or some other mishap that is common for memory care patients. While some people might gain some benefits from living in a shared room, others might prefer the privacy of their own room.
Every memory care facility will have different options to choose from, so it’s an important question to get an answer to before you make your decision.
5. Do they cater to different dietary needs?
Choosing to stay at a memory care facility doesn’t mean that you will have to change your character or personal beliefs. Having access to different dietary options is something you should also be a priority.
If you or your loved one is a vegetarian, vegan, or eat only halal meat, you should point it out at the beginning and make sure that the facility of your chose will be able to provide you with these dietary options.
6. What is the security like?
People residing in memory care facilities are considered to be risk patients. If by any chance they leave the facility unsupervised, there is a high probability that they won’t be able to return home without any help.
For that reason, security is very important, as the cognitive condition of patients within can vary, and the facility should be equipped for any possibility.
7. Does the facility provide second-level specialty care?
While memory care is very important, the underlying conditions should be addressed as well, be it heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other, as these conditions require special treatment and health monitoring as well.
When making a decision in regards to a memory care facility, this is something that needs to be clarified upfront, and the facility needs to be informed of any conditions they need to pay attention to.
8. How is family communication addressed?
Staying in contact is also important, and when a loved one is placed in a memory care facility, this becomes even more important.
This is crucial for both general communication and emergency contact. Before you sign the documents, you should devise a clear communication strategy, and make sure that everyone is in on it.
9. What is their staff-to-patient ratio?
Patients that require great personal care would feel at ease if they knew that staff to patient ratio is on a satisfactory level.
So, which ratio should you be aiming at? This is not something that can be decided by someone other than yourself, but you should still be informed about it, just to make you feel better knowing you or your loved one will get proper care.
10. Which activities and therapies are offered by the facility?
Every treatment depends on a good therapy process, but this is especially true when memory care facilities are considered, and many different and effective options exist.
Inquiring about those during the application process will greatly help in making a decision that is most suitable for you or your loved one.
You should consider all options when choosing the right memory care facility
It is difficult to make the right decision when you are presented with many different choices of memory care facilities. Choosing the best one for you or your loved one means you will have to consider all options and ask many questions. Analyze their responses, ask again, and make sure that every concern you might have has been resolved, giving you a piece of mind.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.