Caring for a loved one living with dementia, Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory loss can be challenging. At some point, your loved one may not be able to live at home and may need a memory care community. It can be overwhelming to know how to choose the right memory care community for your loved one. Below are some key factors to consider when choosing one.
Location, Location, Location
The first important factor is to consider the community’s proximity to friends and family. Family visits and involvement are important in helping your loved one stay connected. Family involvement and visits are especially important in the beginning as your loved one adjusts to their new environment.
Take a Tour
Visiting any prospective communities is vitally important in the decision-making process. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few, be sure to visit each community a few times during different times of the day and week to get a sense of how the community operates at all times.
Get to Know the Staff
Ask staff and administration about staff turnover, the staff to resident ratio, and how frequently staff are trained. A high staff to resident ratio indicates that residents are well looked after and have regular social engagement.
Other factors to consider:
- Are residents’ care plans customized?
- Does the community encourage family connections?
- Is there a variety of activities?
- Is there a safe outdoor space for residents to enjoy?
- Examine the lighting: is there adequate lighting and lots of natural lights?
- Does the food look and taste appetizing?
- Interview staff and the family of current and past residents: how do they feel about the community?
One last factor to consider is cost.The cost for memory care communities widely varies. Health insurance may carry a portion, but be sure you know your loved one’s budget as you assess the options. Some memory care communities offer all inclusive pricing so you know exactly what the costs are and are not surprised with numerous add-on fees after the fact.