Whether your loved one is showing signs of dementia or Alzheimer's, finding the right long-term care facility is important. You want to make sure he or she is comfortable, safe, and secure while you can't be there to provide care. Here are some essentials to take into consideration as you look for an assisted memory care facility.
Personalized Behavior Management Plans
No two individuals are alike, and that extends to dementia. Your loved one may have issues with anger and frustration, or he or she might take part in potentially dangerous activities due to memory issues.A great memory care facility can help craft a behavior management plan that takes your relative's needs into account to help prevent meltdowns and accidents. This can lead to a more enjoyable living experience in the facility. Ask about care coordinators and their specific experience with memory care. You may also want to ask to see an example of a behavior management plan to make sure you feel comfortable with the facility's approach.
Unfortunately, people with memory issues may be prone to elopement. They may attempt to leave their apartment or bedroom, or even the facility itself, in search of a more familiar setting. This can put vulnerable residents at a potential health and safety risk. Memory care facilities may have alarms on beds, windows, and doors to send an immediate alert when a resident has attempted to leave the facility. Ask about these safeguards, but also make sure that your loved one is allowed supervised leave from the facility. Living in a memory care home should feel more like living with friends and not like feeling stuck in a single room every day. For day trips outside of the facility, there should be an appropriate number of staff present to provide attentive care.
Individuals with dementia and memory issues may have a difficult time safely preparing food. Some facilities feature apartments with kitchenettes, which have a sink, microwave, and refrigerator. This makes it easy to prepare simple meals without the dangers that a stove and oven can present. However, even remembering how to use a microwave can sometimes be a struggle, so it's a good idea to look for a care home that also has a cafeteria or daily meal delivery service. The facility should have a nutritionist on staff to ensure the meals being provided are both healthy and delicious. Consider asking to visit during mealtime so your loved one can sample a typical lunch served at the care home.
Moving into a long-term care facility can be a difficult transition for anyone, and it can be even more difficult for those suffering from memory loss and dementia. Having framed photos of loved ones on the wall and familiar items from home can make your loved one feel more comfortable in this new space. Be sure to ask what can be brought in to decorate before choosing a care facility. You want to make sure you can create a homey atmosphere for your relative to feel comfortable in every day. You may also want to ask about bringing a beloved piece of furniture, such as a bed frame or recliner, to complete the living space.