Memory Care Checklist
If you’re looking for an assisted living facility that provides memory care, there are some specific things you need to consider. Any memory care community, including Hart Heritage Assisted Living, will welcome your questions. You should be satisfied with their answers.
In addition to providing a comfortable place to live and assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, grooming, toileting and medication administration, a memory care facility provides specialized care for residents with various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, and other forms of dementia.
Memory care, also known as dementia care, is often located in a separate unit of a larger assisted living facility, or a dedicated wing of a senior living community offering a continuum of care. Key features include the following:
- A secure safe, environment
- A high staff-to-resident ratio
- Sensory-based programming
- Color-coded hallways and design features to make it easy to navigate and thus reduce anxiety for residents
- Accommodations for residents in the early, middle and late stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia
Specialized memory care involves personalized activities that cater to the cognitive abilities of the patient. This may involve group activities such as playing cards for early onset dementia, singalongs for mid stage dementia, and tactile activities like playing with Play-Dough for residents with advanced dementia.
When you visit the memory care facility, take time to talk to the staff and observe how they interact with the residents in their care. Do they make eye contact and call them by name?
Before you visit, you may want to ask yourself a few questions about your loved one’s needs.
- Does your loved one wander or seek the exit?
- Does your loved one need help eating?
- Does your loved one require diabetic care?
- Does your loved one need 24/7 supervision?
- Does your loved one show aggression or other behavioral issues?
- Does your loved one need help toileting or experience incontinence?
- Does your loved one need assistance with mobility, using a walker or a wheelchair?
- Does your loved one need ongoing medical care (example, colostomy care)?
Once you’ve answered these questions honestly, you have an idea of what you’re looking for in a dementia care facility. As you go on your tour, here are some questions to consider.
- What is the staffing ratio (number of caregivers per resident) for both day and night?
- What medical services are available?
- Does each resident have an individual care plan?
- Is there a visiting physician?
- Do you care for wheelchair bound or bedridden residents?
- Are you able to, and if so how do you care for residents who are physically aggressive or disruptive?
Questions to ask about memory care treatments:
- Do they have an assisted living to dementia care bridge for early stage dementia residents?
- Do they have walking paths or circular walking paths for residents?
- What is their dining program for memory care residents?
- Do they group residents by cognitive level?
- Do they offer music therapy?
- Do they offer pet therapy?
- Reminiscence therapy?
- Parkinson’s care?
- Vascular dementia care?
Questions to ask about community policies:
- Do they provide a thorough assessment before admission?
- How often do they update families about a resident’s well-being?
- Do you understand their policy for handling a medical emergency? Where will the resident be taken?
- Do you understand their fee structure and billing policy?
- Is there one flat fee, or separate fees for housing and care?
- Do you understand their discharge policy?
Your Heart and Gut Check
- Is the residential community clean, odor free and welcoming?
- Does the staff appear to be knowledgeable, caring and friendly?
- Is the community easy to navigate?
- Do you like their philosophy of care?
Hart Heritage Estates Assisted Living provides specialized memory care at both of our locations in Street, MD and Forest Hill. We have a dedicated staff trained in memory care, as well as a number of security features in place to keep your loved one safe 24/7. Call us today at 410-638-6047 to schedule a tour.