A memory care facility is more intense as a care unit than an assisted living housing facility. There needs to be accreditation, certified staff, and floor layouts that are beneficial for memory care patients. They need to also have organized treatment plans, maintenance, and other services for patients should be monitored 24/7.
If you are considering moving a loved one into a memory care facility them look for these points.
Layout: The place you choose should have an open layout with enough outdoor spaces and clean and wide indoor spaces for common areas. Gardens are a good addition if they have them and help in physical therapy sessions.
Safety: Safety is one of the most important aspects of memory care patients. Ensure that the facility has round-clock surveillance. The layout should be non-slip and with enough features to support elders walking. Security must be in the form of physical guards and with closed-circuit cameras. Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients tend to forget and wander off and it is important at such times that regular surveillance is in place for the safety of the residents.
Conducive Environment: When dealing with residents with memory problems housing units need to ensure that they have enough signages and are easy to navigate. Space should not feel like a hospital with visible nursing stations, bars, and fences. These are essential for a resident’s safety but may make them fearful of the space. Hence it is essential that space feels like a home and less of a care facility.
Nutrition: Nutrition is critical for seniors requiring memory care and you can check if their diet includes foods that are good for brain health. Memory care seniors need to be in overall good health so you can check if the diet provided is good for this. If the place has an in-house nutritionist that is always a plus.
Staff Experience: Assess the staff’s expertise, ask about specialists who are associated with the facility, ask about specific treatment plans, and also check on other care capabilities that are unique to the facility.
Activities: Cognitive health can be improved through productive activities. Alzheimer’s patients have seen an immense improvement in the quality of life after participating in activities like art and gardening. Dementia patients have shown a reduction in agitation with music therapy. Productive activities do have an impact on mental health and can help in residents enjoying their stay in the memory care facility.
It is best that the whole family is involved in finding the right memory care facility. If your loved one does not have the ability to make this decision, then it is important to involve their doctor to find the best possible care.