Asking the Right Questions of a Memory Care Community
Alzheimer’s is a disease that slowly erodes a person’s memories and truly robs them of their self-identity. The rate of progression varies for everyone who suffers from the disease, even the pattern of progression can be different for each individual. It can also be difficult for the Loved one caring for person with the memory disease. Sometimes the safest care for everyone involved is a Memory Care Community.
When exploring Memory Care use a list of quality questions to best determine which community is right for your loved one and their care needs. We have compiled a list of questions we believe will help you reach the right conclusion.
What type of training has the staff received?
There are many wonderful caregivers, but certified dementia care providers are specially trained to care for and respond to the various behaviors of the residents with memory loss. For example, at Avalon, our staff is certified and trained to observe changes in cognitive, physical, emotional and social functioning so care can be adjusted to meet the resident’s needs. Find out how the staff accommodates special care needs, such as diabetic care, mobility issues, physical aggressiveness or wandering. And, find out the ratio of staff to residents during the day and night.
What is the monthly rate for housing and care? What services does that rate include?
There are the basics like housing, daily care, food, housekeeping, clothes and linen laundry service, activities, medication management, etc. Find out what the community does beyond the basics like health promotion and exercise, mental health care and counseling, assistance with necessary medical and dental needs and continuous communication with family, physicians and others regarding your loved ones needs.
What is the environment like?
Living in a comfortable and tasteful place is important for proper care too. Will your loved one be more comfortable in a spacious private or semi-private room? Is the atmosphere soothing and calm? Is there plenty of warm, sunshine-filled sitting areas? Is there a secured outdoor space for them to enjoy? Does it feel like home yet is secure? A soothing environment allows residents to live out their days with the dignity they deserve.
What level of personal assistance can residents expect?
As Alzheimer’s and dementia progress the level of care increases. Your loved one may need assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, feeding, incontinence, and other activities. Beyond meeting physical needs of residents are their mental and social needs being met too? At Avalon, we explore activities with our residents to find what is meaningful to them. Are they creative? Do they love music? Are they someone who loves the garden or playing games or exercising? It is our goal at Avalon to obtain the highest standard of living for our residents.
What meals are provided?
Find out what a community’s typical menu is like. Are the meals well-balanced? Do they taste good, yet are they still healthy? If your loved one has a special diet or food allergy will the community accommodate that? Finding a community that believes a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy and protein is what all of us need including those in memory care.
How does the facility communicate with families about a resident’s well-being?
Family communication with the community is necessary in order for everyone to have peace of mind. Find out how the community informs and discussions care changes with you. Do they occasionally report to the family? Or do they provide a continuous communication with the family, physicians and other appropriate persons or agencies regarding a resident’s needs? At Avalon, we believe in an open-door policy.
Before meeting with a community compile your questions. Use these above and add on to your list to find out things like how they handle medical emergencies and what’s their discharge policy? Your list of questions will help you and other family members and decision makers determine what community is right for your loved one.
At Avalon Memory Care in Dallas, Arlington and Houston we want to answer ALL of your questions so you can be rest assured your loved one is in the best hands possible. Families should feel free to visit as often as they wish to enjoy the company of their loved ones in a peaceful setting, or to share a meal together. Our Alzheimer’s support professionals go above and beyond to maintain an unsurpassed level of care, safety and well-being for each of our residents. When it is time to look for assisted living choices for your loved one, call us at (469) 646-7528.