When the time comes to move your loved one to memory care, how do you determine what the best decision is? It’s an emotionally charged decision for the entire family, and rightfully so. Needless to say, the decision to move is a big step, and unfortunately, often times it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
As you start this process, so many questions will be spinning in your mind. How do I select the right community environment? How will we pay for this? This is going to be difficult, how do we ease the transition?
The list goes on and can be overwhelming. JEA Senior Living can help. In the next few posts, we will answer each of these questions and provide ideas and tools to help you focus on what is most important while making sure your loved one is in the right place. Regardless of the details, here are the top things you need to focus on during this journey.
- Finding the best fit
- Having a strong support system
- Making sure all the basics are covered
Finding the Best Fit
As you know, memory care is specifically designed to nurture those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These communities do so with specially trained staff that provides individualized support in a safe environment with meaningful living opportunities.
That being said, not all memory care communities are alike. Some may offer more or less and/or have areas where they thrive or lag.
In a typical memory care community, you’ll find basics such as:
- A private or semi-private senior living apartment
- Three meals daily
- Medication management
- Cognitive and physical therapy
- Fitness programs
- Social activities
- Housekeeping and laundry services
Beyond this, it gets a bit more complicated. That’s why before you step foot on a tour, it’s essential to create a checklist of your non-negotiable, nice-to-have features, location preferences, and budget first to keep you focused. TIP: be sure to bring your checklist and a list of questions with you so you’re less likely to be overwhelmed or distracted by what the management wants you to see.
Here is a list of common questions to get you started:
- What level of personal assistance can residents expect?
- What are the qualification requirements for the staff?
- Are staff members offered additional or continuous training opportunities?
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio at both day and night?
- What are the monthly costs for housing and care, and what services are included in those costs?
- Are the rooms private or semi-private, and what are the differences in cost for each?
- How is the community secured?
- Are all meals provided?
- What about special dietary restrictions or requests?
- What programs (exercise, physical therapy, social and other activities) does the community offer?
- Does the community accommodate special needs, such as diabetic care, mobility issues, aggressiveness or wandering?
- How are the residents with differing cognitive ailments grouped together?
- What is the community’s protocol for handling medical emergencies?
- How often are housekeeping and laundry service provided?
- What type of educational support is available for families on an ongoing basis?
- How often can friends and family visit?
- What’s the best way for friends and family to receive updates on a loved one’s well-being?
- What is the policy for discharging a resident from the community?
Hopefully, this list of starter questions will be a helpful resource to you. In our next post, we’ll discuss the importance of having a strong support system in place as you begin down this journey of finding the right Memory Care community for your loved one.
And, as always, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section!