Learn some helpful tips for how to find a memory care facility and how to evaluate the quality of care being provided.
Often found as units within other long-term care facilities, and also as stand-alone memory care facilities, memory care units and facilities are appropriate when a person needs specialized and trained caregivers who understand the needs of someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Memory care also provides security for residents, with locked facilities to prevent residents from wandering away.
If you are looking for a memory care home, where would you start and how would you know how to evaluate the quality of care being provided? Many times those who have looked at some memory care facilities are not sure they’ve seen all that are available, and don’t know how to evaluate them.
Starting your Search - From the Comfort of Home
These days, it seems the start of every search begins online. When looking for memory care, online is also a good place to find information about the licensed facilities in your area. Below are some online resources that can help you identify the licensing agency for your area:
- Eldercare Locater
- Your state Department of Social Services
- Your local Department of Social Services and/or Aging Services
Define Your Desired Location
Location will be important if you are planning to visit regularly. With the list of licensed units, define the geographical area where you want to focus your search. Contact the facilities to schedule tours.
When touring the memory care units, walk the halls, stay for lunch, and observe the activity of the unit. Look at the rooms. Meet the caregivers and ask questions. See if you can get in contact with another family of a resident to speak with someone who has experience with the facility.
What other questions within those areas would you need to address? Quality and cost of care are usually the primary focus. Some ideas are:
Quality of Care:
- What kind of training do caregivers have?
- How many caregivers are working during each shift?
- What is the ratio of residents to staff?
- How do they handle difficult behaviors?
- What if your loved one is admitted and does not adapt to his new environment?
- Is the facility able to care for residents for the rest of their life?
- Can hospice come in?
- What is the facility’s plan for emergencies, such as a hurricane or fire?
Cost of Care:
- What is the basic monthly fee?
- What are the levels of care and their rates?
- How often does the basic monthly fee change?
- Is there an entry fee or deposit?
- Does the facility work with long-term care policies?
- Are there any charges or expenses we have not talked about?
For more information on memory care, contact Spring Arbor.