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Your Checklist for Memory Care Facility Visits

July 12, 2021

Female healthcare worker

If you’re visiting memory care facilities, a checklist can help. A list lets you easily compare each memory care facility on the same set of features. And that can help you feel confident that you’ve made the right choice.

As you set up tours, also prioritize the features most important for your loved one’s care. As a start, we’ve provided a list of common memory care features. Use this list to guide you as your loved one makes the move to memory care.

Staffing and Care Services

Caring staff that understands memory disorders can make all the difference. You’ll want to ask several questions about staff and the care they provide. This is especially true if your loved one has special care needs beyond memory care. Care services should be personalized. They should also follow a written care plan designed for your loved one.

When it comes to staffing and care, ask about:

  • What is included in assessments, such as medical needs, aggressiveness, elopement risk, and ability to perform activities of daily living
  • An individual care plan for your loved one
  • Care planning that includes multiple team members
  • Care plans evaluated every few months
  • Family involvement in care
  • Resident input in care, when appropriate
  • On-site medical services, such as lab tests, podiatry, or wound care
  • Nursing hours
  • After-hours nurse on call
  • How often a physician visits the facility
  • Support for everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, medications, or laundry
  • Staffing ratio for both days and nights

Additional Therapies or Programs

Health care services and help with daily living are essential. But the additional programs provided by the memory care facility are important too. Special therapies and social activities support well-being. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, cognitive and social activity specifically benefits your loved one’s brain health.

When it comes to additional programs, ask about:

  • Ability to do gardening with real plants
  • Use of doll, music, or art therapy
  • Holistic care, such as aromatherapy
  • Outdoor spaces, such as patios or gardens
  • Kitchen available for cooking with help
  • Hobbies, such as painting, games, or puzzles
  • Tactile or sensory activities
  • Music programs
  • Virtual reality systems

Safety and Security

One reason families choose a memory care facility is safety. For instance, the National Institute on Aging says it’s common for those with memory disorders to wander. As you tour a facility, pay attention to security. You’ll want to know how the facility helps prevent accidents and what happens in an emergency.

When it comes to safety, ask about:

  • Supervision 24/7
  • Keypads on all exit doors
  • Exit alarms
  • Secured areas outside
  • Locks on fences
  • Emergency processes
  • Handrails to help prevent falls
  • Pull strings in bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Wheel-chair friendly design

Memory Care Costs and Fees

Lastly, make sure your list includes questions about cost. Every memory care facility has its own fee structure. Some may provide a flat rate, while others charge for each service. Even more, focus on value. What are you getting for your monthly costs? You don’t want to end up with minimum services that in reality fail to meet your loved one’s needs.

When it comes to finances, ask about:

  • What the monthly fee covers
  • Costs for extra services
  • When do fees increase

Meeting your Loved One’s Unique Needs

Overall, your family knows your loved one the best. You may think of other questions or features for your list. If your loved one has a special need, don’t be afraid to ask. By thinking through your loved one’s needs and making a list, you’ll feel more prepared at each visit. And that can certainly make your decision easier.

Signature Pointe provides life-affirming care to enrich the lives of our residents. We have the staff, services, and safety needed to provide warm, personalized care for your loved one. Learn more about our memory care services and set up a tour today.

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