Choosing the right memory care program for someone with early-stage dementia can be very challenging. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease can span anywhere from months to several decades. It is a serious decision with many factors that need to be considered so that they can receive specialized attention and care. Here are 10 things to consider when choosing the right memory care program.
It is essential for a memory care program to have a number of therapeutic interventions in these three key areas: behavioral, cognitive, and physical. They should offer a range of therapeutic programming that can reduce behavioral disturbances and bouts of depression.
Person-Centered Dementia Care
Each memory care resident has their own set of unique needs that must be considered and addressed. A good program will have trained staff to sit down with loved ones in charge of managing the resident’s well-being and come up with an individualized plan based on their history, preferences, and interests.
Regular Memory Care Plan Assessment
A memory care facility should regularly evaluate the needs and level of care needed for each program resident. Adjustments will have to be made as their dementia progresses. Trained staff should review care plans on an ongoing basis.
Trained Memory Care Staff
It is very important that there are experienced staff who have gone through specific training in working with residents with dementia. They should be specialized in behavioral modification training. This helps eliminate harmful events through adaptation activities such as environmental orientation and positive social interactions.
Comfortable Indoor and Outdoor Grounds
Both a memory care program’s outdoor and indoor spaces should be tailored to provide premium comfort for residents. Outdoor grounds should be well maintained, so residents are able to spend time surrounded by pleasing landscapes with adequate sitting and activity areas. Indoors should provide spacious units that are clean and feel like home. There should also be a variety of facilities such as an exercise room, library/computer station, and beauty suite on-site.
Engaging Community Activities
A memory care community should have an active community that fosters social interactions on a daily basis for residents to maintain regular cognitive stimulation. There should be a wide variety of physical, mental, and social activities available such as memory games, music therapy, and more that were specifically designed to keep them stimulated.
Active Safety Measures For A Secure Environment
A good memory care program should have a number of safety measures in place to ensure that the residents are kept in a safe and secure environment. The community should be monitored 24 hours a day and designed to ensure maximum safety. Other security features such as emergency buttons found throughout the premises in addition to keypad entrances for staff and family only should also be in place.
A good program should also have a robust dining service that caters to the individual needs of each resident. Residents should have a meal plan designed to fit their needs and preferences all while providing delicious meals they want to eat. Along with their diet being monitored on a daily basis, the dining staff should be experienced and knowledgeable to accommodate their changing needs as well.
Additional Medical Staff
In addition to trained memory care staff, there should also be a variety of other medical professionals such as a resident physician and registered nurse available for residents. Other professionals such as physical therapy staff should also be on-site.
Residents with early-stage dementia can certainly stay active and engage in other activities outside community grounds. It is very important that transportation services are available to transport residents to other off-site locations to spend time going to local attractions.