Discovering your loved one has a diagnosis of dementia can be shattering. Not only are you faced with worry and anxiety, but you may also begin to feel the urgency for finding a safe place for your loved one to live. Finding dementia care in the Jacksonville area can feel overwhelming—there are many choices, and determining which is best for your family, and for your aging loved one, requires some research and investigation.
When searching for the best dementia care, consider access to specialized programming and a safe environment with access to natural areas. Pair these considerations with your loved one’s lifestyle preferences and specific medical needs to find which community may work best for your loved one.
Access to specialized programming
When you are touring a dementia care community, it should feel much different from an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Dementia care requires a specialized touch, complete with comprehensive training on positive approaches for the staff that works there. You should note a busy activity program but one that is rooted in routine. Offered programming should be varied and should ebb and flow based on residents’ needs, interests, and attention spans. Take a look at the community’s activity calendar and make sure that the programming also has a sense of purpose, engaging residents in a dignified way that encourages independence and feelings of self-worth.
This specialized training and programming should not be the end of the dementia care experience. Look also for a dining program that is built on a foundation of resident independence and that offers innovative solutions to nutritional needs for residents. The dining experience should be unique to each resident, just as care approaches should vary as well. These specialized touches should make for a calm, soothing, and empowering environment for the residents.
Safe environment with access to natural areas
Speaking of environment, the dementia care community you investigate should also have safety precautions in place. Look for locking doors or environmental cues for bathrooms or resident rooms. These special accommodations keep residents safe, especially as residents with dementia are often prone to wander without a destination in mind.
Among all the locks, codes, and call systems, the environment should not feel like a prison. Indeed, make sure that there are plenty of opportunities for residents to have access to nature. Ask if there is a patio or courtyard on campus that residents have access to, as well as if there is a garden area that residents can tend to. Finally, and most important, ask if there are opportunities for residents to get out and about in the greater Jacksonville community. Are there trips scheduled to go to the beach, local restaurants, street fairs, or cultural opportunities? These are important pieces of the Jacksonville puzzle, and residents should have the chance to explore their city safely and with supervision.
If you are looking for a community that offers specialized dementia care, a safe environment, and an engaging activity program that includes trips to the greater Jacksonville area, learn more about Arbor Terrace Ortega. Our community is rooted in a person-centered care philosophy, and we are ready to serve your loved one.