Most people do not like to think that they will develop a condition such as Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia but it happens all too often. In the United States, Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death. Moreover, when at least 33% of all seniors pass away they are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or some other kind of dementia. That means that if you start looking for assisted living facilities, you may need to look for nursing homes with memory care units. Here are some things you can do to make sure you find the right assisted living facility that has the dementia care that your family member needs.
- Talk to your loved one’s doctor. The first place you should start when you are looking for nursing homes with memory care units is with your family member’s doctor’s office. If they see a geriatric specialist, they probably know about the nursing care facilities in your area. They also know all of your family member’s health issues. Sure, they may need memory care services but they may also have other health concerns. Not every assisting living facility offers the same services so you need to find one that has what you need.
- Ask the people you know. As the American population ages, more and more people are finding they have to take care of their parents who need as assisted living facility. The chances are therefore decent that you know someone who spent time researching the nursing homes with memory care units. It is certainly worth asking around before you start looking at local centers.
- Visit the facility during a meal. Go to the facility during a meal. There are a few reasons for this. The quality of the food can have a very big impact on the lives of the people who are living in the facility. This will also give you a chance to interact with the other residents and their visitors. Ask about the dining policies. Ask what happens if your family member is not able to make it down for meal time. Some places will send a plate up to their private room. See what the experience is like during mealtime.
- Talk to the residents and their families. Even if you are not able to get to the facility during a meal, you should take some time and try to talk to the other residents and their visitors. They do live at the nursing facility and can give you a better sense of what life is like there. Ask what the staff is like and how the activities are run. They may be able to help you make up your mind.
- Ask about their activities. Research shows that seniors who are active in three or more separate activities have better brain function. When you are looking at nursing homes with memory care units, see if they take that memory care philosophy and extend it to the fun things the seniors do there. You should also make sure the facility offers or has access to the activities your family member enjoys. They may like to play card games such as Bridge, you should inquire about whether this is offered at the memory care facility.
- Ask about staff turnover. When you talk to the management, ask about the staff. You will want to know how they are hired, what training they have, how many hours and days they work and what the turnover rate is. You want to have your family member live at a facility where the staff want to be there. Unhappy workers do not do a good job and can make everyone miserable. Ask if they run background checks.
- Look at how clean the place is. Look around at the windows and baseboards, how clean is everything? How does it smell? Accidents do happen so if you smell something that if off putting, you should ask about it before you assume something nefarious is going on. A bad odor may indicate a problem or not, you will not know if you do not ask.
It is possible to find the right nursing home for your family member. Just take your time.