How to Evaluate an Alzheimer’s Memory Care Program
Finding a Memory Care Program that Meets a Loved One’s Needs
The best memory care program will depend, in part, on your loved one’s unique needs, as well as their personal tastes and interests. If your mother has always loved elegant surroundings, a memory care community that is “cozy” or even clinical, may not match her tastes or make her feel comfortable.
If your dad is an outdoorsy type, he may want a memory care program that offers a secure place for daily walks outside or maybe even birdwatching and nature activities.
While these types of personal preferences are important, you should also evaluate a memory care program based on other important criteria.
How many staff members are available during the day to care for residents? What about at night? The fewer residents each staff member is responsible for, the better, although that number may change at night when most residents are sleeping.
Staff-to resident ratio is important, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Spend time within the community and watch how the staff interacts with residents. Do residents appear happy and well cared for? Do caregivers and residents seem to be comfortable with one another? Are staff members calling residents by name? These are all things to watch for when you tour a memory care community.
Life Enrichment Opportunities
A good memory care program will have programs and activities that meet the needs and interests of residents at every stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Weekends and evenings, not just day time hours during the week, should be filled with fun and enrichment.
On-Site Amenities and Convenient Transportation
Senior living communities often offer on-site conveniences such as visiting doctors, physical therapists, hair salons, dry cleaning services, banking and other amenities.
The community should also provide transportation and supervised day trips.
Safety and Security
A memory care program needs to make every possible effort to keep its residents safe. But it should never make residents feel as if they are trapped. Security systems need to be subtle, yet still able to prevent residents from wandering to unsafe locations.
A Welcoming Environment
Change can be jarring for people with Alzheimer’s. Rooms in an ideal memory care community are clean, functional, and comfortable. Families should be encouraged to personalize their loved one’s living space to allow the senior to feel more at home.
Programs Tailored to Each Resident
Not every person with Alzheimer’s is the same. A successful memory care program understands that and will tailor care and support to each individual. Caregivers should take in to consideration your loved one’s strengths, learning style, abilities, and unique needs.
Learn More about Bridge to Rediscovery
Five Star’s award-winning Bridge to Rediscovery memory care program is patterned after the principles of Montessori teaching. It emphasizes an individual’s strengths and guides participants toward success with a personalized program.
Find out how Five Star’s Bridge to Rediscovery program can provide your loved one with a better quality-of-life.