How Can You Objectively Evaluate a Memory Care Program?

How Can You Objectively Evaluate a Memory Care Program?

  • February 20, 2018

Managing the care of a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia is tough for families. From safety issues, like wandering and agitation, to helping them maintain a well-balanced diet, the role of an Alzheimer’s caregiver is complicated. Families often realize that a memory care community is a better way to ensure their loved one enjoys their best quality of life despite the disease.

But how do you go about objectively evaluating memory care programs in your area?

We have a few suggestions you will likely find useful.

7 Tips to Use in Your Search for a Memory Care Community

Memory care programs can differ widely from one community to another. Some are located on the campus of a large continuing care retirement community, while others are a standalone program dedicated exclusively to people with dementia. 

Whatever type of memory care you are considering, it’s important to evaluate a few important factors:

  1. Safe and secure: A leading reason families begin to explore memory care programs is because they fear their loved one isn’t safe at home. Finding a community dedicated to safety is vital. Is the community secure to prevent a resident from wandering? Ask what other safety programs are in place.
  2. Size of the program: Is the program space large enough to offer features like a dedicated dining room but small enough to not overwhelm someone with memory loss?
  3. Dedicated staffing: What is the community’s resident-to-staff ratio? Do caregivers receive additional training before working with memory care residents? Make sure you ask how many caregivers are available during the day and during evenings and weekends. Staffing is directly related to quality care, so make sure to ask a lot of questions.
  4. Survey results: Memory care programs in an assisted living community undergo routine, in-person assessments by state surveyors. These surveyors evaluate the community on a variety of factors ranging from quality of care to quality of the food. Ask the staff at any community that you are considering to review their last few surveys with you.
  5. Dedicated life enrichment programs: A quality memory care program will have dedicated life enrichment programs that meet the unique interests and abilities of residents. Ask for a copy of the activity calendar and review it to make sure it shows a mix of activities that meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
  6. Transportation services: Transportation is another important consideration. Ask if there are services available to allow memory care residents an opportunity to enjoy outings to local parks, restaurants, and more.
  7. Individual plan of care: How does the community go about creating an individual plan of care for each resident? Are families given the opportunity to participate in the process? How often is the plan of care updated? These are all important questions to ask as you tour a memory care community.

Learn More about Bridge to Rediscovery 

If you are searching for a memory care program for a senior loved one, Five Star’s Bridge to Rediscovery program is a solution to consider. Our award-winning Bridge to Rediscovery memory care program uses Montessori principles to help residents safely maintain their independence and live their best lives. 

We invite you to call the community nearest you to learn more!


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