Finding quality dementia care often takes a little more time than finding a traditional assisted living community because of how complex the disease can be. Knowing what to pay attention to and what to ask when you are visiting a Memory Care program in a north Texas assisted living community can make a difference in finding the right community.
With that in mind, we have seven tips we think will be helpful:
1. Understand the Community’s Approach to Alzheimer’s Care
Every Alzheimer’s provider operates a little differently. Finding one you trust with your senior loved one is important. Ask the caregivers and staff about their philosophy of care. Specifically, how do they handle common Alzheimer’s behaviors such as sundowning, agitation, aggression and wandering. How do they keep your family member safe from fellow residents who may act aggressively with others?
2. Be Honest About Your Loved One’s Needs
Finding a community that is a good fit for your loved one begins with understanding their needs and being honest with the care provider about those needs. Remember that while a certain behavior might seem odd to you, it is probably a typical part of the disease process. But the staff needs to know about the behavior to be prepared to handle it.
3. How Does the Physical Environment Support the Disease
Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia impair a person’s judgment and their ability to process the world around them. By living in an environment designed to support their remaining abilities, they are able to maintain a sense of pride, independence and dignity. For example, graphics that indicate where the bathroom is can support toileting independence. Solid color, low-sheen flooring is easier on eyes that may be damaged by this disease. Using the same paint on the walls and doors can help camouflage exits and avoid triggering the desire to leave. Memory boxes filled with family mementos near the door to their room make it easier to find it.
4. Pay Special Attention to the Caregivers
Nothing can replace the compassionate care of someone who is trained to work with adults who have memory loss. Ask about the hiring and training practices when you tour an Alzheimer’s care community. Also watch the staff-resident interaction. Is it healthy, patient and positive? If it isn’t, you need to check that community off your list.
5. Observe the Life Enrichment Activities
Keeping an older adult who has Alzheimer’s disease engaged may help slow the progression of the disease. But knowing how to accomplish this requires special training. Take time on your tour to watch what activities are taking place and how the residents are responding to them. Also ask questions about the life enrichment programming and how it is incorporated in to the residents’ daily lives. Life enrichment programs in a memory care center should allow residents to feel productive while giving them an opportunity for socialization and assistance with the tasks of daily life.
6. Be Certain You Understand How Payment is Structured
We know from the families in north Texas we help that the fee structure in an assisted living community can be complicated. Some communities bundle services so everything is included in one fee. Others have a base fee and add additional charges to that. Working with a senior care advisor familiar with dementia care in Dallas and Fort Worth is one way to make sure you understand just what your financial commitment will be.
7. Ask About the Future
While some adult children are reluctant to broach the subject, it is important to know what might require your loved one to leave the community. Moving a senior who has Alzheimer’s disease isn’t easy. You want to try to find a care provider who can meet their needs now and in to the future.
Let Us Help You Find Alzheimer’s Care in North Texas
If all of your efforts to keep a loved one with Alzheimer’s safe at home have been exhausted, we can help. We understand firsthand how difficult it can be to accept that a move to a Memory Care program is necessary. Contact us for free support in finding a provider who best meets your loved one’s needs. You can speak with a local senior care advisor by calling 214-929-5055. If you would like us to call you, please use our Contact Form. We will be in touch promptly!