Dementia and Memory Care

Memory care facilities are nursing homes specifically designed for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other types of Dementia. The 24 hour staff at memory care facilities are especially trained to work with the depression, aggression, and confusion associated with this disease. Most have special safety systems to prevent wandering and keep seniors secure.  Some facilities have special classes designed to help with memory retention and mental functionality.

Like other assisted living centers, they can provide daily assistance and medical care. Levels of care can be customized to accommodate the individual need of your senior loved one.

Services

Memory care facilities vary greatly in size, price, and services available. Most commonly, services that are offered include:

  • Comfortable private, or semi-private rooms
  • Daily means
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Medication management
  • Exercise and physical therapy programs
  • Social programs and activities
  • 24-hour staffing and personal assistance

Specialization

There are no federal regulations pertaining specifically to memory care, but some states require

special licensing. However, memory care facilities follow federal and state regulations for nursing homes, and often times over-do minimum requirements due to the high level of care required for dementia residents.

Preparation

Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient without specialized training is difficult and can be dangerous.  Seeking out a Memory Care center for your senior loved one can provide the level of care to best meet the challenges.  In preparing to visit a Memory Care Facility, here are some questions you should be prepared to be asked:

  • Be prepared to discuss all levels of the loved ones symptoms, behavior and limitations.
  • What level of assistance does your loved one need?
  • Is your senior fairly independent or does he or she need help with basic tasks?
  • Are there other medical concerns that will need frequent attention or special care?
  • Is his/her condition worsening quickly, or degenerating slowly over time?
  • What is your monthly budget?
  • What financial instruments do you have in place to help cover costs? Are you expecting Medicare or other insurance to assist?

Evaluation

When visiting a Memory Care Facility be sure to know these facts:

  • Are you Medicaid/Medicare certified?
  • Do you have any health requirements or other requirements for your residents?
  • How many residents do you have in your facility?
  • What is the caregiver to resident ratio during the day and at night?
  • What qualifications are required of caregivers?
  •  How are you equipped to handle medical emergencies?
  • How do you handle emotional crises?
  • After visiting, did residents appear to be clean and well groomed?
  • Was the space clean and pleasant smelling?
  • How did the staff members interact with the residents?
  • Did anything you observed make you nervous about the facility or staff?

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