Originally posted in the Bambu Care Champions community.
Memory Care communities or facilities are specifically tailored to serve and meet the needs of people living with dementia. They provide the highest level of care to maintain the safety of their residents. Unfortunately, not all memory care facilities are created or run equally. Therefore, it is important to know what to look for.
We will share 8 things to consider in this post.
1. Memory care staff members' routine.
It's important to know how often they assist with ADLs, especially bathing and what the care staff members are expected to do at night (e.g., will they help them go to the bathroom, do they know how to handle wandering at night, do they provide true 24-hour supervision, etc.). What do memory care staff members do with the residents during the day? What is the staff:resident ratio during the day, night, and weekends (1:6 is optimal, but the lower the better)?
Take a look around. Do the residents look happy and well cared for?
2. Knowledgeable, Well-trained staff.
It's important to understand the type of training staff members receive and the facility's expectation for their staff to stay up-to-date on their training.
Is the facility itself licensed and accredited?
3. The Memory Care Facility's Policies.
You will want to know:
4. The Design and Smell of the Facility
The way a facility looks and smells says a lot about how well the facility and its residents are maintained. The facility should be well-designed, secure, clean/spacious, dementia-friendly, and accessible. There should be no foul odors.
Do they have an enclosed, secure outside courtyard/area? People living with dementia need to have access to a little sunshine. It's not good to keep people cooped up and away from the sun for too long.
5. Staff turnover rate
You want a facility with a low turnover rate. If caregivers are constantly leaving there is usually a reason. It typically means that the facility is not well-run.
You will want to explicitly ask the facility what its turnover rate is and how long has it been under the current management.
6. Food and Dining Options
It is important to know what types of food are available at the facility and if it would meet your partner's personal preferences or special diet requirements.
It's also important to note what the dining environment is like. Is it supportive or distracting? It's also good to know if residents are able to eat in their room or if they must always eat in the dining area.
You may even want to ask what strategies the staff uses to encourage residents to eat if this is a concern you have for your partner.
7. Activities and Engagement
It's always good to know what efforts are made to keep residents engaged.
Questions to consider may include:
8. Cost of Facility and Budget
Questions you want to consider:
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