5.7 million Americans are living with some form of dementia and a new case is found every 65 seconds in this country.
Unfortunately, the rest of life doesn’t stop when your mom’s diagnosed with dementia. You still have the financial, physical and emotional needs of your family to take care of.
Your loved ones deserve the best quality of life possible and you deserve the peace of mind of knowing they’re being cared for as lovingly as you would. Safe with the expertise of a trained professional.
Keep reading for the ultimate guide to finding the best memory care facility in Clearwater
What is Memory Care?
Memory care is a care facility that supports the specific therapeutic and life needs of those suffering from memory impairment conditions. It provides safety measures to protect your loved one. There are trained staff to cater to their needs and programs to promote the best quality of life possible on a daily basis.
Your loved one will have a personalized care plan that is created to help them thrive in their new reality.
Where to Start
When looking for the right memory care facility for your loved one you’ll want to consider many factors. It’s not just about how nice the rooms are or how friendly the staff members seem to be.
This will be your loved one’s new home and for the most part will become their entire world. You want it to be the best one possible to meet all of their needs.
Are You Comfortable? Will Your Loved One Be?
Do a little research. Check around and get opinions on the best care facilities in your area. There are many places you can go for recommendations.
You may want to consult:
- trusted health professionals,
- friends and family with loved ones in care facilities,
- referral services
- online internet reviews
- senior support organizations
As you get recommendations of memory care facilities in your area start taking note of the pros and cons of each one. Will that facility meet your needs and provide all the aspects of care you’re looking for?
Make a List of Priorities
Take some time to consider what your priorities are when choosing the right care facility. This will help you know what you’re looking for before taking any tours or making any final decisions. This will help you choose the home that’s best one for your family.
Write down the factors that are important to you and rate their importance. This way after you see each option you’ll have a way of rating how well they’ll meet your needs.
Some of the factors that may influence your decision include:
- Services and care
- Meals and nutrition
- Staff training and safety measures
- Costs and conditions
Let’s look at each factor, why it should be a part of your decision, and how to determine it’s importance.
Is the facility close enough for you to be able to visit your loved one or get there when you need and want to?
You don’t want the fact that a place is right down the street to be the only factor in your decision but it should be considered.
It’s easy to say “oh I’ll drive the six hours to see her every Saturday”. But does that reasonably fit into your busy life? Don’t add guilt and stress to your week by making unrealistic expectations that can’t work long term.
Facility Setting and Living Accommodations
As dementia and Alzheimer’s disease progresses the level of care needed changes. You don’t want to add more disruption to your loved one’s life by having to uproot them and start the search over again everytime their needs change.
Does the Facility Offer Various Levels of Care?
Many memory care facilities have created an environment that adapts to the growing needs of declining residents. They have various degrees of care and services for each stage of dementia progression.
Are the Grounds and Rooms Comfortable?
Do the grounds provide a place for your loved one to enjoy nature and fresh air on a beautiful day?
Are the rooms private or will your loved one be sharing a room? Can they have their own furniture and personal items?
Is it an inviting, comfortable and engaging environment?
Services and Care
It’s important to compare what services and level of care is offered at each memory care center.
What programs are offered to enhance and enrich your loved one’s life?
What medical care’s provided on site?
What is the care routine? How often will they have help to shower, etc. each week?
What services and amenities are onsite?
Are the activities and programs a good match for your loved one? Do they offer pet and music therapy? Are there art and gardening programs?
Compare the services and care offered at each facility and consider which is the best fit and offers the most services that will benefit your loved one on a daily basis.
Meals and Nutrition
Investigate what the meal plans, choices and schedules are.
Do they provide fresh, nutritious options for your loved one every day?
What kind of supports are offered to those needing assistance with meals?
Is there a chef and nutritionist on staff? Can they meet your loved one’s nutritional and preference needs?
Many facilities will have a dining area where family and friends may come enjoy a meal with their loved one. Some offer prospective residents and their families to come experience a meal at the center as a part of their introductory tour.
Staff Training and Safety Measures
Inquire with each facility about their staff training and ongoing education. You want the peace of mind of knowing your loved one is being cared for by trained, knowledgeable staff.
Staff to resident ratio, especially in later stages of dementia care will tell you a great deal about the attention to detail in care.
Take note of the safety measures implemented at each memory care facility. Many have found innovative ways to use technology to take safety to a new level. Patient location bracelets, room alarms, and other monitors can ensure your loved one is protected, accounted for and safely cared for at all times.
Costs and Conditions
The costs of long-term care are something no one wants to have to be a factor, but it really needs to be.
Compare the costs of each facility with the amount of care and services provided. Cheaper isn’t always the wisest choice and the most expensive doesn’t always ensure the best quality.
Do your research and take a tour of each facility. Make notes on the environment, cleanliness, staff professionalism and all the factors that are important to you and your loved one.
This will allow you to make an informed decision while considering all the information you’ve gathered.
Read through the conditions of residency. You don’t want to be surprised by small print after having a loved one moved in.
Take Your Time and Ask For Help
Deciding on which memory care facility to choose can be one of the toughest things you ever have to do. Don’t get pressured into making a choice you’re not going to be happy with.
Contact us to take a tour of our facility and see what memory care is like when you take it to the next level of caring, respect, and dignity for every resident and peace of mind for every family.