Understanding Memory Care Facilities & How They Can Help Your Loved One

If your close friend, aging family member, or other loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia or another memory-based illness, or else is instead showing signs of forgetfulness that have not seemed to abated over the past few weeks and months, then memory care facilities may well be the answer.

With that being said, for your information, continue reading for a comprehensive guide to understanding memory care facilities and how they can help your loved one.

What Exactly Are Memory Care Facilities?

Fundamentally, memory care facilities are specialized communities that are specifically designed for older adults with memory-based problems.

Memory care facilities differ significantly from assisted living communities and independent living communities in some major and fundamental ways, which include:

  • The regular checking in on each and every resident from staff members
  • Residents are generally supervised for longer periods of time and more regularly
  • Individual memory care units are locked for the residents’ safety and security
  • There is often a much higher resident to staff member ratio
  • A considerably more structured and regular daily schedule

Pertinent Questions to Ask Potential Memory Care Facilities

Naturally, when considering whether or not to move or to move a loved one into professional and respected memory care facilities, there will be a seemingly endless list of questions and concerns swimming around in your mind.

It is absolutely crucial that having shortlisted a few locations that may seem suitable, you take an extensive and thorough tour of the facility as well as take the time to converse with not only members of staff but one or two residents as well where possible.

Observe for yourself how the staff members react and interact with the residents in their care and try and gauge a feel for the overall atmosphere, both in the more medical locations as well as communal living areas and recreation rooms. Additionally, and perhaps obviously, it is also incredibly important to assess the cleanliness and organizational levels of the facility and ask about food plans, meal schedules, and how the staff cater to specific allergies and other dietary requirements.

Other factors to consider when choosing the right memory care facility for your aging loved one include the cost and whether social excursions are included or cited as an option and therefore incur a further cost, and to ask for referrals on the facility from, ideally, residents and their families.

How Do I Know If My Loved One Would Be Happier in a Memory Care Facility?

Essentially, as every human is entirely different and unique, it can be hard to make a proverbial blanket statement on what to look out for.

However, notable factors may include if your loved one has a tendency to become confused and disorientated, even in their own home, they have developed bruises or cuts that have been clearly caused by falling, if they are showing signs of a general forgetfulness that goes beyond just being busy, or if they seem to have lower standards of personal hygiene.