When searching for the best memory care facility in San Antonio for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, families have a lot to think about. And in the wake of the pandemic, there’s even more to consider.
The transition to assisted living is often difficult for seniors, and for those with dementia, the change can be even harder to navigate. Therefore, it’s vital to start your search armed with knowledge, knowing exactly what a facility should be offering to keep your loved one happy and healthy.
Here are 7 key features to consider in memory care facilities this fall:
Compassionate Caregivers Trained in Memory Care
Anyone with experience in working in senior care will tell you that true compassion and excellent training are always key, but when caring for seniors with dementia, they’re all the more vital. Being a caregiver for individuals who can easily become frustrated, upset or confused takes a great deal of skill and genuine kindness, and it’s important to know how to de-escalate potentially stressful situations patiently and calmly. Caregivers are at the heart of any residential assisted living community and can therefore truly shape a senior’s living experience and quality of life.
Specialized Memory Care Activities
The best residential assisted living communities will provide a rich calendar of group and individual activities that promote social interaction, physical activity, and engagement with hobbies for seniors within their care. Many assisted living facilities specializing in memory care also offer therapeutic activities to help maintain cognitive function and enhance quality of life for seniors with dementia.
Sound Infection Control Procedures
If a global pandemic has highlighted one thing, it’s the vital role of solid infection control procedures. In the residential assisted living industry, implementing strategies to avoid outbreaks of infection – COVID-19 or otherwise, is of utmost importance. With seniors being most at risk from many infectious diseases, assisted living communities should be constantly striving to implement the best preventative measures possible. The importance of infection control has never been clearer, and with COVID-19 showing no signs of leaving us any time soon, it’s paramount for assisted living communities to keep infection control high on their list of priorities. As well as protecting the health of seniors, great infection control procedures can also help prevent lockdowns, allowing all-important family visits to continue in a safe and controlled environment.
Safety and Security
Resident safety should always be a top priority in any assisted living community in San Antonio. Spaces should be designed for ease of access for seniors with a range of mobility needs, allowing them to move around their home freely. Facilities specializing in memory care can also benefit from being designed in ways that help reduce confusion for seniors with dementia. For example, some facilities have themed or color coded areas to help residents more easily recognize where on the site they are. Adequate security is also vital in memory care facilities; for example, locked gates and surveillance can ensure residents do not leave unattended when it’s unsafe for them to do so. Having first aid trained staff on site 24/7 to deal with emergencies is another valuable safety provision offered by many assisted living communities.
High Staff to Resident Ratios
In residential assisted living, high staff to resident ratios are important for the health, safety and happiness of residents. With memory care residents often requiring more one-to-one support, it’s even more vital that caregivers have the time to offer seniors the patient, attentive care they deserve. What’s more, high staff to resident ratios allow for a more personal relationship to develop between caregivers and residents, helping seniors feel valued and truly at home within their community.
Great Services and Amenities
Consider memory care facilities offering on-site services and amenities that your loved one will use and enjoy. Many assisted living communities offer on-site salons, physician visits or free transportation to medical appointments. For seniors with memory care needs, on-site amenities are particularly beneficial, and allow for a level of independence that may simply not have been safe when living unsupervised in their own home.
It’s common for seniors to worry about losing their independence when they move into assisted living. If this is a concern you have for your loved one with memory care needs, consider senior living facilities that focus on allowing residents to live life as independently as possible, but with the supportive care they require. This final point relates heavily to the previous two, and having high staff to resident ratios is particularly integral. Your loved one’s professional caregivers should have the time to encourage and assist them in completing activities of daily living as independently as possible.
In many ways, the key items to consider when searching for a memory care facility remain unchanged, but the pandemic has highlighted the need for a keen focus on infection control and overall health and safety procedures. A great memory care facility will be able to offer both hospitality and healthcare, keeping residents safe and healthy while also boasting a positive, social, and nurturing home-to-home environment.
To learn more about residential assisted living or seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, contact us today.