Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia is undoubtedly a challenging time for the whole family. This means that searching for a great memory care facility in San Antonio, either for now or the future can be fraught with emotion, too. But supporting your parent in their move to a memory care facility can be a truly positive experience. Residential assisted living facilities in San Antonio specializing in memory care are experts at ensuring seniors with dementia are able to live their happiest, healthiest lives for as long as possible.
But how do you find the right memory care facility for your loved one?
If it’s your first time dealing with an Alzheimer’s disease or dementia diagnosis, you might be unsure on what you should be looking for in a quality memory care facility. Aside from standard activities of daily living like excellent personal care as well as a great resident-to-staff ratio, healthy meal plans and reliable medication management, there are a few extra points to consider.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia typically require more time and assistance from highly skilled caregivers like those at Pipestone Place who specialize in meeting their unique needs. Let’s take a look at seven questions you can ask to narrow down the search for a memory care community your parent or loved one can call home.
Are there any medically trained staff like registered nurses on site?
Ideally, a memory care facility will have trained staff members to oversee the more advanced clinical needs of residents. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia residents often have a range of additional needs and having someone on-site and ready to help at all times is paramount. What’s more, RN oversight, Certified Nursing Assistants, Administrators, and other medical practitioners visiting the community are a great safety provision, so you can rest easy knowing there is someone there to help your loved one.
How are staff trained to care for residents with dementia?
Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia have varied and complex needs. Sometimes, the symptoms of their disease can lead to unpredictable behavior, and outbursts of frustration, anger or confusion are not uncommon. Properly trained caregivers who know how to de-escalate these situations in an appropriate manner are vital. Staff should understand the importance of taking a compassionate, reassuring approach, rather than worsening a resident’s distress by appearing frustrated, confrontational, or impatient.
Are memory-enhancing group activities offered?
A range of therapies and treatments tailored specifically for individuals with memory care needs have been shown to be effective in improving quality of life and even reducing cognitive decline. Common activities offered by memory care facilities include art therapy, music therapy, cooking or baking classes and aromatherapy. Finding a community with memory-enhancing activities like those offered at Pipestone Place that appeal to your loved one could not only help keep their mind as sharp as possible, but support socialization as well.
What safety provisions are in place to protect residents?
Of course, health and safety are key concerns in any residential assisted living community, but memory care facilities must be extra diligent, as the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can place patients at extra risk. Safety provisions like 24-hour on site professional caregivers, emergency systems and alarmed emergency exits are of utmost importance to prevent residents from wandering off site or having avoidable accidents.
How is the building adapted to assist individuals with memory care needs?
Facilities that primarily specialize in memory care are often laid out in a way that is helpful for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Ask how easy the flow of the building is to navigate, and look out for features like short, color-coded hallways, soundproof walls and personalization within residents’ rooms.
How well-equipped is the facility to deal with the progression of dementia?
Some facilities are better prepared to care for residents for the duration of their disease, with highly skilled caregivers on hand. Some like Pipestone Place are able to offer hospice care or coordinate with another hospice care provider. In other memory care facilities, residents may eventually need to move on to a different facility specializing in end-of-life care. It can be difficult to think about the progression of your loved one’s disease, particularly if they are still in the earlier stages. But if they would prefer to remain in one place, it’s important to ask this question.
How often are care plans reviewed, and who is involved in this process?
For patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, progression can be slow at times and a little faster at others. Each individual is unique, and there’s no real way of predicting how the disease will progress. In light of this, it’s important that your loved one’s care plan be re-assessed on a continual basis for any changes that occur. It may be the case that their care plan suits them and remains the same for a number of months, but constant monitoring is vitally important to meet their dynamic health, happiness, and safety needs.
Alongside these memory care-specific questions, there are a range of more general things you might wish to find out when searching for a memory care facility. Read this blog post to find out more. If you have additional questions or concerns or would like to speak with our Administrator, contact us today!