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When looking into a memory care community for your family member, it is essential to ask the proper inquiries to guarantee their requirements are fulfilled. In this blog post, we will explore critical questions to ask a memory care community that can help you make an informed decision.

Who runs the daily operations of the community?

The executive director runs the daily operations and can answer questions about how you will engage as a family member, how issues are resolved, how the staff is trained, what certifications they have, and other community policies and resident security.

What is the Memory Care community size?

Consider the number of resident rooms, the size of the room, whether private or companion rooms, the number of dining rooms, and indoor and outdoor activity spaces.

What type of medical care is available?

Most memory care communities have at least one registered nurse or licensed nurse practitioner on the floor 24/7. Before choosing your community, please speak to the nursing staff and the medical director to understand their level of engagement with family members.

How do staff and residents interact?

All staff should be trained in dementia care. A standard caregiver ratio is one caregiver to five or six residents. Some communities assign residents to the same caregiver daily, but this may vary. Ask how caregivers are trained to manage dementia behaviors, especially distress, anger, and aggression. Understanding their approach and deciding if you feel comfortable with it is essential.

What are the dining services like?

Yes, food is a factor. What is the meal setting and cleanliness level? Meet the registered dietician and ask how they’ll address your loved one’s nutrition needs. Find out if there’s an alternative if your loved one doesn’t like a particular meal. Most communities offer sandwiches or some other palatable option for each hot meal.

Are companion rooms available?

A companion room is an excellent option if a private room is unavailable or if budget is a concern. The executive director will match your loved one’s information with another resident and observe compatibility. They want your loved one to be happy. My mom had a private room, and it always felt empty. When I switched her to a companion room, both women seemed happier.

What is the monthly cost?

Many people sell their homes and use the profits for memory care, but that is not the only option. Medicaid can help with expenses if the community accepts Medicaid payments, and your loved one qualifies. Medicare does not pay living expenses, only medical expenses. A side benefit to selecting the right community is the relief you feel knowing that your loved one is being well cared for and encouraged to engage in a way that’s comfortable for them.

They are being supported by professionals who are experienced in dementia behaviors. Most family members feel guilt for not keeping their loved ones at home. Knowing that they’re getting better care than you can provide makes that guilt sting less, allowing you to focus on your relationship with your loved one instead.

By asking the right questions, you can gain insight into the level of care and support each community provides. You should ask about personal assistance and programs, safety features and design elements, medical oversight, caregiver training in memory care, person-centered dementia treatment approaches, licensing authority inspection history, staff turnover rates and ratios, and costs associated with memory care communities.

Remember to take notes during your visits to help you compare different facilities later. Don’t be afraid to probe deeper if something isn’t comprehensible or if you need extra information before settling on a decision.