What To Look For in an Assisted Living or Memory Care CommunityApril 25, 2023
When the time comes for your family member to move into an assisted living or memory care facility, choosing a community can be daunting. You’re concerned whether your loved one will be well looked after. You might be wondering, can I find an assisted living or memory care facility near me? There are multiple factors to consider, from the level of care to the food to the amenities.
How To Choose an Assisted Living or Memory Care Facility
So what should be on your checklist when researching assisted living or memory care communities? What do you need to look for?
- Continuum of care. Can residents seamlessly move from one level of care to another?
- Floor plans. Does the community offer a household model of care and private suites?
- Dining. Will your loved one enjoy tasty, nutritious meals?
- Therapies. What is the extent of therapeutic care?
- Fitness amenities. Is personal training available?
- Healthcare services. Is there on-site medical and dental care?
- Social activities. Will your family member feel welcome and be socially engaged?
- Spiritual needs. Will your loved one have spiritual support?
Continuum of Care
If your family member needs extra assistance with the activities of daily life, such as bathing, dressing and household chores, assisted living can be the perfect solution. But what happens if, in a few years, they need specialized memory or skilled nursing care? By choosing a facility that offers a full continuum of care, your loved one can remain in the community they know well and you won’t need to start the research process from scratch.
You want your parent to feel at home in their new surroundings. Do residents live in modern, comfortable and practical spaces? Do the private suites have private bathrooms and kitchenettes? When choosing an assisted living or memory care facility, look for a community that offers a household model of care. This innovative approach creates a homelike environment in which each household shares a common area and kitchen where residents can enjoy meals together. The household model also means residents have private suites and the number of suites is limited.
Another essential consideration is the quality of food. When you’re touring communities, be sure to ask who plans and prepares the meals and whether you can stay for lunch or dinner. Tasty meals are important and help create a convivial environment. While you’re visiting, ask if there is a professional chef overseeing the kitchen. An on-site registered dietitian is an added bonus, as they can tailor a nutritious diet to your family member’s specific health requirements.
The range of therapies available can make a world of difference to your loved one’s health and well-being. Communities may offer programs from music and art therapy, proven to benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease, to animal-assisted therapy, shown to improve sleep and reduce depression. Ask whether fitness training or rehab therapy is provided within the resident’s private suite or will they have to travel to another building or location to receive it.
You might be worried about whether Mom or Dad will find themselves sitting in a chair all day. Ask what steps caregivers take to ensure all residents remain as fit and active as possible. Is there a gym with equipment geared toward older people? What about personal training? What types of classes are offered? Is there a gentle walking trail available? One-on-one attention ensures residents receive customized fitness plans.
When it comes to healthcare within an assisted living or memory care facility, your checklist should cover several key points. Is there a high staff-to-resident ratio? Are registered nurses available 24/7? Is there an on-site medical practice for day-to-day health needs? What type of emergency response is in place? We might not like to think about it, but it’s also important to ask whether hospice care is available.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of social engagement as we grow older. Taking part in fun activities is great for both our physical and mental health. Ask prospective communities to tell you about their activity and entertainment schedules.
Do religious beliefs play a significant role in your loved one’s life? Finding a community with a chaplain may be an important deciding factor. Many communities have a strong tradition of spiritual care tied to a particular faith. Don’t dismiss them if your loved one follows a different faith or none at all. Be prepared to ask if their pastor is welcome or if there is transportation offered so they can continue to attend services.
If you’re wondering what to look for in an assisted or memory care facility, taking a tour is the best way to decide whether a community will be a good fit. Contact Fellowship Village today to visit our supported living residences and learn how your loved one can receive the personalized care they deserve.