Memory Care can be a form of support for care partners who are caring for a person living with Memory Loss. Whether the Memory Loss is due to a diagnosis of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or Memory Impairment due to a brain injury, this form of specialized care can be offered as in-home Memory Care or at a Memory Care environment.
When looking for Memory Care for your loved one living with Memory Loss, here are some factors to consider.
Familiar with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Protecting the best interests of your loved one living with Memory Loss can be accomplished by selecting an environment that focuses on those with Alzheimer’s and dementia conditions and does not make memory care an afterthought in their design and planning. Ask questions about the type of care provided and the extent of care given. Factors to consider include whether they have highly trained and qualified Team Members, the ratio of Team Members to Members, and the form of support given.
Knowledgeable and Well-Trained Team Members
Family members who become care partners for a loved one who is living with Memory Loss have all of the best intentions. But even qualified personnel need support and help from time to time. The physical, emotional, and mental trauma those living with Memory Loss face requires specific care and services. Choose a Memory Care environment where Team Members have the experience and knowledge of Memory Loss conditions. Look for specialized training in behaviour management, care approaches, quality engagement training for this population, and training on how to connect in meaningful ways with people living with dementia.
Clean and Well Maintained
Have a first-hand look at the selected environment to gain an understanding of the importance of cleanliness to Team Members. Dirty floors, unpleasant odours, and cluttered hallways can be a sign of a less-than-average maintained environment. On the other hand, a sterile environment with no welcoming or personal décor can also be a red flag.
Style and Presentation of the Environment
A safe and supportive environment should have the comforts of home with the appropriate equipment and design to keep those living with Memory Loss safe. Nursing care facilities resemble a hospital setting while Memory Care environments should be warm and engaging with plenty of natural light in common spaces. The style of the building should provide accessibility by mobility devices, be designed with dementia design principles in mind.
Team AssociatesCan Address All Concerns and Questions
A face-to-face meeting with Team Members and a tour of the Memory Care environment can determine the level of care and service your loved one who is living with Memory Loss can expect. The decision to utilize the services of, or move to, a Memory Care environment can pose new questions and concerns for both you and your loved one.
Secure Perimeter to Prevent Members from Wandering
People living with Memory Loss often wander or become lost or confused about their location. When this happens, it’s referred to as “wandering” or “exit seeking”. Make sure the Memory Care environment has the proper security features to prevent wandering and ensure the physical safety of your loved one. Motion sensors, door alarms, security cameras, and location devices are offered by some Memory Care environments. Also look for environments that offer a circular environment that does not have dead end hallways. This allows people who tend to wander to explore their space without the frustration of reaching a dead-end corridor.
Access to Medical Care or Nursing
Memory Care environments may be designed and structured with a home-like setting but should have adequate medical support. Ensure qualified nurses and allied health professionals are available on-site with access to physicians, pharmacists, and medical specialists when needed.
Price of the Memory Care Environment
In theory and in practice, it can be said the price for the care and general well-being of a loved one living with Memory Loss is worth it’s weight in gold. Yet this is a major factor why some care partners choose to try to provide all levels of service and care for their loved one on their own. That said, many Memory Care environments cost a fraction of what it would cost to hire in-home care partners, with highly trained team Members that truly understand the needs of people living with memory loss.
Purposeful and Engaging Activities
While day programs and short-term stays may be offered for those living with Memory Loss as a form of respite care for the care partner, there should be purposeful and engaging activities. Socialization is an important component of supporting those living with Memory Loss. The care plan should involve activities that may delay cognitive decline, address loneliness, and stimulate communication. Look for environments that offer seamless programming throughout the day, with engaged team members always available to offer programs and acitivities.
Memory Care or Respite Hotel Location
It is important for the care partner and family and friends of the person living with Memory Loss to have easy access to the Memory Care environment. Regular visits and interactions are crucial to the mental health of both the care partner and the person living with Memory Loss, regardless of their level of Memory Loss.
Nutritious Meals and “Brain Foods”
Poor nutrition can have an adverse effect on those living with Memory Loss. This condition can cause some to neglect having three meals a day, whether they are unable to prepare it themselves or completely forget to eat. The food choices and dining room structure should adapt to the needs and comfort of the people living with Memory Loss.
Those living with Memory Loss can face challenges of various degrees. Their condition should not limit their ability to enjoy amenities at the Memory Care environment. With strategical design and planning, there should be specialized equipment, materials, and rooms to physically support participation in ongoing activities.
Choose Memory & Company’s Respite Hotel Service for Memory Care
In Oakville and Markham, Memory & Company offers Respite Hotels and personalized programming for those living with Memory Loss. We provide accommodations for short-term and long-term stays along with a Premium Day Program. Our services focus on the journey of both the care partner and the person living with Memory Loss. Contact us today to see how our knowledgeable staff can help you and your loved one refresh, recharge, and prepare to meet each day with a renewed sense of being.
Victor Kwong is the Founder, Co-Owner, and Director of Innovation & Technology at Memory & Company. He has a background in teaching and policing, and currently works as a spokesperson, Public and Media Relations Officer for a metropolitan police department. Victor is passionate about working with seniors and maintaining human interaction. He is also the recipient of an award for rescuing seniors from a fire at a long-term care facility and the recipient of a life-saving award for resuscitating a passenger and coordinating the subsequent emergency landing of an international flight.