Seeking Care for Your Loved One
How to Find the Best Assisted Living Home
Deciding on the best memory care facility and removing a loved one from their home can be one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make. Knowing that a loved one’s care needs have grown beyond your ability to meet them can be painful for all involved.
Once you have made the decision that a care facility is in your loved one’s best interests, the next decision can be even harder: Which care facility? If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, the search for a care facility can be harder still. As a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s, your loved one’s needs are greater, but their ability to communicate those needs - and whether or not they are being met - may be less. Care facilities may be unable to meet your loved one’s memory care-related needs, and too often this discovery is made after placement.
Visiting facilities and getting information about how they will meet your loved one’s current and future needs is critical. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are journeys with many challenges, some of which will overwhelm a typical assisted living facility. Even if such a placement works for your loved one now, it may not work in the near future.
Asking the Right Questions
Getting answers to the following questions can help you decide whether an assisted living facility is appropriate for your loved one with memory care needs:
- Is the facility a memory care facility or do they merely have dementia waivers?
- What is their caregiver to resident ratio?
- How many caregivers are present overnight? Are they awake?
- How do those awake caregivers handle residents who are unable to sleep and wander the facility?
- How are exit-seeking and wandering addressed? Is it a secure facility? Are they set up to provide safe wandering spaces?
- What memory care acuity level are they prepared to work with? How do they decide if that level has been exceeded?
- Do they take incontinent residents? What is their incontinence fee?
- Do they have “level of care” fees based upon behaviors? What are those behaviors and what are the fees?
- How do they communicate with a resident who can no longer speak?
- How are their caregivers trained and do they receive dementia care training beyond what is required by state law?
- How many times a day do they have structured activities? What memory-care specific activities do they offer?
- Do all the residents go on outings? If not, why not?
Asking questions like these can help you discover the facility’s policies and core values.
At Paradise Valley Care, we believe that our seniors are to be treasured and respected, whatever their abilities or behaviors. Our daily job as their caregivers is to ensure that our residents feel loved, accepted, and valued. We believe that the cognitive and physical impairments associated with complex or simple aging make our residents more deserving of our time and attention, not less.