Memories are important for everyone. They provide a link to the past and a guide for how we live each day. When Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia impairs a person’s ability to remember, finding ways to support their remaining capabilities and preserve their history is essential. A specialized memory care program such as Elmcroft Senior Living’s Heartland Village allows older adults with memory loss to live their best quality of life.
How to Evaluate a Memory Care Programs
When a senior loved one may require memory care, these tips can help you make a choice you can feel confident in.
Investigate the training program for staff members. Alzheimer’s residents need a different type of approach and specialized care to allow them to be successful. Ask what initial and on-going training each community’s staff receives.
Pay attention to the environment. The goal for a quality memory care program is to create a supportive environment. Residents benefit from a setting that minimizes stress and demands on residents while giving them the opportunity to engage in activities and socialize with others. It should be secure to minimize the risk of a resident wandering away. Having a safe outdoor courtyard or garden area can also help to lift the spirits of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease.
Look for resident and staff engagement. Friendship is important at any age and at all stages of this disease. With that knowledge in mind, a good quality memory care program will encourage staff to create a positive relationship with each resident. At Elmcroft Senior Living, we do that through our Best Friends specialized training program. We know Heartland Village residents deserve to feel safe and respected.
Explore the life enrichment program calendar. A dedicated life enrichment calendar is an important part of a memory care program. Structured activities on-going throughout the day should support each residents remaining abilities. It will usually include music and art, as well as one-on-one activity.
Family support and involvement is valued. Supporting the family and educating them on the disease and what to expect is also important. Try to talk with families of residents of the memory care communities you are considering to determine how satisfied they are with the support their family receives and how happy they are with their loved one’s care.
Finally, plan to visit each of the communities you are considering on different days and at different times. It is the best way to get a true understanding of daily life at the community.
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