Last Updated: January 27, 2015
Questions to Ask When Considering a Memory Care Community
When you are considering a memory care community for a parent or
loved one, you should try to make sure that the care that's
provided is closely aligned with your parent's needs.
You should find the answers to these questions before you make a
final decision about memory care:
Questions to Ask Yourself About your Loved One's Needs
- What is your loved one's level of mobility? Does she walk
independently or require walker or wheelchair?
- Does your loved one show aggression or other behavior
- Does your loved one wander or seek exits?
- Does your loved one need help eating?
- Does your loved one need help toileting or experience
- Does your loved one require diabetic care?
- Does your loved one need 24/7 supervision?
- Does your loved one need any ongoing medical attention or
treatments? (for example, dialysis or colostomy care)
Questions to Ask the Community
Safety and Staffing
- How is the community secured? Secure buildings? Secure
- What type of training does the staff have?
- How many hours of training does the staff receive?
- What is the staffing ratio during the day? (number of residents
- What is the staffing ratio at night?
- Does each resident have an individual care plan?
- Is a nurse on duty 24 hours per day? If not, how many hours is
a nurse on duty, and what are those hours?
- Is there a visiting physician?
- What medical services are available?
- Can you care for wheelchair bound or bedridden residents?
- Are you able to care for residents who are physically
aggressive or who exhibit disruptive behaviors?
- Can outside (visiting) care be arranged? If so, who coordinates
- Do they provide a thorough assessment before admission?
- What types of care are they not able to provide? How do they
transition residents from memory care to skilled nursing?
- How often do they update families about resident
- What is the policy for handling a medical emergency?
- How does the fee structure work? Is there one flat fee, or
separate fees for housing and care?
- What is the discharge policy?
Memory Care Features & Treatments
- What are the living arrangements? Memory care cottages?
- Do they have a special memory care dining program?
- Do they have walking paths or circular walking paths for
- Do they group residents by cognitive level?
- Do they offer pet therapy?
- Music therapy?
- Reminiscence therapy?
- Parkinson's care?
- Vascular dementia care?
- Snoozelen rooms? Or other light treatment?
- Do they have an assisted living to Alzheimer's care bridge
program for early stage patients?
Your Gut Check
- Does the staff appear to be knowledgeable and caring?
- Do residents have free access to outdoor areas?
- Is the community easy to navigate?
- Does their philosophy of care resonate with you?