Last Updated: January, 27 2014
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. Download a printable copy of
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?