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Memory Care Checklist

Memory Care Checklist

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 this checklist.

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 issues?
  • Does your loved one wander or seek exits?
  • Does your loved one need help eating?
  • Does your loved one need help toileting or experience incontinence?
  • 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 grounds?
  • 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 per caregiver)
  • 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 that care?

Community Policies

  • 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 well-being?
  • 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? Neighborhood style?
  • Do they have a special memory care dining program?
  • Do they have walking paths or circular walking paths for residents?
  • 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?

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