Memory care facility features and amenities vary from location to location. With thousands of options in the United States, how do you determine the best fit for your aging loved one with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia?
Knowing questions to ask and features to compare can help narrow your search. From safety measures to personalized dementia care to unique design elements, discover important memory care features to look for.
Every memory care community, sometimes called a dementia care home, has different memory care services, protocols, and technology to help prevent wandering and related injuries. Communities can provide your family with peace of mind through advanced safety setups.
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Top safety features include:
Memory care facilities tend to look and feel more homelike compared to other senior living options. The unique layouts of memory care facilities often include easy-to-navigate floor plans and other environmental design factors aimed at minimizing distractions and reducing confusion and wandering.
Design and building features may include:
These are some additional building features to look for:
Many memory care communities have an activities director in charge of group and one-on-one activities to help residents maintain their cognitive ability and enhance their quality of life.
It’s important to find a community that takes the time to get to know your loved one’s interests and abilities. For example, if your dad loves nature or bird watching, ask what kinds of outdoor activities the community offers.
Activities for dementia patients can include:
Training requirements for memory care staff vary by state. Ask the community what kind of training or certification is required, and whether the staff has ongoing education. In some communities, all staff members — including kitchen staff and housekeepers — have dementia training.
Specifically, discuss staff training and ability to manage these important aspects of care:
H2) What kinds of dementia treatments are available?
Depending on the severity of a person’s dementia and health conditions, they may require tailored therapies or treatments.
For example, light therapy can treat depression and help residents exhibiting signs of sundown syndrome, a behavioral shift that occurs during the transition from day to night. Ask what therapies are available and how they can specifically help your loved one.
Memory care therapies can include:
It shouldn’t feel overwhelming to search for a community with the right activities, building features, and level of care for your loved one. Contact our Senior Living Advisors to learn how memory care can accommodate each resident’s unique needs.
Merritt Whitely is an editor at A Place for Mom. She developed health content for seniors at Hearing Charities of America and the National Hearing Aid Project. She’s also managed multiple print publications, blogs, and social media channels for seniors as the marketing manager at Sertoma, Inc.