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How to Find a Memory Care Facility for Your Loved One

A senior man and his daughter finding a memory care facility online.

When someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia, it can turn your world upside down. If your loved one is in the early stages of memory loss, you have time to research your options and determine which memory care community is right for you. But someone with more advanced dementia will require round-the-clock supervised care in a secure environment — and that can be hard to provide at home.

Many people in later stages of Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and using the bathroom. They may start wandering, become incontinent, have trouble sleeping at night, or be aggressive.

Symptoms vary from one person to the next, so it’s hard to know what to expect. What’s important, however, is that your loved one gets the support they need to have a high quality of life for as long as possible.   

Trying to care for your loved one at home can cause tremendous stress and burnout. And hiring home care while allowing your loved one to stay in their own home doesn’t provide the social engagement and specialized therapies found at memory care facilities. It can also be an expensive alternative to memory care, depending on how much care is needed.

Finding a Memory Care Facility: Where Do I Start?

Finding good memory care is getting easier all the time. Options include memory care-only communities, memory care as part of an assisted living community, or a Life Plan Community in which your loved one can transition from assisted living into memory care.

A good way to start your search for a memory care community is by talking with your doctor. Friends who have personal experience with a family member facing memory loss can also be valuable sources of information. Online resources such as Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare, Eldercare Locator, and your state Department of Health Services (DHS) will list memory care facilities in your area and help you compare options. In Wisconsin, you can search a nursing home directory on the DHS site.

Visit the Facility

Once you’ve narrowed down your options for finding a memory care facility and perhaps called several communities to get initial questions answered, it’s time to tour communities you’re interested in for a firsthand impression. Touring a memory care facility in person provides opportunities to see the layout, observe staff interactions with residents, check out special programs and services, and ask further questions. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself or the facility during your tour:

  • Do staff members receive specialized memory care training?
  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
  • Do staff members take the time to get to know residents?
  • Is the facility clean and well maintained?
  • Are mealtimes comfortable?
  • Is there a safe place for residents to go outside?
  • What activities are planned for residents?
  • Do staff members speak to residents with respect and compassion?
  • How are specific situations, such as aggressive behavior, handled?
  • Does a doctor regularly check on residents?

Memory Care at Heritage Senior Living Communities

At a Heritage Senior Living community, we make finding a memory care facility easy. Here, your loved one will get the support they need in a safe, secure environment. Our highly trained staff members get to know each resident’s preferences, interests and life story — which we weave into customized care plans. Staff members help residents stay engaged with a variety of activities and therapies, such as fitness classes, arts and recreation, memory-focused games, social events, and sensory therapies. It’s all designed to create a positive, nurturing environment.

We know moving a loved one to a memory care community is an important and, often, difficult decision to make. But the benefits can make a big difference in quality of life for you and your family member. Count on us to make your decision as easy as possible.

To learn more about memory care at Heritage Senior Living, contact us.

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