Do you have an elderly parent who is suffering from Alzheimer's? Are you and your family no longer able to care for them? If so, you may be considering a move into a long-term care facility, specifically one that focuses on those struggling with Alzheimer's and other cognitive diseases. Memory care facilities, such as Wellspring Meadows Assisted Living, are designed specifically for the unique challenges that come with Alzheimer's. They often have special safety features, along with activities and treatment meant to slow the disease's progress.
There are many different types of memory care facilities, so it may be difficult to know which is right for your parent. You may want to schedule visits to facilities in your area. Below are a few questions to ask as you do your research.
How do they handle roaming? Depending on the extent of your parent's condition, you may have firsthand experience with roaming. Many sufferers of Alzheimer's find it comforting to walk, often aimlessly. Obviously, this can be a risk. It's not difficult for them to lose track of where they are and find themselves in a dangerous situation. If your parent likes to wander, roam, or pace, ask the facility how they handle it. Many facilities recognize the comforting nature of roaming and develop circular hallways or enclosed gardens where residents can safely walk or roam as much as they like. If your facility simply locks the door in a room, that could be a red flag, as it could lead to anger and frustration for your parent.
What activities are offered for residents? You probably know how dangerous boredom can be for someone with Alzheimer's. Without anything to occupy their mind, they're left to simply let their condition progress and their brain deteriorate. Mental stimulation can often provide a temporary relief from their condition. Look for a facility that offers plenty of activities to occupy your parent's time. Some facilities offer classes in things like art or music. Others may have a community garden that is tended by residents. The facility may offer outings or field trips. If you see a lot of residents in chairs watching television or staring aimlessly, that could be a bad sign.
How often is there staff turnover? Continuity and routine are important for those with Alzheimer's. Any disruption to their routine could trigger a bout of frustration or anger. If their favorite staffer or nurse leaves, they may have trouble connecting with a new person. High turnover could also be a sign about the quality of the care in the facility. Nurses and other providers genuinely care about their patients. They usually don't want to stay in a facility that is poorly run. If the facility has a high turnover rate, you may want to avoid that facility.
Ready to find a safe and comfortable home for your elderly parent? Visit facilities in your area today and ask plenty of questions to do your due diligence.