Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to Alzheimer’s and dementia care centers, though it can be difficult to determine one center’s level of care over another.
If you find yourself in the difficult situation of having to place a loved one in an Alzheimer’s center, look for these features to find the perfect program for your loved one and your family:
First, look for a care facility that is dedicated solely to treating those patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
These disorders are very complex and require staff that is both knowledgeable and dedicated to their patients. Look for a facility that employs staff that is very knowledgeable in the care and treatment of those with Alzheimer’s.
Ask to see the center’s policies regarding experience requirements of staff as well as ongoing or continuing education for the staff.
An Alzheimer’s care facility should treat each patient as an individual. A patient should be evaluated to determine where he falls in the Alzheimer’s spectrum – beginning, middle or end stages – and care should be tailored to the patient’s personal needs.
Be sure that your loved one is assessed on a regular basis as care requirements change with the level of Alzheimer’s or dementia he or she is experiencing.
Someone in the beginning stages, for example, may need only minimal assistance while someone in end-stage dementia may need 24-hour care and attention. The best facilities understand this and require regular evaluations and adjust the level of care as needed.
Check out the living environment at the center. Are there gardens for relaxing? Quiet sitting areas for meditating or reading? Are the rooms comfortable? Your loved one will be living at this center, and it is important that he or she feels at home. This will ensure your loved one’s ease of transition into the care center.
Living in a care center should not feel like boot camp, nor should it feel like a locked hospital ward. A perfect facility will ensure that their residents are just that: residents. Your loved one should be able to live in a way that he or she is comfortable and happy while having access to round-the-clock medical care.
Be sure that the facility has activities, outings and other services for the residents. A great center will give residents access to supervised picnics, fitness classes, craft classes, religious events and field trips to ensure that their residents remain as active as possible for as long as possible.
If your loved one will be leaving a pet behind, look for a center with a pet therapy program.
Before deciding on a residential facility, tour the center and get a feel for the environment. Ask to see a model resident room and, if permitted, ask to speak to some of the residents.
If you can, tour the center on a weekend when residents are more likely to have visitors; doing so will allow you to speak to other family members who have had to make the decision you are making now.
Those professionals who care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia know that family support makes all the difference. The center should provide ample opportunity for family visits, activities and outings that the family can take part in.
By following these guidelines, you’ll be assured of picking the best program available to you and your loved one.