Evaluating a Memory Care Program for a Loved One

When a loved one is affected by dementia and memory loss, it affects the whole family. Getting the right kind of care is important. When the family is not able to provide a safe living environment for the person suffering from memory loss, they must find the correct kind of Assisted Living environment and Memory Care program. When money is an issue, it makes things even more difficult. 

At Chelsea, we work with families to help make the best financial decisions through our own team of experts. We also direct families to resources that we feel are helpful and will guide them on their journey researching the best programs for them. In this blog, we help you understand ways to identify loved ones in need of Memory Care and the services available to them.

What is Memory Care?

Specialized memory care is a type of Assisted Living for seniors that offers specialized care for older adults with memory issues. A memory care community can be located within an Assisted Living community to care for residents in a special way. There are also stand-alone communities for Memory Care 

Memory care is unique in that it is designed to give people with memory loss a structured, safe environment to live in. There will be set routines designed to lower stress and help people with Alzheimer’s or dementia cope. There will be more structure and support for the residents. Employees are available to help residents with meals and personal care efforts.

Memory care communities are built for the residents in a very secure and safe environment.There will be activities for residents that are designed to help cognitive function and engage residents during the different stages of dementia.

Knowing When a Loved One Needs Memory Care Services

A person who has the beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s can often live on their own during the first stages of the condition. They may do well with home healthcare workers or family members stopping by to help. Deciding the degree of wellness the loved one is at and whether a person needs more help than family or caregivers can give at home is not easy.

Caring for a family member with dementia can be difficult and stressful with managing their diet, wandering and agitation issues, and seeing their personality change. These questions can provide guidance:

  • Is the loved one starting to be unsafe in their own home?
  • Is the situation causing the health of the person with dementia or their caregiver to be at risk?
  • Does the person need more care than their family can give them?
  • Is the caregiver becoming stressed, impatient, and irritable to the detriment of the person needing care?
  • Is the family member giving care forced to neglect their own family or work responsibilities?
  • Would the person do better in the structured environment of a memory care community?

If the answer to these questions is yes, it may be time to consider moving that person to a good, quality Memory Care community. At this stage, it is wise to seek the guidance of the family physician or a senior care specialist.

How to Evaluate Memory Care Programs Near You

Once the decision has been made to move a loved one into a Memory Care community, every family wants to make sure they choose the best one. Memory care communities and programs are not all equal or even similar. It is important to match the needs of your family member with the care given at the Assisted Living facility and its Memory Care program. Consider these factors:

  1. You want the community to be safe and secure. Ask what measures are taken to keep residents safe and prevent wandering. Ask the staff to review all the building security measures with you.
  2. What is the size of the program space? It needs space large enough to facilitate a dining room and other features but not so big it will overwhelm the person with dementia.
  3. Ask about dedicated staffing. How many staff members are there in relation to residents. Are all staff members specially trained to care for dementia patients? Remember adequate staffing is needed for quality care.
  4. Ask to see the survey results from the community’s last few state surveys. State evaluations are important in assessing the quality of the institution and its programs. Ask about their licensing status.
  5. Ask about the different activities and enrichment programs the community offers. Ask to look at current activity calendars to make sure the activities meet the resident’s emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
  6. Does the community have transportation available to take residents on outings or to medical appointments?
  7. How does the community go about making individual care plans and facilitating them? Does the family have input into their loved one’s care plan? How often are residents’ needs re-evaluated and care plans changed accordingly?
  8. Don’t be shy about asking for a detailed list of costs so you have a complete picture of what the community will charge in addition to the basic charges listed. Hidden charges can cause budget problems if they are unexpected.

About Chelsea Senior Living

Chelsea Senior Living has been in business for more than 30 years with the mission of providing a safe, comfortable, and secure home for people with dementia or memory loss problems who need help with daily living activities in an atmosphere that is caring and gives the residents respect and dignity. We own many senior living communities in New Jersey and New York that offer quality, respectful care for older adults with dementia or memory loss issues.

What We Offer in Dementia Care 

Our Country Cottage community gives every resident the assistance they need from our dedicated staff members. They also enjoy the company of other residents with fun social and recreational activities. There are private or shared apartments available. Our services and features include:

  • 24-hour nurses and other professional staffing
  • Apartments that are attractive, comfortable, and have familiar personal items.
  • Daily assistance with hygiene and daily living activities
  • Personal laundry, housekeeping, and linen services
  • Three healthy meals every day
  • A well-trained therapeutic staff for recreation 
  • Attractive common areas and parlors
  • Outdoor spaces that are secure
  • Multi-disciplinary professionals to give residents expert and compassionate care

Our residents get periodic assessments through cooperation with a team of nurses, social workers, psychologists, and geriatric psychologists from nearby hospitals and qualified private agencies. Please contact us for additional information.


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