What Is Memory Care And How Does It Work?

happy elderly

When it comes to our loved ones, we always want what’s best for them. And when it comes to their health, which means ensuring they have access to the best possible care. If your loved one is dealing with memory loss, finding the right kind of care can be a daunting task. But don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Memory care facilities cater specifically to those with memory loss and provide a range of services and amenities tailored to their needs. The facilities offer 24-hour care, supervision, and support for activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, and grooming. They also provide social and recreational opportunities, essential for maintaining mental stimulation and quality of life.

How is Memory Care Different from Standard Senior Care Facility?

Memory care is different from standard senior care in a few key ways. First, memory care facilities are specifically designed to meet the needs of those with memory loss. They have smaller unit sizes, which helps create a more supportive and home-like environment, and they offer a range of specialized programming and services.

Second, memory care is more expensive than standard senior care. That is because the level of care and supervision required is much higher. However, the cost of memory care is often worth it, as it can provide a much-needed sense of security and stability for those with memory loss.

What to Look for in a Memory Care Facility

Memory care facilities will take care of your loved one’s physical health, but they can’t do it alone. You’ll need to ensure that your loved one receives the right kind of support and care for their mind and spirit as well. Here are some things you should look for in a memory care facility:

1) Check the Accreditation & Licensing

First, look for a facility that’s accredited and licensed Department of Health and Senior Services, the Long-Term Care Regulation Section. Accreditation means the facility has undergone an extensive review by independent experts to meet specific industry standards. 

Licensing is required by each state and ensures that all regulations are met for providing quality care. Facilities with accreditation and licensing offer you peace of mind, knowing they have been reviewed thoroughly and upheld quality standards.

2) Go for a Facility with Smaller Unit Sizes

Memory care facilities will provide 24-hour supervision, which means your loved one will be cared for around the clock. To create a more supportive environment, look for a facility with smaller unit sizes – aim for 10 units or less per building. That helps nurture a more home-like environment, essential for maintaining mental stimulation and quality of life.

busy elderly

3) Look for a Home-Like Environment

Look for a facility with plenty of natural light and spacious common areas with opportunities for engaging in social activities. Your loved one will be spending most of their time here, so it’s essential to find somewhere warm and welcoming, like Utah memory care. Also, look out for wide doorways, easy-to-grip doorknobs, lever handles on the faucets instead of round knobs, comfortable temperature control, sturdy/stable handrails, etc. 

4) Knowledgeable, Caring Staff

One of the most important things to look for in a memory care facility is the quality of the staff. The staff should be knowledgeable about dementia and best care for those with memory loss. They should also be compassionate and caring, taking the time to get to know each resident individually.

5) Specialized Programming and Services

Facilities specializing in memory care offer a wide range of specialized programming and services. That can include art therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, horticulture therapy, etc. Your loved one must have access to as many different types of programming as possible to stimulate their mind and keep them engaged. 

6) Proximity to Your Home

It’s essential to choose a memory care facility close to your home. That will make it easier for you to visit and spend time with your loved one. If you don’t live close by, consider flying in every few months or, if possible, move closer to the facility. Your loved one may not like change and may be further agitated if they have to adjust again and again. 

7) Ability to Accommodate Special Needs

Finally, look for a facility that can accommodate any special needs, such as physical disabilities or dietary restrictions. You should also ensure their health insurance covers the cost of memory care facilities since coverage varies from plan to plan and may not include certain types of care.

Once you’ve found a suitable memory care facility for your loved ones, bring them in for a tour so they can see what it would be like to live there. Their comfort level is fundamental, so this decision needs to be made together. Make sure you find out any costs/fees associated with the move, how long it will take until their room is ready, etc., so there are no surprises when making the transition.