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Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 06/15/2022

Choosing a Memory Care Facility: Checklist to review options:

Choosing a Memory Care Facility: Checklist to review options:

When choosing a memory care facility, there are a number of factors to consider, including the staff, the facility, the programs and the type of treatment residents receive. Use this checklist to review facilities.

Step 1 – Call Facilities and Ask Questions

  •     Are families encouraged to participate in care planning?
  •     Do staff members communicate openly with families?
  •     Are families informed of changes in the resident’s condition or care needs?
  •     Is personal care and assistance provided?
  •     Is medical care provided?
  •     Is care personalized to meet specific resident needs, abilities and interests?
  •     Is the staff specifically trained in dementia care?
  •     Is there a physician and/or nurse practitioner on the premises and a registered nurse on site at all times?
  •     What is the ratio of residents to staff?
  •     Is staff equipped to handle challenging behaviors?
  •     Are planned activities scheduled, and do they actually take place?
  •     Are activities designed to meet specific needs, interests and abilities of residents?
  •     Are activities available on the weekends or in the evenings?
  •     Is transportation available for medical appointments or personal shopping?
  •     Is physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy available?

Step 2 – Visit Facilities and Observe

  •     Do residents appear comfortable, relaxed and involved in activities?
  •     Are residents well groomed, clean and dressed appropriately?
  •     What is the rate of falls for residents?
  •     Is the facility free of unpleasant odors?
  •     Is there indoor space available for residents to move around freely?
  •     Are both the indoor and outdoor areas safe, secure and monitored?
  •     Is there a designated family visiting area?
  •     Are the resident rooms clean and spacious?
  •     Are residents allowed to bring personal items with them, such as photos and bedding?
  •     Is the food appetizing?
  •     Is the dining area a pleasant environment?
  •     Can family and friends join residents for mealtime?
  •     Can the facility accommodate special dietary needs?
  •     Does staff provide assistance with feeding if necessary?

Step 3 – Ask More Questions and Decide

  •     Are family and friends able to participate in resident care?
  •     Do the visiting hours work for the family?
  •     What is the discharge policy? Ask about any situation or condition that would lead a resident to be discharged, including behavior changes and financial circumstances.
  •     Is staff available to escort residents to the Emergency Room, if needed?
  •     Is end-of-life/hospice care available on site, if needed? 

Source: Information adapted from the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org). For additional assistance with care decision making, contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900 or visit www.alz.org.

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