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What is Memory Care?

Elderly woman working on a memory exercise puzzle

Caring for an adult who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult and stressful. It may come to a point where a person is no longer safe to live at home and may need to be placed into a long-term care facility. If this is the case, considering memory care may be one way to ensure a loved one is safe and receiving care tailored to their condition. 

Memory care, which can be a wing in a nursing home facility or a separate entity, is where patients who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s can go to receive care based on their needs around those diseases. Specifically, memory care provides intensive services to patients with memory issues. 

Like all long-term care facilities, services provided vary from place to place. It is important to investigate and learn about the memory care facilities a loved one may move into. A little investigation, in the beginning, can go a long way toward your loved one’s happiness down the road. 

What are Memory Care facilities?

Memory care facilities are designed to make people with dementia and Alzheimer’s more comfortable in their daily lives. For example, they operate with set routines, so the residents know what to expect. This also works to lower the stress level of residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Residents are also provided with extra assistance throughout the day to help them get through daily living tasks, like hygiene and eating. They may also have alarmed doors and elevators to ensure residents are not able to wander off. Residents may wear tracking bracelets, which allow them to explore the grounds without the danger of wandering off. Activities at a memory care facility are intended to help improve the patients’ cognitive function and tailored to where an individual is at in terms of stages of the disease. 

What to Look for in a Memory Care Facility

There are several things to look for when investigating a potential memory care facility. First, check out the physical layout of the facility. Check for cleanliness, and make sure it smells clean. Have they instituted things, like pictures on doorways and circular hallways, to make it easier for residents to get around and figure out where their rooms are? When you interact with other residents, do they seem happy to be there?

Second, check into what type of training the staff is receiving to work with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. How does the staff deal with other residents while you are there? Are they meeting the needs of residents? It may be worth asking how they deal with a resident who becomes violent. 

Third: What kind of activities are they offering the residents, and how is the food? These are essential things that will significantly impact the happiness of a loved one. How do they encourage reluctant residents to eat? It may be worth participating in both an activity and mealtime at any facility being considered to see how everything runs. 

Another thing to consider is the medical care the facility is set up to provide. Will your loved one be able to stay in the facility should there be a medical event? Or will they need to go to another facility? Do they accept Medicaid? What is your loved one going to do once the money runs out? These are all important questions to have answered before a loved one moves into a memory care facility. 

Contact an Elder Law Attorney

If you or a loved one are facing this situation, an experienced elder law attorney can help work through all the details and help come with a plan to choose a suitable facility and pay for it. The lawyers at The Mattar Firm are here for you. Call us today at 239-222-2222.


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