If your family has decided memory care could best provide the level of services your loved one deserves, you may be unsure of the next step – how to find the right community.

While it may seem like a daunting task, there is a simple process that can help you discover which one would provide quality care and a quality life for your loved one.

Memory care questions to ask and features to look for

It’s a good idea to ask for referrals or recommendations from family and friends. Speak to your loved one’s medical team for services that will be highly prioritized. You’ll also want to visit communities in person.

You might want to print a copy of the following features and questions to ask to take with you on your visits. Familiarizing yourself with these features as well as knowing which questions to ask will greatly support your efforts in searching, comparing communities and coming to a decision.

Memory care features

1. A welcoming community

When you arrive, take note if the community seems like a place where your loved one would feel at home. Will you and other family and friends feel welcome when visiting?

2. Warm and friendly staff

Observe how the staff interacts with the residents and other team members. Do they appear to enjoy their work and seem compassionate and engaged?

3. Residences that are truly home

Tour the residence options available for your loved one and ask about the possibility of personalizing to make it home.

4. Common areas designed to help orient residents

You’ll want a community that helps minimize frustration and anxiety for their residents by using colors, symbols or shorter hallways to help orient your loved one.

5. Safe and secure spaces

One key to effective memory care is providing a safe environment while promoting freedom of movement. Look for secured courtyards that allow residents to go outdoors unaccompanied.

6. Areas designed for activities and enjoyment

During your tour, take note of any common areas that would appeal to your loved one, such as therapy gardens, art studios, outdoor courtyards or quiet rooms to visit with friends.

Download our complimentary guide, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Memory Care.

Memory care questions to ask

1: Is there a registered nurse on staff?

You’ll also want to ask if the staff is trained and skilled in dementia care and what type of training is received.

2: What is the staff-to-resident ratio?

This will provide you with an idea of the attention your loved one will receive and the availability and response time when help is needed.

3: What type of services are available?

Discuss the level of care your loved one requires and ask about personal assistance with managing chronic conditions or mobility issues.

4: Are there behaviors that can’t be accommodated?

It’s important to understand if there might be a level of care or symptoms that the community can’t accommodate.

5: How does the staff respond to distress or anxiety?

Dementia can cause a variety of behaviors. You’ll want to ask how the staff responds to de-escalate anxiety or calm fears.

6: Do residents have individual care plans and how often are they reviewed?

Ask how they will assess your loved one’s needs and create a care plan. As dementia is a progressive disease, how often will they review the plan for possible adjustments?

7: What type of memory-enhancing therapies and enrichment activities are available?

One of the great benefits of memory care is the increased quality of life residents may experience through therapies and activities. Discuss the options they offer and if they can be tailored to your loved one.

8: What are typical meal choices and what level of assistance is provided if needed?

Ask to see a menu of selections and if any dietary restrictions can be met. How does the community encourage dining and nutrition? Do they escort residents and how do they assist them?

9: Are families encouraged and supported to participate in their loved one’s care?

The dementia journey is navigated by the family as well. Ask how the community supports and encourages participation from family and friends.

10: How will your loved one be encouraged to thrive?

While you want your loved one to be safe and taken care of, it is just as important that residents are supported to thrive. How does the community help their residents achieve their highest quality of life?

The Charleston Senior Living Community

Locally owned and operated, we offer personalized care by our dedicated team members. Setting a new standard in Assisted Living and Memory Care, we don’t define our residents by their limitations or illness but instead believe in focusing on the positive and the possibility.

The Charleston Senior Community includes private apartments for assisted living residents and for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Your loved ones will benefit from our attention to detail, routine health assessments, delicious dining and daily activity programs as we support everyone to live their best life.

Consider a few of our amenities:

  • Chef-led dining program
  • Community movie theater
  • Salon
  • Ballroom
  • Live entertainment
  • Outdoor patio
  • Social lounges
  • Housekeeping

If you or your family is thinking about Assisted living or Memory care, we hope you will consider The Charleston Senior Community. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions, contact us today.

We also invite you to download our complimentary guide, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Memory Care.

Guide to memory care