Questions for families with loved ones facing cognitive challenges

A Memory Care community is uniquely designed for residents experiencing cognitive challenges and should provide a setting that is secure, familiar and private and gives residents their own personal space. A community should provide continuous oversite of dementia-specific challenges by addressing social, medical and emotional needs immediately. The environment should promote sensory stimulation, cognitive awareness and overall well-being. Important questions should be:

  • Is the pricing all-inclusive or based upon levels of care?
  • Is all care, including help with activities of daily living, incontinence care and supplies, and medication management, provided by trained staff 24/7?
  • Are care plans developed and updated on regular basis by the nurse? How often and does it affect my bill?
  • Are the caregivers certified and trained, caring and compassionate? Do they have extra training or certification to provide dementia care?
  • Is the community built with state-of-the-art technology and safety features such as antimicrobial surfaces, GPS tracking systems, cameras and pagers, full building generator, fire suppression system, and motion detectors?
  • How is the community secured?
  • How does the Memory Care setting allow for effective care of residents with different levels of cognitive challenges?
  • How does the staff give purpose and meaning to the residents’ day?
  • Does the design of the Memory Care unit use color, texture, sound, and reminiscing objects for multiple cognitive interaction and stimulus?
  • What specialized and individualized programs and activities are offered for Memory Care residents and families?
  • How do they engage residents with different levels of cognitive and physical challenges?
  • Are memory care residents given opportunities to experience activities outside of the community?
  • What resources are available to help care for my loved one e.g. visiting doctor, homecare, hospice, pharmacy, psychological services, dentist, podiatrist, audiologist, and optometrist?
  • When would my loved one have to leave?