Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Making the decision to put a loved one into a memory care community can be devastating. Here are some factors to consider…

Sometimes a family member needs a supervised place for their loved one to stay during the day as they work. However, as the disease progresses, it may be necessary to admit them into an assisted living community that provides care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or related dementia’s on a full-time basis.

Before selecting a memory care assisted specializing in memory care, you should consider all of the items listed below.

The following will help you to ask the right questions and gather the evidence you need to make a well- informed decision.

PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS:
Encourages resident independence and functioning
Ensures dignity and individual expression
Ensures resident safety
Provides peace of mind
Reduces confusion and agitation
Minimizes the use of chemical restraints
(medications to control behavior)
Promotes family involvement

INDIVIDUAL PLAN OF CARE:
Comprehensive assessment addresses the
resident’s current and changing needs.
Personalized plan of care for each resident
Planning process involves resident, family,
and physician (if needed)
Regular reassessment of needs

STAFF:
Full-time program director for memory care
Staff well educated in Alzheimer’s disease process
and care techniques
Ongoing specialized staff training and education
High staff-to-resident ratios on all three shifts
(preferred: under 8:1 under the day shift in assisted living)
Seems attentive to the residents while you are visiting
(not ignoring them)
A consulting medical director and other specialties,
as needed for the residents.
Interdisciplinary team approach
A licensed nurse on the premises for a minimum of 16 hours per day.

STRUCTURED PROGRAMMING:
Individually tailored activities scheduled seven days a week
Activities focusing on resident’s strengths/preferences-
customizing to their needs and preferences
Active and passive programs from life skills to exercise,
music, art, current events, and social activities
A combination of large or small groups, as well as
one-on-one activities

ENVIRONMENT
Self-contained, simple and secured
Cheerful, calm with a home like atmosphere
Enclosed courtyard/backyard
Dedicated dining, activity and private areas
Uncomplicated floor plan and visual clues to help residents stay oriented
Easy access to bathrooms in the common activity area
Meets all city, state and county health codes, and has certificate showing it is valid this year.
Clean with no offensive smells

RESIDENTS
Engaged in activities
Appear comfortable
Well groomed
Settled, well adjusted
Generally accepting of the staff

FAMILY SERVICES
Family support group meetings
Ongoing education, support and counseling
Family conferences and involvement in care planning
Opportunities for families to socialize

DINING AND NUTRITION
Individually tailored food and nutritional plans created
to individual’s needs and capabilities
Between-meal snacks and drinks
Innovative food presentation techniques that ease
and encourage eating
Special adaptive utensils available if needed
Family is welcome to eat with resident (may be an extra charge for family member)

Katie Knook
Artis Senior Living

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