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Looking for Alzheimer’s Facilities

When researching Alzheimer’s Facilities, units or communities for your parent, spouse, or other loved one, these questions can help you find a safe, caring, therapeutic environment.

Assess your loved one’s needs

There are a few things you’ll need to know to help you determine if an Alzheimer’s Facilities can meet your loved one’s needs. Make note of the following needs for your loved one, so you can be sure to address them with any potential caregivers.

  1. Level of mobility (In a wheelchair, walking independently or with a walker?)
  2. Any behavior issues, such as aggression
  3. Wandering or exit seeking behaviors
  4. Is incontinence care needed
  5. Medical conditions that will need care (Diabetes, dialysis, etc.)
  6. Would you rather have your loved one in a nursing home, or in a residential community?

Questions to ask Alzheimer’s Facilities

Safety and Security

  1. Are the building, grounds, and community secured? How?
  2. Are residents able to freely access secure outdoor areas?
  3. What are the living arrangements?

Staff

  1. What kind of training and/or certification does the staff have?
  2. What are the resident to caregiver staffing ratios during the day and at night?
  3. Is there a nurse on duty at all times? If not, what are the hours?
  4. Does the community work with a visiting physician or Primary Care Practitioner?
  5. Can we arrange for visiting or outside care?

Services

  1. Do residents have individualized care plans?
  2. Are there any medical services available on-site?
  3. Can you care for residents who are incontinent?
  4. Can you care for residents who are bedridden?
  5. Do you care for residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and/or Parkinson’s disease?
  6. How do you care for residents who are disruptive or physically aggressive?

Policies and Procedures

  1. Do you conduct a free assessment and/or evaluation prior to admission?
  2. Are there any kinds of care you do NOT provide?
  3. How do you handle the transition as a resident’s physical and cognitive needs advance?
  4. Do you provide families with regular updates on residents’ condition and well-being?
  5. How do you handle medical emergencies?
  6. What is your fee structure? Are there separate charges for levels of care or types of rooms?
  7. What is your policy for discharging residents?

Memory Care Therapies

  1. How is your dining program adapted for people with memory impairment?
  2. Are there any paths in secured areas on the grounds for residents to walk?
  3. Are residents grouped by cognitive level?
  4. Do you provide music therapy?
  5. Do you provide pet therapy?
  6. Do you provide sensory or behavior-based ergonomics therapies?
  7. Do you provide any other memory care therapies or treatments?
  8. How do your therapies evolve as residents’ memory-impairing diseases progress?

Trust your instincts

After meeting the staff and touring Alzheimer’s Facilities, take a few moments to reflect on your impressions. Consider your overall feeling about the staff and facilities. Does the staff seem to genuinely care about the residents? Do they seem knowledgeable about caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia? Do you agree with their philosophy and methods of care? Will the community be easy for your loved one to navigate, or does it seem confusing even to you? The answers to these questions will help you determine which place is right for your loved one.

Family Resources

Testimonials

I will always be grateful for the founder’s presentation to Downtown Wichita Kiwanis 20 years ago. His (Charles Stark) comments stayed with me, making the choice of care providers easy for me. Smaller really is better. I am familiar with several “retirement” communities and “memory care” services. Very few match the quality of care provided my ComfortCare Homes. Thank you.

- Barrick Wilson

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