When the time comes that your loved one requires around-the-clock, professional care to support their memory loss symptoms, you want to be certain that you make the right choice. Searching for a memory care community that best fits your loved one’s needs is not always simple, and there’s much to consider before making a final decision. However stressful the process of choosing a community may be, knowing that you’ve found the right place for your loved one to thrive is worth the effort.
Jimmie Fay Griffin, Executive Director of Clarity Pointe™ Tallahassee, a memory care assisted living community in Tallahassee, Florida, wants all of his new residents and their families to feel confident when choosing his community. “Clarity Pointe makes it easy,” Griffin says. “Our community is entirely dedicated to memory care, so everything from the private rooms to our programming and even dining services is tailored to the unique needs of those with memory loss. Our staff is highly trained in dementia care. Best of all, we take a deeply personal approach to caring for each resident, and that makes all the difference. Families are confident that our team will care for their loved one just as diligently and compassionately as we would our own family.”
Whether or not a free-standing memory care community is an option for your family, Griffin and the Clarity Pointe team have shared several suggestions on how you can choose a memory care community best suited to your loved one’s needs and preferences.
7 Considerations for Choosing a Memory Care Community
Every family searching for memory care for a loved one has unique needs and concerns, yet one thing rarely differs – you want what’s best for your loved one’s health, safety and quality of life. The Clarity Pointe team suggests that families look for qualities in a memory care community that make them and their loved one most comfortable and provide peace of mind. The Alzheimer’s Association® also offers a helpful checklist to use during community visits.
When choosing a community, consider the following:
1. What care services are offered?
Obviously, you’re searching for a community that provides memory care, but it is important to note what other (if any) types of care are provided in the same community. For example, is the community primarily for assisted living residents? If so, memory care services may not be comprehensive and the staff may not be specifically trained in dementia care. Residents with memory loss may be kept in a separate wing of the community or immersed with other residents.
On the other hand, some communities also provide additional services that residents with memory loss may need, such as skilled nursing care or rehabilitation therapies. Consider your loved one’s present conditions and imagine what type of care they may need in the future.
2. Is the location convenient?
Make sure that you are comfortable with the distance of the community from your home and those of other family members who plan to visit your loved one. Consider how close the community is to your loved one’s places of interests, such as their bank, place of worship or doctor’s office. It’s also important that the community is near a hospital or healthcare center in case of emergencies.
3. Are the staff caring and professional?
Find out if the staff are trained to handle your loved one’s needs. Have staff members had professional dementia training? Consider whether or not licensed nurses are available 24/7.
It’s important that the staff who will be caring for your loved one are friendly and compassionate and make your loved one feel at ease. When visiting, watch to see how the staff interacts with residents, and ask about the frequency of staff turnover. Leading memory care communities value building relationships between residents and staff, who get to know who they’re caring for on a personal level.
4. What kinds of activities are available?
When choosing a memory care community, look for programming that doesn’t just keep your loved one busy, but stimulates physical and mental engagement to promote better cognitive functioning. Ask what programs are available regularly and whether they hold special events or plan outings for residents. Are there activities that meet your loved one’s interests? Do they focus on physical, emotional and mental wellness in the context of memory loss? Will your loved one have a choice of what they do and when?
5. What’s for dinner?
Though often overlooked, your loved one’s dining experience will affect them daily. Visit a community during a meal to see what kind of food they serve and what the dining environment is like. Does the food look, smell and taste appetizing? Is it prepared by hand and do they use fresh ingredients? Ask whether the dining service will be able to meet special dietary needs and assist residents with eating if needed.
Make sure the community offers a dining experience that suits your loved one’s preferences. Communities may serve meals family style or restaurant style, offer anytime dining or set a meal schedule.
6. Is the environment comfortable and appealing?
It’s important that your loved one is comfortable in the community. Consider whether the lighting, furnishings, décor and safety features are suitable for someone with memory loss. Do the resident rooms offer privacy? Is the community easy to navigate?
Ask whether there are secure outdoor areas for walking, gardening, activities or resting. Consider what your loved one would do throughout the day and whether the community can accommodate those activities in an enjoyable environment.
7. Are you comfortable with the culture?
Since the community will become your loved one’s new home, it’s vital for them to feel like they’ll belong there. Every community is different, so observe the general atmosphere to get a feel for the attitudes of the residents and staff. Do residents seem to interact with each other? Are they active and energetic? Do they seem like the kind of people your loved one will get along with? Most importantly, make sure the community fosters a sense of well-being.
Although the process may take some time, with careful consideration and research, you and your family can find the best place for your loved one to receive the care and lifestyle they deserve.
Purposefully Designed to Meet Your Family’s Needs
“There’s plenty to consider when choosing a memory care community for your loved one,” says Griffin. “Making the choice with confidence is the goal of every family, and at Clarity Pointe Tallahassee, we’re confident that we can help families do just that. Our community is purposefully designed to meet the unique needs of residents with memory loss, and our approach to care places families at the center, where they deserve to be. We’re proud to offer such a high caliber of services that our residents and families experience the utmost peace of mind.”
If you would like to learn more about Clarity Pointe Tallahassee, or would like more guidance on choosing the best memory care community for your loved one, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Clarity Pointe™ … Our Difference is Clear
Clarity Pointe™’s Specialized Memory Care “Living” Neighborhoods are truly changing lives for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – and for those who love them. At Clarity Pointe, our mission is to ensure our residents lead connected and rewarding lives.
Opening in January 2018, Clarity Pointe Tallahassee is unlike other providers that offer a secure memory care wing in a skilled nursing or assisted living center. Clarity Pointe Tallahassee will offer four free-standing, purpose-built memory care communities that are solely and entirely dedicated to memory care assisted living. Our communities blend luxurious surroundings with specialized care that is individualized to each resident and delivered by a compassionate, expert team of professionals.
We stay current on the latest trends and advancements in Alzheimer’s care and implement them into our residents’ care plans. Always moving forward, we combine the latest in evidence-based programming with luxurious, residential living and compassionate respectful care.
For each of our residents, we offer a life that is engaging, fulfilling, inspiring and meaningful.