Millions of Americans are living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, and as more of the population reaches age 65 and above, instances of the disease continue to rise.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes memory loss and behavioral changes eventually leaving the person unable to safely care for themselves. In the early stages many spouses and family members prefer to care for their loved one at home, but as the demands of the disease increase residential often becomes necessary.
Family members want the best for their loved one and comparing assisted living facilities is a big task. There are so many factors to consider such as cost, location, reviews, or even how long the waiting list is.
Below are some of our tips for getting the most out of touring and comparing potential facilities.
Memory Care Cost
The cost of living in a memory care facility depends on several factors including private vs. semi-private room, level of care needed, medical supplies and more.
There is not one specific price for memory care however, SeniorHomes.com compiled the average cost of memory care and reported the median cost in Virginia was $4,100 per month. Some facilities may cost less and some will cost more and it is very important to find out exactly what the monthly cost includes. What is included at one facility might be an extra charge at another.
When touring residential facilities find out exactly what is included in the monthly cost. These costs vary from one facility to the other so knowing what is, or isn’t, included will help you accurately compare and avoid surprises later. Ask for a detailed list of everything that is included, and what extra charges you could reasonably expect.
The Memory Centers in Virginia Beach and Midlothian/Richmond offer an all-inclusive rate so families know exactly what to expect without surprises to their budget. Our memory care pricing includes:
- Private & semi-private rooms including private bathrooms
- Three daily meals, snacks and ice cream socials every day
- Emergency pull cord in every room
- Memory boxes to help stimulate meaningful memories of their life
- Utilities to include: Cable, Telephone & Wi-Fi
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Maintenance of building and grounds
- Outings and daily programs
- Items from visits to the General Store
- Highly trained staff to assist with activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting
- Medication management by our certified medication technician
- Health monitoring by an RN nurse
- Medical oversight by a physician trained in geriatric care
- Full activities and Memories and Motion program designed by our Activities Director
- Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy with a physician prescription as needed
- Hospice/End of Life Care available
The only additional costs are incontinence supplies, salon services, long-distance telephone or transportation to an individual appointment.
Staff to Resident Ratios
This is an important question to ask of any facility you are considering, not only for daytime but during evening and overnight hours too. The higher the ratio, the more residents each staff member is taking care of during their shift.
The Memory Center’s ratio is 4 residents to 1 staff, which gives all our staff members more time to spend with residents, provide individualized attention and respond to resident needs.
What Activities Are Provided? Is There A Schedule?
No one wants their loved one sitting alone in a room all day bored, unattended to or left to just watch TV. Activities are important in all types of assisted living and memory care facilities. Ask to see the activities schedule and tour when activities are taking place so you can see them for yourself. A sign of a good activities program is when the residents and the staff are engaged and having fun together.
If you are visiting a facility specializing in care for Alzheimer’s or dementia ask how the activities are designed to encourage motion, stimulate memories and keep boredom away. Read about a typical day at The Memory Center Richmond and Virginia Beach.
How Is The Food?
Mealtimes are important, as is the quality of food. Bland and boring food can get old very quickly and isn’t much of a motivator to get to the dining area.
Ask to see a menu and note the entree options. Is there a good balance of choices and is the menu nutritionally sound? Visit the dining room and, if possible, join them for a meal and taste the food for yourself.
How Is Bathing & Personal Care Handled?
How often are residents bathed, their hair washed, what if they need help shaving?
If you have bathing preferences for your loved one find out if they can honor them. Also, observe current residents, do they look clean and well-groomed? Are they dressed in clothing or still in pajamas well into the afternoon?
What Are Their Security Measures – Indoors and Out
What protocols does the facility have in place to keep residents safe indoors and out – including everyday safety like trip hazards? Do the walking paths have uneven footing or tree roots sticking out that could cause a fall? Are lamp cords kept close to the wall to prevent a trip hazard? Is the space wide enough and open so residents can safely move throughout the facility?
If you are visiting a memory, or Alzheimer’s care facility ask how they manage wandering and what steps they have in place to prevent it. These are all important questions and the person conduction your tour should be able to answer them right away.
While it is important to ask questions and gather information, your first impression and instinct you will often make it clear when you’ve found the right facility for your loved one.
If your first impression of an assisted living facility is that it is too dark and smells bad, it probably isn’t going to be your top pick, even if the food was good.
A bright, open community where residents are happy and engaged in appropriate activities is more likely going to be your top contender.
Tour The Memory Center
Currently, the Memory Center operates two facilities, Midlothian (near Richmond, VA), Virginia Beach and Atlanta, GA (in Johns Creek) scheduled open Spring 2017. All our memory care communities provide exceptional care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
We founded the first assisted living facility devoted specifically to memory care with a program designed to meet the challenging conditions of an aging brain with a caring, interactive community and continue to expand our communities to serve others.
Contact us for more information or to set up a tour of any of our facilities.
Memory Care Options for Dementia and Alzheimer’s
There are several options for care in Virginia. The Memory Center communities provide care solely for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Founded as the first assisted living facility devoted specifically to memory care, our program is designed to meet the challenging conditions of an aging brain with a caring, interactive community.
Utilizing the latest in science, nutrition, and interactive therapies, our daily structured activities provide meaningful purpose to those with memory loss.
All Memory Center communities are built around our original Town Center and Neighborhood layout and feature focused programming and daily activities. We get to know each resident for who they are today – not who they used to be.