773 E. Haverford Road • Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

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How to Choose the Right Memory Care Community

As a result of the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, an individual’s physical and mental abilities will continue to decline with the passage of time. Memory care experts explain that loved ones will eventually require more round the clock care and support than can be safely and appropriately provided in the home.

This presents yet another challenge for at-home caregivers who are doing the best they can with their limited time, energy, resources and expertise.

Sharon Major, Director of Marketing and Community Relations at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr in Bryn Mawr, PA, says, “Although contemplating a move to a memory care community can be very emotional, it is clearly in the best interest of your loved one’s comfort and well-being. Making the right decision about where your loved one can receive the best care can also bring a sense of relief. Knowing your loved one is in the good hands of compassionate professionals specially trained in memory care offers valuable peace of mind.

“In order to make the right decision, it is important to do the appropriate research. There are several key factors to consider, including the staff, programs and services, the environment, attitude towards family and the type of treatment residents receive.”

Your Checklist for Choosing the Right Memory Care Community

The Alzheimer’s Association article, “Care Facility Checklist,”provides detailed tips and guidelines to help you make the decision that is right for you and your loved one. Examples include:

  • Staffing –Do staff members have the proper tools, training and perspective to care for the special needs of those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss? Is privacy, respect and dignity a clear priority?
  • Family Involvement –Are you encouraged to be part of your loved one’s life and care-planning and to communicate with staff?
  • Programs and Services –Are thereappropriatehealth and behavioral care services, regular planned activities and recurring care-planning sessions? Is there a focus on resident engagement?
  • Environment –Are resident rooms and common areasspacious, safe and clean? Is there a family visiting area and can residents bring favorite items with them? Do the residents appear well cared for?
  • Meals –Is the food nutritious and appetizing and are there regular meal and snack times? Are family members and friends welcome to dine with their loved ones?
  • Policies and Procedures –Are visiting hoursfamily-friendly and can families participate in care?

By taking a well-organized approach to choosing the right memory care community, you will be in the best position to compare the options and make the best decision for your loved one’s care and your own peace of mind.

Other Important Factors to Consider

Adds Sharon,When you beginto consider your options, it is smart to visit several memory care communities before making a final decision. Tour each one and talk with the staff as well as some residents and their families. Get a feel for the general environment, mood and ambiance. Try to visit the facilities at different times of the day, including meal times for a total perspective.

“Also, ask to see the latest State Licensure Survey report and Special Care Unit Disclosure form. Care communities are required to provide these. The report and the disclosure form can give you a picture of the facility's services. Also, ask if the community has current resident and family satisfaction data they can share.

“While you’re there, ask about room availability, cost and participation in Medicare or Medicaid. If you will be paying for the facility out of pocket – which is usually the case with memory care personal care – ask what happens if the person with dementia runs out of money. Some facilities will accept Medicaid at this point. You can view a helpful list of available payment options at NIH SeniorHealth.gov.

“If you like the community but are not ready to make a decision about a move right away, you can ask to have your name placed on a waiting list.”

Your Dependable Resource for Memory Care Information

More than a homelike haven for exceptional memory care services, Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr also serves as an important educational resource for at-home caregivers. We invite you to view our monthly articles and tips on memory care regularly. We offer them to make your life as a caregiver easier and to improve the quality of care for your loved one.

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.

Engaging Days. Meaningful Moments.

Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comforts of home. Our community touches hearts and changes lives.

Helping Families Be “Family” Again

Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.

If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.

If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.

For more information, please call Sharon at (484) 380-5400 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.