3 Things to Look for in a Memory Support Residence

Finding a memory support residence for a loved one can be challenging. We published an article recently in the Bucks County Courier-Times about it.  You can click here to get to the original article we have republished below.

For many people, the post-retirement chapter of life means having the freedom to pursue hobbies and activities or the ability to travel and explore. As people age, and specific health care needs develop, sometimes certain living accommodations must be considered, such as personal care or memory support residences.

If you are considering a memory support residence for a loved one, it can be quite a difficult decision. Knowing what to look for in this type of residence — and being familiar with the importance of person-centered care — can make taking this step much easier. Here are three things to look for in a residence for aging adults who live with memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

1. Seek out a person-centered care model

A person-centered care model is critical for ensuring your loved one receives the best possible care at a residence. Residences with this model typically schedule events and activities that evoke pleasant memories and interactions with familiar surroundings to ensure residents are happy. This model promotes personal preferences and tailors care approaches for each resident to be independent for as long as possible. Residents’ family members are welcome to join their loved one throughout the day.

2. Look for a therapy program that specializes in Alzheimer’s and Dementia-related diagnoses

Residents’ needs change over time, and the support they receive should constantly be evolving with those needs. Look for a home that implements new and proven memory support techniques to meet the needs of your loved one. Nursing, dietary, housekeeping and activities staff should be specially trained through a program that focuses on Alzheimer’s habilitation therapy, one that focuses on meeting the needs of each resident “at the moment,” with dignity and respect.

3. Find a place that offers a well-rounded support system

While the safety, comfort and happiness of your loved one in a memory support residence is of utmost importance, being a family member of someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia can also require special support. Look for a residence that offers a well-rounded support system for both residents and their family members. Some places work with local specialists in the field of dementia — such as psychologists, medical social workers and geriatric physicians — ensuring residents the care they need as well as being able to give peace of mind to their loved ones.

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