People who live with dementia have complex and unique needs. Oftentimes the choice needs to be made for long-term care, despite the best efforts of family and friends who function as caregivers. These specialized care units are long-term residential care options that are designed to support people who live with dementia.
These facilities have professionally trained staff, support staff, and care attendants who understand the dilemmas and challenges that come with someone living with dementia. Despite the behavior being considered otherwise “challenging” by most, these professionals’ help residents cope with their process.
However, as with any decision that you make in life, you want to make sure that you make the right one for your loved one. There are a few criteria that you can look at to determine whether this facility might be a good fit for your loved one living with dementia.
Does the facility have a homelike atmosphere?
Most people who live with dementia tend to do better in a homelike atmosphere. It will help ease the transition into a new facility and will make it more likely that your loved one feels comfortable.
Is there an open door policy for unrestricted visits?
Having a loved one with dementia is different from just having an older loved one in a nursing facility. Sometimes it might be necessary to swing by later in the day beyond what would be considered normal visiting hours. Is that allowed and possible here?
Is the staff trained in dealing with dementia?
Unfortunately, not every facility that promises to offer dementia care has specially trained professionals who are able to help those living with dementia cope with their situation. You want to have nursing professionals who have the patience and knowledge required to handle individuals who have dementia.
Is the area safe, can residents walk around?
Wandering is one of the major issues with residents with dementia. It is vitally important that every step is taken to ensure that residents are unable to wander from the premise unsupervised. However, it would be nice if they would be able to go outside or move around on their own accord.
Is there a broad range of activities to stimulate the senses?
Studies show that while dementia cannot be reversed, it is possible to slow down the progress significantly. By stimulating residents mentally rather than just “letting them be,” it is possible to help slow down the progress of the disease.