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If you have a loved one that suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other memory impairment, you understand that there will come a time when he or she can no longer live alone. Even if your loved one lives with a family member who acts as a caregiver, over time, his or her needs will become too difficult for one person to manage.
So, what do you do next?
Take heart. There are options available to you, including home care as well as memory care assisted living communities. The question is, is there are right choice? Only by comparing the two will you know which option is best for you, your loved one and your family.
For some, the number one goal is to keep the person with Alzheimer’s at home. No matter what. Home care makes that possible. With home care, a professional caregiver comes to your home to care for your loved one. If your loved one requires 24-hour care, more than one professional will be assigned to your home. As a result, you will have several people coming and going in shifts over a 24-hour period. Call several home care providers and compare their services and fees.
Memory Care Assisted Living communities are designed specifically for those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and memory impairment. Of course, not all communities are created equal, so you must do your homework. You can start by calling communities in your area, asking questions, taking virtual tours online, etc., but you’ll get the best feel for a community with a personal, on-site tour. A visit will really help you compare “apples to apples.” What should you look for?
The staff is the heart of the community. Observe them. Speak with them. Ask about special training and education. For example, the team at Inspirations Memory Care at Inn on the Pond is made up of patient, compassionate and experienced caregivers. A Clinical Director who has extensive training from the acclaimed Bresler Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Program oversees the program and team.
Take a careful look at where your loved one will be spending time. Will he or she have a private apartment? Their own bath? Access to outside areas? Does the environment have a warm, welcoming, homey feel? Is the area secure? A good example of a warm, secure environment is Inspirations Memory Care at Inn on the Pond in Pinellas County. Resident have their own studio apartments with private baths and emergency call systems, elegant dining rooms with family-style dining, cozy living rooms and a large screened porch that leads to a secure garden with walking paths.
In a dedicated Memory Care Assisted Living center, your loved one will receive the care and support he or she needs – and so much more. It's the "so much more" that can really make a difference in the quality of life. Be sure to ask about activities and programming offered to residents. If you can, observe any activities that are taking place during your visit. Inspirations Memory Care at Inn on the Pond has developed special programming based on best practices and the latest research in Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. They offer a wide variety of meaningful activities and programming focused on group interaction, as well as on individuals' likes and needs.
Don’t wait until the last minute and have to rush to a decision about your loved one’s care. Do your homework now and be informed and prepared. Talk with home care providers. Ask about the services they provide, the hours they are available, if the same caregiver will be assigned every day, etc.
Then visit several Memory Care Assisted Living communities. Talk with the staff. Talk with other families. Observe residents. Get a "feel" for the community.
Only then will you be able to make the right decision for you and your loved one.