Meeting Memory Care Requirements: How to Ensure Quality Care
Residential memory care communities have specific requirements that equip them to work with residents who experience memory loss. These requirements vary from facility to facility. If you want what’s best for your loved one, you need to make sure they meet the requirements for the memory care community you’re seeking..
Memory Care Facility Requirements: What to Look for
Memory care in assisted living facilities needs to have specific features in order to be a good option for your loved one with memory loss. Residents living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia need specific things in their memory care community to enhance their quality of life. These things include:
Safety Features and Signage
Memory care communities require locked or watched doors and gates to protect residents from getting lost or hurt.
Easy-to-spot visuals and signage can make a huge difference in enabling people living at the facility to find their way around. Wayfinding tools like signs, color-coded pathways, and memory boxes with personal items can help reduce confusion and provide a sense of direction.
Call buttons or pull cords should be installed in all bedrooms and bathrooms, so residents can easily reach out to staff when they need assistance or have an emergency. Additionally, memory care facilities usually install non-slip flooring and handrails in hallways, restrooms, and other shared areas to reduce the risk of falls.
There are no universal regulations regarding the staffing requirements for memory care facilities. However, reputable memory care facilities are always staffed by highly trained professionals. This starts at the top. The requirements for the memory care director should include things like:
Successful completion of a criminal background check (CBC)
Past relevant experience
Passed state examination
Approved ALD program course completion
Excellent communication skills
The Minnesota Department of Health regulates assisted living facilities and housing with services, and authorizes facilities to offer memory care services for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, when requirements are met. State regulations require that staff at memory care assisted living communities receive training in dementia care. Additionally, skilled nurses and licensed nursing supervisors are also among the staffing requirements for memory care communities.
Special Programs for Memory Care
Memory care facilities should be able to fully cater to the needs of residents by providing specific sensory programs such as:
Exercise and physical activities
Games and social activities for the residents to engage with each other
What Qualifies a Person for Memory Care?
Memory care is a special kind of long-term care specifically designed for people who have cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other memory-related problems. When you explore moving a loved one into a memory care residence, the facility is required to screen your loved one for cognitive issues.
While there is no set standard for who qualifies for memory care, here are a few factors that a memory care facility might look for:
If your loved one has been diagnosed by a doctor with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another cognitive disorder, they might be a good candidate for memory care.
Does your loved one need more support? Dietary needs, prescription medication management and supervision monitoring are all specialized tasks. As time goes on, cognitive impairment will progress, and that often requires specialized support with routine activities. If someone is having a difficult time with activities of daily living like getting dressed, eating, personal hygiene, or managing medications, then memory care might be suitable for them.
If your loved one becomes agitated or wanders off from time to time, a memory care facility or an assisted living facility with memory care services might be right for them. Specialized care and supervision will provide you with peace of mind knowing they are safe and secure.
If you are the primary caregiver for your loved one and it has become overwhelming to take care of them, memory care might be a great option. Caregiver stress is a real issue, and your loved ones should have access to professionals who are equipped to enhance their quality of life while allowing them to retain independence.
Have you noticed a cognitive decline in your loved one? Do they have difficulty processing information or recognizing faces? Maybe they get confused about times and meeting people? These can all be signs that they require memory care.