At the beginning of your search for the right memory care community, it can feel overwhelming trying to gather all of the information you need to feel confident in your decision. From discovering what social activities are available, to visiting apartments, and choosing the right care plan, many of the families we work with find it helpful to start with a simple list of questions to guide their decision-making process.
We spoke with Ashley D., director of sales & marketing at The Commons on Marice in Eagan, MN, about what questions family members and seniors often find the most helpful to ask when touring communities. “We want to empower people to live their best lives,” says Ashley, “while providing them the safety and support they need. You want to find a community that allows you to strike the right balance.”
Whether you’re touring communities virtually or in person, keep this list with you to take notes throughout your visits. This will help you build a foundation of knowledge to assess your options as you step out into this new chapter.
MEMORY CARE Questions to Ask
- Do you offer care for early, mid, or advanced stages of memory loss?
- What kinds of rooms are available?
- What is the resident-to-team member ratio? How much personalized attention do team members provide to residents?
- What type of training does the team have — not only the nursing staff but also aides and life enrichment staff?
- What team members are available overnight?
- How is the community secured?
- Are there special services available like a fitness center or salon on-site?
- Is physical or occupational therapy available if needed?
- What are the meal options? Are there provisions for special dietary requests (kosher or vegetarian, for example) or for medically prescribed diets?
- What housekeeping and laundry services are available, and how often are they provided?
- What social, entertainment, and recreational activities are offered, and do residents get to choose the activities?
- Are there specific groupings of residents — for example, by age, gender, or cognitive level?
- Are there specific visiting hours or rules?
- How often do team members communicate with the family about the resident’s care? Which team members are responsible for that communication, and what form does it take (phone, email, in-person care meetings)?
- What is included in the base costs and what services are à la carte?