How to find the right Alzheimer's or dementia care for your senior parent
She cared for you with patience and love, and you want to return her gift. But what happens if Mom requires a higher level of care? Where should you turn? Here are the most important questions to ask when weighing your options for memory care.
How much attention will Mom receive?
You don't want caregivers who simply "check in" now and then. You want a skilled team of experts who are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Be sure to choose a memory care neighborhood where caregivers take the time to get to know each resident on a personal level. By establishing this close relationship, caregivers can address Mom's unique needs and celebrate her successes—no matter how small.
Will she retain her independence?
The right memory care will enhance Mom's sense of independence, not diminish it. Ask this important question when considering the options: "How specifically will Mom stay engaged and independent here?" Look for memory care that offers a wide range of programming and activities to keep your loved one active and involved. You'll also want caregivers who develop a personal interest in each guest so they'll know and respect Mom's interests, talents, and preferences.
Will Mom receive the best, most experienced care?
It's essential to find a memory care option that specializes in senior care and backs up their promises with solid experience. Look for a caregiver with a proven track record of success in the field of senior health. If the memory care provider employs full-time doctors and a team of health care professionals who understand the unique needs of older adults, you can be assured she'll receive the high-quality care she deserves.
Are you taking care of YOU?
All caregivers experience moments of stress, sadness, and anxiety. How can you keep these feelings from affecting your own health and well-being? Follow these six tips:
- Take time for you. Schedule some time to read, walk, or watch a favorite show.
- Try laughter therapy. Watch a comedy or call a friend who makes you laugh.
- Eat, sleep, exercise. Don't neglect your own health and fitness.
- Join a support group. Share your feelings with people who understand.
- Ask for help. It's okay to lean on family, friends, and professional caregivers.
- Know your options today, so you won't have to make snap decisions tomorrow.