When you are choosing an assisted living facility for a loved one with dementia, there are unlimited amenities you might consider. There are a few amenities that should be considered must-have features for any facility.
1. Dining Halls
One of the biggest risks for people with dementia, especially if they are living independently, is cooking. When you are selecting an assisted living facility, the one you choose should have a dining hall or other amenities to prevent residents with dementia from preparing their own food. Many assisted living facilities allow residents to select items from the daily menu and have a chef and other staff readily available to prepare meals and snacks throughout the day.
This prevents residents from having a stove or other cooking appliances in their rooms. For additional protection, they should not have a microwave, slow cooker, or other small appliances that generate high heat and could be a fire risk. Friends and loved ones might bring groceries that contain non-perishable items, pre-cooked foods, and snacks for quick meals.
2. Medical Staff
It is important to have some medical staff regularly available with some specialty staff like doctors and psychologists that might stop by weekly. This can be essential when residents have medications that need to be taken regularly and they might need to have their medications monitored to prevent accidental overdoses. When you have medical staff regularly available, there is always someone who can render first aid or CPR, if necessary.
If there are medical staff, such as doctors and therapists, who stop by weekly or more often, this may be helpful to identify changes in each resident that might warrant further evaluation at the hospital or the early stages of mental illness. For residents with dementia, it is also important to identify disease progression that might change the level of care they need. In latter stages of dementia, residents may have difficulties eating solid food or drinking liquids, which might require medical intervention.
The facility you choose should have one or more security protocols in place to keep an eye on residents and prevent suspicious people from entering. Someone should watch the main entrance 24 hours each day, with side or back entrances locked at certain hours. Security cameras can also be useful if someone wanders away, especially if there are multiple entrances/exits at the facility. Many secure facilities require an approved list of visitors who must show identification before entering, which can protect residents.
Another security feature you might want is a tracking system where residents with dementia must have an ankle or bracelet monitor. If the resident either wanders away or is somewhere in the facility, they can be easily tracked and found quickly. Any tracking system should also have a button where the resident can contact a call center if they experience an emergency.
Making the decision to move your loved one to an assisted living facility is not easy, especially if they have dementia. For peace of mind, certain amenities should be the first on your list of priorities. Check out a website like http://graceseniorcommunity.com/ for more information and assistance.