How to Find Alzheimer’s Care Near You
An Alzheimer’s care community is a welcoming place that keeps individuals with Alzheimer’s disease safe, supported, and stimulated by activities and social interaction.
But where do you start when looking for Alzheimer’s care? For many, finding a location near your home is high on the list of priorities. You’ll also want a community with experienced staff that regularly attend training that helps them create individual care plans to address each resident’s unique needs.
For instance, some communities are rich with amenities like therapy pets, landscaped courtyards, and wellness programs. Others have more limited offerings for those on a tighter budget.
Here’s a guide on where to start your search for the perfect Alzheimer’s care community.
Widen Your Location Search
While unexpected events like COVID-19 can affect how often you visit a friend or relative in an Alzheimer’s care community, in most cases you’ll want to visit frequently. That means finding a memory care community near you is key. The basic Google search “Alzheimer’s care near me” or with your zip code entered is one place to start.
However, you shouldn’t just look at locations near your home. You may also want to consider communities that are near your work, a place you visit frequently, or somewhere that’s familiar and comforting for the person with Alzheimer’s, such as near where they used to live.
Of course, you also want the highest quality care for your family member. This Eldercare Locator tool can help you dive deeper into the details about dementia care in the areas you’re considering. You can also find out what state regulations are required in your area for communities to meet the highest safety and training goals. As a bonus, the government-run site guides you to health insurance counseling to make Alzheimer’s care more affordable.
Evaluate the Quality of Care
At the most basic level, the community you choose should meet state standards. A community may look beautiful on the outside but provide sub-par service.
On the other hand, you could find a community that isn’t fancy on the outside but the staff may tend to your family member with compassion and diligence. Your state Department of Health and Social Services can provide you with a list of state-licensed care communities as a starting point. From there, you can ask the staff about personalized support plans for residents and health monitoring. Here are some questions you can ask to find out more about the standard of care:
- Does your staff help with all the activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing? What about the instrumental activities of daily living, like preparing meals?
- What kind of training does the staff receive?
- What is the ratio of residents to staff? Do team members work together to coordinate care?
- What is the protocol for handling difficult behaviors? Do staff try to create a soothing environment to avoid behavioral triggers?
- How does your team regularly stimulate residents’ minds to improve cognition?
You’ll usually have the best understanding of the quality of care after touring the community. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, tours of care communities are likely suspended, at least temporarily. A quality establishment wants to protect those who live there from the chance of infection. If you can’t tour the community, ask if there’s an online tour or if you can see pictures of the rooms and meeting spaces. For example, The Monarch at Richardson offers an online photo gallery and floor plans so you can start learning more about the community even if you can’t visit. You can also contact us for a live, virtual tour.
Consider Enrichment Programs
Alzheimer’s care isn’t limited to the basics. The best communities provide specialized memory care programs that cater to individuals with Alzheimer’s.
- Look for programs that suit your family members’ cognitive ability, attention span, and physical abilities
- The staff doing the programs should be trained in memory care with programs built into the daily schedule to provide structure to each day
- Community areas should offer plenty of social opportunities, but there should be an option for privacy, too
Research Memory Care Costs
There are different types of fee structures for memory care. Some programs have levels of care depending on the services your family member needs. The rates go up along with the level of care.
There may be hidden charges or up-front entry fees, so here are key questions to ask:
- Is there a basic monthly fee? Is it subject to change?
- What are the levels of care and the various rates?
- Is a deposit or entry fee required?
Remember, while memory care costs vary, they can also be very reasonable. At The Monarch at Richardson, our Texas memory care community pricing starts at $4,645 per month. Our prices are all-inclusive, which means you don’t need to worry about housing, meals, transportation, amenities, or support services. You’ll have everything you need in one simple monthly cost.
Looking Past the Price: The Benefits of Memory Care
Dementia care adds around $13,000 per year to residential care costs. That may differ depending on where you live and the level of care.
For that price, the benefits of memory care are huge. At every turn, a memory care community is designed to meet the unique needs of those with Alzheimer’s – from the dining menu and room design to the specialized staff and programs. As a result, these community members enjoy a higher quality of life, better health, a calmer environment, and a greater sense of well-being.
Alzheimer’s Care during COVID-19
Just as people are stocking up on everything from hand sanitizer to canned goods because of COVID-19, you should plan in advance for Alzheimer’s care during this time. Some adult day care programs have shut down and some home health services have more limited staffing than before.
In many cases, you can wait to transition a relative or friend to memory care, but that’s not always possible. If you need support now, contact the memory care communities you’re interested in directly. They may be able to support you with a safe transition plan.
Another good strategy is to talk to your local aging services program or health department to find out which care communities are accepting new members. It wouldn’t hurt to get some back-up names and investigate a range of options in case you can’t find a full-time support option. If you’re currently caring for a family member or friend at home, it’s wise to have a Plan B should you become ill. For instance, you may be able to hire an in-home caregiver temporarily and transition to a more permanent, supportive solution in the future.
Finding A Place Called Home When You’re Dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease
Those with dementia do much better in a warm atmosphere that avoids the often institutional feel of more traditional nursing homes. Soothing color schemes, plants, and homelike décor can make a big difference. Ideally, your family member can move in their own furniture and mementos.
Memory care communities are designed to provide this type of atmosphere, but not all succeed as well as they could. Ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable in making the community your home. For instance, does the staff seem friendly? If you’re able to see other community members, do they look well cared for?
Ideally, your needs as a friend or family member should be met, too, through outreach programs or educational tools that help you continue to be a valued caregiver.
At the Monarch at Richardson, we provide personalized memory care in Texas for various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. Residents can live their best life in our community, with amenities ranging from outdoor courtyards to pet therapy programs. Learn more about choosing the right memory care community by downloading our free memory care guide. You can also contact us online to discuss tour options both now and in the future. We’re here to help you get what you need, whether that’s a virtual tour or an in-person appointment when it’s safe to schedule one.