What to expect when touring a Memory Care Community
When touring a Memory Care Community, especially if it’s your first time visiting one, it can be difficult to know what to expect. This article will help prepare you for the different things you might see while touring, so there are less surprises, and so you may focus more on what you’d like to learn from the Community you are visiting.
- The first thing to remember is that every person experiences Alzheimer’s and Dementia differently… There will likely be a wide variety in severity of memory loss patients from high functioning and complete independence, to low functioning and completely dependent. If the loved one you are finding a community for is in the early stages of memory loss, you might be more drawn to focusing only on the lower functioning residents you see. It’s important to challenge yourself to look for the more independent residents on your tour, so you may get an idea of whether or not there will be like-minded people for your loved one to socialize with.
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia can sometimes cause a person to see the world differently, in both a figurative and a literal sense… Often times residents will think they’re in a different time period or will be reliving a memory (whether positive or negative) from their past. They could also be seeing things differently than they actually are. For example, the ground may look further away than it is, or hallucinations may be occurring. This confusion of reality can often spark fear in the patient. If, while you are touring, you see a resident looking fearful or confused, know that most Memory Care Communities are well staffed with caregivers that are trained in calming and soothing their residents. It is their job to ensure that their residents are well cared for and as happy as they can be.
- It is very likely that you will get stopped by a resident while on your tour… This is actually a good thing, it will give you a chance to see how the Community Relations Director interacts with the resident, which will ultimately reflect on the Communities values. If the person guiding you on your tour acts with compassion and patience, then that is one good checkmark for the books. It is also important that you are patient with the marketer in how they handle the situation as well. If the marketer is taking a moment to show them where their room is then it shows that it is more important to the building that their current residents are well card for than it is to be “showing off” the building.
Lastly, it is good to know that, despite Alzheimer’s and Dementia being a devastating disease, a Memory Care Community should still be full of warmth, happiness, and light… If you are touring a Memory Care Community, and the residents are not participating in events, seem unstimulated, and you are feeling uncomfortable, listen to that voice. A good Memory Care Community has a plethora of activities, residents that are entertained, and plenty of natural lighting.
If you are touring a Memory Care Community soon, and are unsure of what questions should be asked, visit Questions to Ask When Touring a Memory Care Community, where you will also find a printable checklist of questions you may take with you on your tour.