Elderly father adult son and grandson out for a walk in the park.

Choosing a Memory Care Community for Your Loved One

When it’s time for your family to discuss memory care for a loved one, how can you know if you’re making the right choices? There are many factors to consider – comfort, care techniques, distance from home – and it’s not easy to know what matters most. We hope you’ll use this memory care guide to jumpstart your decision-making process.

Before You Visit

Choosing a memory care community is a major life decision – and making a smart choice starts with a smart plan. Try applying these tips before you ever schedule a tour.

  • Do the research. What makes for a good memory care community? Really think about it – then put in the time to read the research. Evidence shows that the right memory care community can really make a difference for seniors with dementia. Positive mood, engagement in pleasant activities and help with the activities of daily living (ADLs) are the three big components to improved quality of life.
  • Consider creature comforts. What would you want in a new home? And what kinds of comforts would benefit a senior with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia – specifically your loved one? For example, the lighting in common areas and rooms can reduce sundowning behavior – read more on this here.
  • Put your ear to the ground. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are unfortunately quite common. Someone you know may have a parent, relative or close friend who lives in memory care. Ask them what they looked for during their search – and what they wish they knew beforehand.

Things to Consider During Your Visit

Once you’ve whittled down your list of potential care providers to a few options, you’re ready to get in touch with them and start scheduling visits. Start the process by speaking with your family and asking them for their concerns – or invite them to come with you. Consider these suggestions as you evaluate a memory care community.

  1. Look for cleanliness. A clean community is safer and far more comfortable to live in – and it shows how much the staff cares. Assistance with personal grooming is also a major component, so be sure to pay attention to the residents. Are their clothes clean? Do they look comfortable?
  2. See the safety measures. Memory care is all about protecting residents from behavior that could be dangerous – like wandering or exit-seeking. Take a look around at the exits, and make sure there are safe ways for residents to get around (grab handles in residence bathrooms, clear paths in hallways, etc.).
  3. Ask about activities. Staying busy will help your loved one feel happier and more fulfilled. Try asking these questions: What kinds of activities do they offer – and how are those activities targeted toward helping seniors experiencing cognitive decline? How often are seniors engaging in these activities? How diverse is the schedule?
  4. Add up the offerings. Every community offers its own value proposition, but senior care isn’t something to cut corners on. Consider everything they offer, like luxury features, specialized care and other enticements – and how they’ll fit your loved one’s personality and expectations.
  5. Evaluate the people. Residential care staff have all sorts of titles, but they should all have a few things in common – patience, kindness and commitment to quality care. Take a look at how staff members treat their residents, especially when they don’t know you’re watching.
  6. Trust your gut. When it comes to choosing who to trust with your loved one’s care, don’t fight your instincts. If you’re unsure about a particular community when you visit, don’t rush into deciding. Take the time to weigh your options and discuss them with your family – you can always come back for a second tour if needed.

Why Stratford Commons Is the Right Choice

Nobody can tell you which memory care provider is an exact fit for your loved one’s needs. That’s why we welcome you to learn more about Stratford Commons. We’re always ready to answer your questions and help you reach the decision that’s best for your family. Why? Because Stratford Commons is here to be a reliable partner in your search for quality senior care.

When you’re looking for a memory care community in Overland Park or the greater Kansas City area, come give us a look. With our small community size, your loved one won’t feel overwhelmed or overlooked – and our bright, comfortable apartments, diverse programming and friendly companionship make each day a little brighter.

Interested in a personal consultation? Call us at 913-851-8660.