Once an older loved one starts to show signs of dementia, you will likely need to start thinking about the type of care he or she will need in the future. When your loved one gets to the point where he or she is no longer able to remain in their home, a dementia care facility could be your best option. However, choosing the right facility can be an overwhelming decision. Not only do you need to find a care center that is equipped to meet your loved one's immediate and long-term care needs, but there are other factors to consider such as cost and location. Knowing which questions to ask during your search can make the decision-making process a bit easier.
“What level of care will be provided?”
The level of care your loved one needs will depend on their stage of dementia. Some facilities are able to provide care for residents in the early stages of dementia while others are focused on the type of care needed by residents in the later stages. Finding a facility that can adapt to your loved one's changing needs is ideal, as there is no way to predict how fast their disease will progress and what obstacles you may face down the road.
“What type of amenities are available?”
Nearly all facilities are equipped to provide basic services needed to care for individuals with dementia. These services typically include housekeeping and meals. Some care centers allow residents in the early stages of dementia to carry out their own daily living routines. They may even provide opportunities for activities to keep the residents' minds active. Finding out which services are available can help you decide which facility is best for your loved one.
“What is the ratio of staff to residents?”
Staffing needs at a dementia care facility change from daytime to nighttime, but you'll want to make sure that the facility is adequately staffed around the clock. Ask about the number of staff members that will be available in case of emergency in the middle of the night. Also ask about the type of staff members that will be on site at various times, whether that includes doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners or nurse's aides, and other types of staff.
“Are there any conditions or needs that cannot be managed?”
Some dementia patients may have other medical needs such as diabetes or a heart condition. Be sure that the facility you choose is capable of managing any additional needs that your loved one may have.
Choosing the right facility that will meet your loved one's needs as well as your own can help put your mind at ease. If you have any concerns about finding the best dementia care center in Santa Barbara County, contact our Santa Barbara law firm at (805) 946-1550 to set up a consultation with one of our California elder law attorneys.