Frequently Asked Questions about Memory Care Living
What makes a Memory Care Living® home different from other care options?
As a pioneer in residential living for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia-related illnesses, a Memory Care Living home offers several unique features that make us different from assisted living and skilled nursing facilities:
•We are truly the residential alternative to institutional care for those with dementia. Our single-family homes are not wings or units that are a part of a larger campus or institutional environment. We are single-family homes nestled into established, safe, residential neighborhoods.
•At Memory Care Living® we provide all services at a fixed, affordable rate. Our services are equally provided to all residents, with no financial increases based on levels of care.
•Our staff is specially trained to provide personal care assistance with the activities of daily living. In addition to structured group activities, we encourage resident participation in meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, and putting away the groceries, all of which are effective dementia care activities.
•The Memory Care Living® stresses a daily schedule of activities that becomes a familiar and comforting routine for those with dementia, unlike the complex and confusing monthly program calendars found in most large facilities.
•Our medication management is specifically designed for our environment, with particular attention paid to safety. Each drug is checked for toxicity levels and interactions. Our system has 5 safety checks built in for the protection of the resident.
•A fundamental belief of Memory Care Living® is to gain resident independence from inappropriate medications. Because of our staffing levels and the intimacy of our homes, we have an increased ability to observe each individual resident. Our goal is to manage resident behavior without the reliance on psychotropic drug therapies. Our message is clear – we are not able to cure Alzheimer’s disease; however with proper medication management we do frequently see improvements in the quality of life of our residents.
•Our menu has been designed by a licensed dietitian, prepared daily with fresh, store bought items. The meals are prepared in our cozy kitchen three times a day.
Do the homes have private bedrooms?
Yes, each of our homes are designed and built with 15-16 private, individual bedrooms. We furnish each of these bedrooms with a bed and linens, wardrobe, nightstand and lamp, dresser, and side chair. However, we encourage each of our residents (and their families) to furnish his or her own room with familiar articles or furnishings from home.
Does Memory Care Living® have specific visiting hours?
This is our residents’ home and will be your home, too, so visitors are welcome at any time. All we ask is that visitors respect the privacy and needs of the other residents.
Are there activities during the day?
Yes. Each home is staffed with a full-time activity coordinator who leads our activities program of daily activities. Please see the Providing Care section of this website for more in depth information regarding our daily enrichment program.
Are meals served at scheduled and specific times? Do the residents have to eat at that time?
All meals, snacks, and beverages are served family style. While breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at general times; we try to respect and support the lifestyles our residents have practiced all their lives. Late risers and early risers may not necessarily eat breakfast together. Lunch and dinner are usually served during a general time frame.
Nutrition is a critical component in our therapeutic program. In addition to the need to provide a well-balanced and nutritious meal, we strongly encourage the socialization that occurs at mealtimes. We will continue to encourage all residents to eat their meals with the other residents and we will make every effort to accommodate special dietary needs when prescribed by the resident’s attending physician.
Can my mother walk around at night if she can’t sleep?
Yes. Our staff is trained to support the resident who may encounter a restless evening of sleep. However, our staff is also trained to understand why this restlessness may occur. If there is evidence that this restlessness is a patterned behavior, in conjunction with the family and the attending physician, we will develop a care plan that will meet the needs of the resident.
How do you handle wandering?
Our homes are designed and constructed to encourage wandering. Specifically designed with internal halls that return to the center of the living room, our homes are conducive to the resident who wanders. In addition, our homes are built with a paved walking path that allows for monitored walks outdoors, but within the security of our alarmed, fenced front and back yards.
Mom’s a little confused but she does not have Alzheimer’s. Will you still take her?
While our environment has been carefully designed to care for the dementia needs of our residents, we will carefully consider the admission of a non-dementia resident who otherwise needs assistance with any of the activities of daily living (eating, bathing, toileting, transferring, and dressing). We recognize and support the needs of anyone who requires such assistance, and will work very closely with the family members to ensure there is a clear understanding of our environment and its suitability for their loved one.
Should I put a TV in Dad’s room?
Some of our residents choose to have a TV or radio in their room. However, we encourage socialization and activity. As a result, we discourage the use of TV or radio as a means of occupying the residents.
Mom loves to be outdoors. Can she go outside?
Yes. Our homes are built with secured fences around the perimeter of the front and back yards. Each home is built with a front and back covered porch, complete with rocking chairs and patio furniture. In addition, our yards are equipped with paved trails that allow for supervised walks for all of our residents.
Do you add fees, as Mom needs more care?
At Memory Care Living® we provide all services at a fixed, affordable rate. Our services are equally provided to all residents. We encourage aging in place, if more care is needed our resident will be re-assessed and an increase in level of care will be discussed with the family or responsible party.
Do you have doctors and nurses?
Residents are required to have a primary physician of their choice. Memory Care Living® does not contract with nor have any financial relationship with any physician or physician group. We allow the primary physician access to our homes in order to minimize resident inconvenience with travel.
Our prototype homes are staffed by a Licensed Practical Nurse Manager or Registered Nurse Manager.
How can I be involved with Mom’s care? How can I be involved with her life?
This is your Mom’s and your new home. You can and should be involved in every way in which you feel comfortable. Just ask yourself this question: “How can I best care for and support my loved one? What is best for her and our relationship?” Be assured that we will support you every step of the way.
Is the home secure? Can she wander away?
Each of our newly designed homes is equipped with a non-threatening, but state of the art, security system. Each yard is protected by a secured, alarmed picket fence. Every door and window of each home is protected by an audible alarm that alerts staff when there is an unaccompanied resident who attempts to wander outside the home.
How long has Memory Care Living® been in business?
The company started operations in 1989 with one group home in the Washington, D.C. area. Since that time, Memory Care Living® has grown into our current network of multiple unique and individual homes. We are currently planning for several new homes throughout the New Jersey area.