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Do you have any recommendations on how I can find the best Memory Care Facility?

Dear Advocate:

My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year. While I have been caring for him at home, his needs have changed and it has been a challenge providing him the care he requires. I have thought about finding an assisted living where he can receive the attention he needs. A friend of mine suggested I find a Memory Care Facility. Do you have any recommendations on how I can find the best Memory Care Facility?


Interested in Idyllwild

Dear Interested in Idyllwild:

It can be difficult to choose an assisted living for a loved one, particularly when, additional supervision and care is required. It’s important to note that the term “Memory Care Facility” is not an officially recognized classification for an assisted living long term care facility, and may be misleading. Instead of seeking a facility based on advertising catch phrases, with a bit of time and research, you can find the right facility for your father.

Ask the facilities you are considering if they are able to provide the type of care your father needs, and if they offer care to residents with similar diagnoses. Nothing substitutes for a personal visit to the facility. Once you narrow down the list of potential facilities that are able to meet your father’s basic care needs, visit the facilities. Ask to see the entire facility. If you are looking at an Alzheimer’s Unit within a facility, ask what makes it different from the rest of the facility (especially if it costs more)! If the facility offers special safety systems to protect wanderers, ask if it is operational, and ask for a demonstration.