The symptoms of dementia start out slow, which is why it is so easy for family members to at first assume that their loved one is just a little forgetful. But over time, as the disease progresses, it becomes impossible to deny that something is wrong. Instead of simply forgetting a few names and dates, a person becomes unaware of their surroundings, and they can’t remember when to eat or bathe. Sometimes, other physical symptoms develop too, especially if the dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Once this happens, it quickly becomes apparent that they need someone to start assisting them with daily activities, so family members have to look for a dementia care provider. To ensure that the person with dementia gets the best treatment possible, the dementia care provider should have the following six qualities:
1- Strong Safety Measures
Look for specific measures that the provider uses to ensure that those with dementia will be safe. This might include alarms on all of the windows and doors, bed-rails, non-skid mats in the bathroom, and grab-bars to hold on to in case someone starts to fall. There should also be an adequate amount of staff available to monitor the dementia patients all the time.
Most people can identify a poor dementia care provider by the foul smell that hits them when they walk through the door. It is an implication that the incontinent patients have not been showered and cleaned on a regular basis. A good care provider will have a high focus on the cleanliness of not only the building, but the patients that they care for too. Their hair should be neatly combed, their nails trimmed, and their clothes fresh and dry. Don’t forget to inspect the kitchen area to ensure that the food is being prepared in a sanitary environment as well.
3- Caring Staff
The best way to find out how caring the staff is is to look for the little details that show that they go above and beyond for the dementia patients. Are their birthdays celebrated? Did the staff put flowers and nice pictures in the rooms? Does everyone have regular activities to participate in, such as puzzles, dances, and gardening?
4- Training and Experience
Don’t be afraid to ask to see the licenses and certifications that a dementia care provider has. They should all be up to date. If they don’t want to show them to anyone, it is a sign that they aren’t valid. Also, ask how long that they have been caring for those with dementia. The best care is usually given by dementia care providers who have been in business for many years. It is important to mention that everyone who works in the facility should be properly trained in how to work with dementia patients. This includes the laundry and housekeeping staff and the maintenance workers, since they will also be coming in contact with them regularly.
To find out how reliable a dementia care provider is, it helps to talk to the family members of the patients who are already under their care. Ask if they have ever come in to find their family member dirty, hungry, or underweight. If more than one of them says that they have, then look elsewhere for a better facility. Also, question as many of the staff members as you can about the hours, meals, and treatment options that they offer. Their answers should all be consistent.
6- Solid References
Check with your local Better Business Bureau regarding any good or bad ratings that the dementia care facility has. And call the ombudsman that oversees the facility. They won’t be able to directly discuss the cases that they have investigated regarding the patients that are cared for there, but they can say how many complaints that they have gotten in the last year.