Memory Care FAQs
Mind & Memory
Frequently Asked Questions
These programs can be offered within a standalone community caring exclusively for those with memory impairment or as a dedicated program within an assisted living community that also provides accommodations for more independent individuals as part of a continuum of care. As those with neurological conditions can be prone to wandering, mobility issues, forgetfulness and compromised senses that impact their overall safety, memory care programs focus on providing a secure, adaptive environment.
The better memory care programs, such as Benchmark’s mind and memory care program, have specially trained staff and programs that go beyond providing care. We have used research to create therapeutic and sensory dining experiences that support residents’ current capabilities while engaging all senses and aiming to preserve short and long-term memory.
Security is provided in communities in several ways. First, mind and memory care neighborhoods are a secure environment. Benchmark’s communities offer electronic security that is subtle, so residents don’t feel confined. Visual cues are also used to help direct residents’ attention to living spaces, fun programs and outdoor spaces instead of exits. Our entire mind and memory care neighborhoods and each resident apartment are arranged in a dementia-friendly way.
At Benchmark communities, we provide our residents with routine and structured days filled with meaningful experiences. We also offer enclosed, secure outdoor courtyards, so residents always have access to the outside.
At Benchmark, we focus on creating an environment at mealtime that stimulates all senses with things like freshly baked bread and soothing music, while eliminating other distractions. We also provide different colored plates, so there is a contrast with the food on the plate so our residents can see it and it appears more appetizing. Special adaptive mugs allow for easier grip and tables are supplied with easy to see and handle condiments. In addition, we offer texture modified diets where food is pureed and reformed back into its original form, as well as feeding assistance, cuing and reminders.
Using our award-winning communication techniques, we provide residents with therapeutic one-on-one and group experiences throughout each day as well as stimulating features throughout our communities. Programs like music and art therapy, off-site trips and things like journey stations and treasure chests, encourage reminiscing.
If you are visiting during mealtime, observe how interested residents seem in their meal, what support and adaptive tools are offered to make the experience easier and more enjoyable for them, and the food's nutritional quality.
Do the residents look well cared for and dressed appropriately for the season? Caregiver relationships with residents play a key factor in the quality of care. Do these interactions seem positive and supportive? Or do caregivers seem rushed and stressed?
Also, try to schedule a visit during a time when a life enrichment experience is taking place. This will help you gauge how good a job the community does in creating meaningful, productive days.
The cost of mind and memory care can vary widely depending upon the community’s location, its amenities, services provided, etc. Contact the communities you are interested in to be sure you are comparing apples to apples. You may be willing to pay a little extra for amenities and additional care to help your loved one age well without having to make transitions. Understanding how they structure their fees, provide care, and if they are able to care for your loved one as the disease progresses and additional costs will help you compare your options.
If money is a concern, there may be financial solutions available that you might not be aware of. Contact our Financial Concierge if you are interested in exploring options.