The best time to start making plans for the care of a loved one with dementia is when they first start showing signs of decline. Eventually, they may reach the point where remaining in their home is no longer an option, and it may be necessary for them to be moved to a dementia care facility. However, selecting a facility is not an easy choice to make. There is a lot to consider, including the cost, the location, and the type of care each facility will provide. Irvine elder law attorneys like us encourage clients to give themselves plenty of time to tour dementia care facilities and interview staff as it will make the process easier and help you choose the facility that is best suited for your loved one’s needs. Here are five questions to ask as you work through the process:

“What level of care will be provided?”

Each stage of dementia requires a different level of care. Some care facilities focus on providing care for patients who are in the early stages of dementia while other facilities are able to provide the additional care required for those in the later stages. If possible, find a facility that can adjust the level of care as your loved one’s needs change. This will be a better option than moving them from one care facility to another, especially at a time in their life when major changes can be disruptive.

“What type of amenities are available?”

Most elder care facilities are capable of providing care that meets some basic needs of patients with dementia including meal services and housekeeping. Patients in the early stages of dementia may be allowed to carry out basic daily living functions as long as they are able. Some centers may even provide social and physical activities to help keep their residents physically and mentally active. Knowing what type of amenities will be made available can help you choose the right facility.

“What is the staff to resident ratio?”

The staffing needs for a dementia care facility will vary based on the level of care the facility provides. Although most care facilities will have more staff members available during the daytime, it’s important to make sure that there is adequate staffing overnight as well. There should always be enough staff members available in case of emergencies, whether it’s in the middle of the night or even on a weekend or holiday. It’s also helpful to know what type of staff members are available at various times, including nursing assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, and doctors.

“Are there any conditions or needs that cannot be managed?”

If your loved one has other medical conditions aside from those associated with dementia, it’s important to know that the facility can manage those conditions as well. When searching for a dementia care facility, be sure to ask how they handle patients with additional medical needs like diabetes or heart disease or any other condition your loved one has or may develop.

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 here in Orange County or learning more about creative ways to financially afford it without going broke, contact our law firm to set up a consultation with one of our Irvine elder law attorneys.

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Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He’s all about family and passionate about estate planning, elder law, veterans and teaching others how to protect what matters most: family, dignity, and legacy. Snyder Law helps parents from Orange County, Los Angeles County, and the greater surrounding Southern California area. 


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