Becoming a Memory Care Advocate

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My Care Finders

For more information about the author, click to view their website: My Care Finders

Posted on

Jun 20, 2024

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Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties

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Being a full-time caregiver for a family member with dementia is admirable, but the arrangement isn’t always the most beneficial for everyone involved.  The decision to move your loved one into a memory care facility may be an emotional one, but these communities often represent the solution most likely to provide your loved one with the support, companionship, and onsite supervision that they require. Still, many people cannot shake feelings of worry and concern. If you have already placed a parent into a memory care facility, staying actively involved as their care advocate is the best strategy for putting your mind at ease.

Family advocacy is vital for those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This article will discuss tips and recommendations for communicating with the staff and ensuring quality of care.

Educate Yourself About the Community

Understand Daily Routines: Family members should learn as much as they can about the daily routine of the memory care residence – including scheduled activities and events, mealtimes, and medication disbursement. Having knowledge about their daily lives can help when assessing your loved one’s level of engagement and interaction.
Medication Management Protocols: One of the most vital elements of advocacy involves medication management protocols. Be sure to understand the established protocol for administering any medications and confirm that the staff is knowledgeable about specific medication requirements.
Interactions with Community Staff: When visiting, pay attention to how administration and staff interact with the residents, including how well and how often they communicate with your loved one. A staff that is compassionate and kind can significantly influence the lives of their residents in a positive way.
Safety Measures: It is important to evaluate the established security protocols at the residence. For instance, memory care facilities should offer monitored and secured exits and entrances as part of the design, as they safeguard against dementia-related wandering.
Condition of the Residence: Take note of living and facility conditions, including the cleanliness of common areas and the overall appearance of the building. A clean and well-kept environment benefits the overall health and well-being of community residents.

Advocate By Communicating with the Staff

Initiate the Conversation: Establish a relationship with personnel to maintain open lines of communication. Set routine meetings to advocate for your loved one, raise any concerns, and stay informed about any needed or proposed modifications to the resident’s care plan.
Present Clear Concerns: Be as detailed as possible when addressing concerns or clarifying observations. Be sure to carefully document any changes in behavior or specific incidents so the staff can hear and respond effectively.
Listen Carefully: Listen to what the staff has to say, as they are privy to the majority of your family members’ experience. Insights from an experienced staff will provide valuable information and identify possible solutions.
Ask Pertinent Questions: Be bold when asking any necessary questions about your loved one’s care plan. You’ll need to understand the medical and facility policies to properly advocate on their behalf.
Track Progression of Memory Loss: Educate yourself about the specific phases of impairment so that you can better understand what your loved one is experiencing and address the relevant challenges they face. Setting practical expectations at each phase can help you to realistically advocate for their level of care.
Learn About Their Medications: One of the most serious aspects of being an advocate is to learn as much as possible about your loved one’s medications – such as potential side effects, dosage requirements, and effects on cognitive function.
Identify Patterns of Behavior: There are specific behavioral patterns associated with cognitive impairment, and understanding the triggers for these behaviors can establish effective coping strategies.
Create Support Networks: By getting involved with support groups and counseling services, families advocating for their loved ones can find emotional support, insight, and camaraderie with others in similar circumstances.

My Care Finders is a Valuable Advocate

The professional team at My Care Finders works with Florida families to identify the best memory care facility for their situation and budget. We get to know you, advocate for you, and ensure that you have all the information you need to make the best possible decision.

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