If you find yourself considering a specialized facility for a parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you should try to make sure the care is aligned with your loved one’s needs.
In fact, make sure you answer some key questions before making a decision. What is your loved one’s level of mobility? Does your loved one display behavior issues? Is he or she aggressive? This last question forced Demetrius Folsom to consider a more secure environment for his father, James.
“I knocked on the screen door one night to check on him and nobody answered,” he told CBS4. “So I used my key to come through the back door and as I opened up the door, he pulled a gun.”
After that incident and others, James Folsom was placed in American Senior Communities’ Harrison Terrace. It’s a secure long-term facility for clients who have Alzheimer’s and/or a form of dementia.
Demetrius has been pleased with his father’s care. But when considering such a facility, there is a list of questions which should be asked.
Is the facility secure? Are the grounds secure? What type of training does the staff have? What is the staffing ratio at night? Is there a visiting physician? Can the facility care for wheelchair-bound or bedridden residents?
James Folsom is in a wheelchair. Demetrius believes his father’s dementia may have started several years ago after he forgot to take his blood pressure medication. James Folsom did suffer some small strokes.
“I’m not a caregiver,” says Demetrius. “And to watch that was very, very, difficult.”
Janean Kinzae, who is the director of memory care for American Senior Communities, says loved ones can be assured of secure units and a level of freedom.
“Our memory units are secured,” says Kinzae. “So folks can wander, which is a really common issue when you’re living with dementia. So they can explore, have that release of energy without putting themselves at risk.”
James Folsom isn’t one to wander, but Demetrius says his father is surrounded by people who know and care about him.
“I absolutely love it,” says Demetrius. “I wouldn’t put him anyplace else.”