All that glitters is not gold. When choosing a place for a loved one with dementia it is very important to research what is truly being offered. Is it simply a secured unit? Does it have a different staffing ratio? Is the staff trained in dementia care? An individual with dementia has unique activity needs. How is that accommodated on the unit? Is the unit designed to encourage reminiscence?
As a caregiver, you are very aware of the unique challenges your loved one presents in the face of medication; meals; loss of independence. How is the facility prepared to meet these challenges? Is the nursing staff sufficient? How many hands are available in the evenings, nights, weekends? Is the activity schedule maintained throughout the week?
Too often we, as caregivers, seek placement after months of exhaustion. We make decisions based on proximity to home; smell; price; an engaging marketer. If we begin shopping before the need is critical, we can use true alchemy to see if what glitters is indeed gold.