Five Questions to Ask When Visiting A Memory Care Community


Choosing a memory care community for a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be challenging. 

As you tour memory care communities, you are sure to have lots of questions. Finding answers can help you determine which community is the best fit for your loved one and can give you peace of mind.

What is memory care?

Before we discuss what questions you should ask on your tour, it’s helpful to understand what differentiates memory care from assisted living or other types of residential care. 

Memory care, sometimes called dementia care, communities provide safe, secure housing and 24-hour specialty care for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. 

The goal of specialized memory care is to create positive, meaningful experiences within safe, stimulating environments so that those living with memory loss can lead engaged, purposeful lives -– wherever they may be on their journeys.

#1. What types of specialized care and therapies are offered?

Memory care requires specialized approaches to address the unique challenges of conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Personalized care plans and therapies can significantly impact the residents’ quality of life and slow the progression of their symptoms. Knowing what is offered helps ensure that the community can cater to your loved one’s specific needs.

Additional Questions:

  • How does the community address the specific needs of individuals with memory-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia?
  • Are there personalized care plans, cognitive therapies, and specialized activities to support residents’ mental health and well-being?

At Senior Star, we create a personal care plan with each resident and their families. For some residents, this may include assistance with daily living tasks such as medication, bathing, and dressing, while others may need occasional reminders coupled with memory stimulation through customized activities.

We offer a host of amenities to make life more enjoyable for all of our residents. Our apartments are safe and comfortable. Each community offers secure entrances, nurses on site 24/7, and emergency call bracelets for added peace of mind.

#2. Is there consistency in staffing?

The quality of care your loved one receives largely depends on the qualifications and training of the staff.

Well-trained caregivers who understand memory care can provide better support and create a safer environment. Having the same staff members regularly assigned to care for your loved one can lead to more personalized care. Over time, staff members begin to feel like an extension of your family.

Additional Questions:

  • What are the staff qualifications and ratios?
  • What are the qualifications and training of the staff members, particularly in memory care?
  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio, and how does it ensure adequate care and attention for each resident?

At Senior Star we believe that consistency in staffing starts with a positive work environment where our employees come first. We want to do everything we can to empower our associates to deliver excellent service and care.

Each year, we work with an independent research consulting firm called Great Place to Work® to learn what we’re doing right and where we can improve. 

We’ve been certified as a Great Place to Work—seven years running as of 2024! We have also been ranked in FORTUNE Magazine®’s Top five Best Workplaces in Aging Services.

Learn more about our accreditations here.

#3. What is the approach to family involvement and communication?

Staying informed and involved in your loved one’s care is vital for their well-being and your peace of mind. Regular updates and family involvement can help you monitor their condition and contribute to their care decisions. It also fosters a collaborative relationship with the community, ensuring that your loved one’s needs are consistently met.

Additional Questions:

  • How does the community involve family members in the care process and keep them informed about their loved one’s condition and progress?
  • Are there regular updates, family meetings, or opportunities for family members to participate in activities or care decisions?

In our Senior Star communities, we know how important it is for adult children and family members to feel engaged in their loved one’s life and care.

It’s easy to stay up to date with what’s happening in your loved one’s community when you download the Sagely: Family 2.0 App. The family app provides real-time activity updates, photos, and community messages on your smartphone or tablet. 

Senior Star communities also want to create meaningful visits for you and your loved one. Each community has its own monthly calendar filled with activities, events, and Signature Programs

In many cases, friends and family are welcome to participate alongside residents. Staff can also help reserve a room for a family gathering or make recommendations on the best ways to spend time with a person living with dementia.

#4. What are the costs, and what do they include?

Finances are a key consideration when planning for memory care. Learning what options are available to your loved one can help you find the best fit.

Planning ahead allows you to work with a financial advisor or estate planning attorney if you choose. Turning to a professional can help you explore an array of options about which you may not be familiar, such as reverse mortgages, life insurance conversion, Veterans Benefits, and more. 

Additional Questions:

  • What is the pricing structure, and what services and amenities are included in the cost?
  • Are there additional fees for specific services or levels of care?

At Senior Star, we’ve put together some resources to explore your options.

Check out our blog, Three Steps to Budget for Senior Care or download our guide, Financial Planning for Retirement Living

Read more: 7 Options to Pay for Senior Living

Understanding the costs and what each community covers can help you create a financial plan.

Knowing the costs helps you to choose a community that fits your budget while providing the necessary care.

#5: What is the whole-person approach to memory Care?

Many memory care communities take a “whole-person approach” to memory care. This approach recognizes and celebrates the unique history, preferences, interests, and needs of the person with memory loss. The goal is to improve all aspects of a person’s well-being, by prioritizing their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs, rather than simply focusing on cognitive abilities.

Additional Questions:

  • What opportunities are there to explore hobbies and interests?
  • What programs are available for movement, time outdoors, and social interaction?
  • How are an individual’s preferences honored? 

Activities involving the arts, games, physical exercise, and social interaction can boost mood and slow the progression of dementia. Each Senior Star community offers a variety of innovative programming throughout the day for residents.

Here are a few examples of programs we offer within Senior Star communities:

  • Music and Memory
  • Destination Stations
  • Memory Support Courtyard/Backyard
  • Lucynt Magic Table
  • Purposeful Movements
  • Snoezelen® Multi-Sensory Environment

Feel Confident About Memory Care

Senior Star associates want to help you find the right fit for your loved one so that you can feel confident about your decision.

A tour is a great way to get a sense of what our wonderful communities have to offer.

Schedule your personalized tour or contact us to learn more. 

Source: Where You Live Matters