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We have visited several facilities. Two had memory care. All were nice but one that we visited that does not have memory care had the best living and dining facilities, and had very competent and caring staff. The staff assured us they have dementia patients as tenants and the only time there are problems are if the individual wanders. We are reluctant to select a facility without memory care in case it is needed in the future because we don’t want to have to move again.

"Memory care" in many cases are just a joke (and a very bad one for the residents of the institution, as all is done is drug them). Do a favor to your loved one and choose the place with the caring staff. A person living with dementia needs to live in a place where the staff is well trained and in sufficient number to be able to pay personalized, respectful, loving attention to the residents. The place you described seems to be exactly so. Don't worry about to need move your mother to other place. She is now on a stage that would allow her to develop affective attachment to the staff and this will make easier for her, the staff and yourself if she needs more care later. It is not the name or the "memory care" area or paper describing how great a place is: it is the staff, specially direct care staff who make all the difference in the life of a person living with dementia.
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Reply to olave415
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thegoat: Perhaps you do want to select a MC facility, specifically.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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In your exact boat.  My husband has frontal brain d/t cancer treatment 15 years ago-he's 56.  We chose the nicest facility last fall-it does not have memory care, rather it has a separately paid nursing agency.  We are able to 'buy up' the amount of care needed.  There are other residents there requiring far more than my husband at this time-there are people who require bathing assist, feeding assist etc.  Some families hire round the clock care for room bound residents.  As you mentioned, the only no go would be someone who is an elopement risk.  Fortunately, we are not in that boat right now.  The facility is lovely-it does not look or smell like a skilled care unit because it's not.  There are activities, seated dining, multiple community areas etc.  Trust your instincts rather than trying to guess what will be needed or when that day will be here.
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Reply to onholdinmidwest
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I’m in the process of placing my husband (70) in MC. I would strongly recommend that you consider MC as most AL/MC have a community fee and no tolerance for behaviors associated with dementia. At an AL, they could insist on a wrap around aide which will greatly increase cost or demand you remove him as they can’t meet his needs. You may not recoup the community fee which can be a month’s rent.

We visited several facilities AL/MC with spa like atmosphere which were beautiful however, I needed to separate from what I thought was great if I lived there to what he would benefit from. They had a theater, pool, nightly happy hours, baby grand etc. These things mean nothing to him
Even though they had MC, if he needed a high level of care, he’d need to go to nursing home or I think if behavior worsen they would dismiss him
The strong contender is a MC only facility dealing only with the different forms of dementia . Staff and director are well versed in best practices. residents won’t be removed and individual care plans are evaluated 4x a year or more. They come furnished and director purchases new bedding etc and will decorate it based on his interests at no charge if you wish. You could choose to furnish it yourself if that would make your loved one more comfortable. They are designed thoughtfully with dementia needs at the forefront. There is no level of care cost as in Al/MC It’s inclusive with the exception of Depends (my husband doesn’t need need yet). The welcome pets and have an enclosed yard with walking paths that they can utilize whenever. The downside for me is it’s located in our old neighborhood which is 2 1/2 hours from our retirement home which will be a trek. I do have family about 40 min away and it’s in King of Prussia PA with a lot of amenities and hotels for my visits.
it is the most difficult decision if my life. I wish you well in this process but hope you will consider a MC placement.
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Reply to Pat1124
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Helenn Nov 11, 2021
Totally agree with you Pat !!
memory care is best for dementia that’s going to progress …and there are some great ones with private room and bath… they’re more experienced dealing with dementia and frontal lobe is difficult !!!
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We went through this with my dad. He had to move from his home in Sept. 2019. He went to AL where he was doing well for about 6 months. We also paid for outside caregivers 3 days a week. It got pretty expensive. He started to get very frail in early 2020 then covid hit and no extra caregivers were allowed. After a stint in skilled nursing, he went to a great memory care where he is the calmest and most settled I've seen him in years. Biggest difference is that neither the AL or SNF knew how to deal with the behaviors that go with dementia. That alone has calmed him down. Just be aware that if you go with AL, it could be short lived. Dementia doesn't get better. Your statements in the first paragraph sound like a sales pitch from the AL. I've heard it many times.
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Reply to Babs75
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Dig deeper into their experience and training in FTD as I think that FTD patients can have more troubling acting out behavioral problems than other dementia patients. Don't be reassured by the smooth answer that only wandering would be a problem. How would they handle the problems that have you considering placement now? What does the patient's doctor project for decline and life expectancy? How long can he get by in AL before a change is necessary? Not all dementia are alike and certainly not FTD. Also try looking for advice from the specific AFTD online groups.
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Reply to vegaslady
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In your exact boat.  My husband has frontal brain d/t cancer treatment 15 years ago-he's 56.  We chose the nicest facility last fall-it does not have memory care, rather it has a separately paid nursing agency.  We are able to 'buy up' the amount of care needed.  There are other residents there requiring far more than my husband at this time-there are people who require bathing assist, feeding assist etc.  Some families hire round the clock care for room bound residents.  As you mentioned, the only no go would be someone who is an elopement risk.  Fortunately, we are not in that boat right now.  The facility is lovely-it does not look or smell like a skilled care unit because it's not.  There are activities, seated dining, multiple community areas etc.  Trust your instincts rather than trying to guess what will be needed or when that day will be here.
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Reply to onholdinmidwest
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I'd choose the nicest facility at this time as who knows the future of how fast the dementia will be.

If it gets bad later, move then as the loved one won't remember any way once the dementia is bad.
Live for the moment and
Go for the Best place for now, as no one knows the future so choose the place that will make the loved one the happiest now.
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Reply to bevthegreat
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No personal experience with FTD, but you're correct in choosing a facility that has MC on site. If the need develops why have to go through all the intake paperwork and moving?
I'd be leery of this ''the only time there are problems are if the individual wanders.''
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Reply to ElizabethY
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Would you go to a foot doctor for a broken leg because the foot's attached to the leg, and that's good enough?

No, he needs memory care. It's a huge difference in care, and the AL's dining facilities aren't going to be of much value when he gets kicked out -- and he will.

Please get him the right kind of care for what ails him.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Dementia care requires more than assisted living can offer. Yes, elopement (wandering) is a problem in an unsecured facility, which assisted living is. How about other dementia behaviors like aggressiveness, delusions and hallucinations, anger, accusations, incontinence, verbal outbursts, sundowning, refusal to bathe or get dressed, etc., etc. These are typically not behaviors a resident in an ALF would exhibit, nor would they tolerate. I would venture to say that the staff hasn't had to deal with these, nor, for the most part, been trained to deal with. Your reluctance to admit your LO into a non memory care facility is warranted.
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Reply to sjplegacy
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I would be very suspicious of this. Firstly, if they are truly putting residents with a lot of problems in with their other elders, who are much more competent, I would worry for the facility itself and its overall atmosphere.
In a few cases when my brother was in ALF some of the residents needed another level of care. In some instances it was leaving the facility, but in many it was calling out, being in their rooms and/or disruptive to the entire communal setting. They had to be moved to memory care. In some cases the Resident counsel itself requested intervention; that is the elders in each cottage got together in their monthly meeting and petitioned. The staff was always aware when a resident needed more, and reported it, as they were responsible for care in each cottage.
If this place is housing patients unable to understand and live within certain boundaries with other more well residents, they are affected the atmosphere of the entire place.
There were times at my brother's ALF when the facility did all they could to accomodate keeping people in the lower needs areas because of cost factors; the families could not afford the increases in cost. It didn't usually work out. There may be others out there with better experiences. At my brother's place some time after his death (I was still in contact with his friend there) the facility did make one of the cottages a higher level of care, a locked cottage, and with more staff, as an intermediate care cottage. This was a good answer to be certain for all involved; it was a VERY dedicated facility overall in my opinion.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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I would go with the one that has Memory Care or continue your search.
What happens if they call and say...we can no longer safely care for XXX.
Where would you have them transferred to? Look at that place again.
There is a slight possibility that wandering might not be a problem but other things that a person with dementia might do can put themselves or other residents at risk.
Ask the facility that you are considering how many residents over the past 10 years have had to leave because of wandering or other unsafe or unacceptable reasons.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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