Looking For The Right Memory Care Facility For Your Parent? Start Your Evaluation In The Entrance Hall

Are you looking for the right memory care facility for one of your parents? Have you visited several options, but aren't quite sure how to tell which will best serve the needs of your loved one? A good place to start your evaluation is in the entrance hall of a facility by looking for the below 4 things.

Color On The Walls

When memory recall is a problem, it can be confusing and frustrating to be faced with a hall that offers only a long stretch of plain white walls. Likewise, it can be overwhelming for a person with memory loss to encounter walls painted in excessively loud, bold colors or patterns.

As soon as you walk into a memory care facility that you are considering for your loved one, look for walls that are painted in mid-tone colors. Mid-tone colors make a memory care facility more comfortable and less institutional-like without being so busy that they distract and confuse memory loss sufferers.

Proper Signage

You will undoubtedly notice a few signs as you walk down the entrance hall of a memory care facility. These signs offer great clues as to how well the establishment caters to memory loss patients. Signage for persons with memory loss should be kept to a bare minimum. If there is a room off the hall that shouldn't be used by the patients at a memory care facility, such as the laundry room or a storage closet, then there should be no signs pointing to those doors.

Furthermore, the font color on signs in a memory care facility should contrast with the color of the walls, and the signs should be posted at eye-level so they're easily noticeable. 

Distinguished Rooms

As memory care patients walk down the hall of a memory care facility, they should be able to easily locate and recognize the rooms they seek as they pass by them. If every room looks the same, this can be a challenge. 

As you walk down the hall of the facility you're considering for your parent, take a peek in the rooms as you pass by. Each one should have its own theme or color scheme so that the patients at that facility can associate the look of the rooms with their intended use. For example, patients' bedrooms should have photos or artwork that is personally appealing to them on the walls to help the patients recognize that they're entering their own personal space.

Camouflaged Exit Doors

Many memory loss patients exhibit wandering behavior, so having clearly labeled exit doors in a memory care facility could lead to dangerous situations for your loved one. As you walk through the entrance hall of a facility you're considering placing your parent in, turn around and look at the door. The door should blend in with its surroundings. The doorknob should be painted the same color as the door or be concealed behind a cloth barrier. 

Some memory care facilities may place locks on their exit doors -- do not be alarmed if you see this. International Building Code dictates that all staff must carry keys or know the codes to unlock the exit doors and the doors must unlock automatically with the facility's fire detection system. Proper memory care facilities must balance the risk of keeping their patients safe in the event of a structural fire and protecting their patients from dangerous situations that might occur should they exit the facility on their own accord.

It can be difficult to evaluate a memory care facility to see if it's right for your loved one, but it's easier if you know what to look for. If, upon entering a memory care unit's main hall you notice the above four things, it will likely be a safe and comfortable place for your parent to receive care.