Experience with Memory Care Facilities in Maplewood/South Orange area?

Jo508

I would love to hear about some experiences with local memory care communities. I've seen a number of them (Sunrise, Atria, Care One, Arden Courts), but it's hard to get past the glossy brochures and onto some real experiences. I'll need to be moving my mom in the near future and would like to be able to be as informed as possible.


sprout

I had a family member in the memory care unit at the Sunrise Edgewater location. Lovely facilities, and some lovely people. However, the staff and supervisor were not as detail oriented as I would have hoped, and things occasionally slipped through the cracks (e.g. a missed doctor appointment, a few missed showers, two lost hearing aids, and minimal attention to a new behavior [they increased use of her sedative not realizing that her new outbursts were pain related, not memory-issue related]).  

A friend of mine who had her mom in several places in different states told me that this is how things are at any facility. But for around $100k/year, I was hoping for somewhat closer attention.


wendyn

My mom was at an Atria facility in Texas, first in assisted living then memory care.  She/we liked it there very much.  Our issue was that they did not have nursing home facilities like 24 hr nurses, etc. and therefore couldn’t give her the kind of medical care she needed as she progressed.  We had to move her to another facility in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s which was not fun (extra anxiety and confusion for mom).   So my main advice would be to pick a place that has all of the types of care she might need.  No idea what types this Atria provides.


Good luck!


sprout

Oh, and we had a short stint at Care One in Teaneck. She was there initially to recover from a small heart attack/stroke, and when we requested some assistance during a visit, and no one came, we did not have her stay there much longer. 

The room at Teaneck's Care One felt somewhat hospital-like, while at Sunrise Edgewater it was more like a studio apartment. (That said, they may have different types of accommodations at Care One, I'm not sure.)


Jo508

Thanks sprout and wendyn- good ideas to consider.


Beth2

Has anyone had experience with Sunrise Madison?



apple44

The challenge with asking for opinions is that different families have different needs and expectations for care, and care will vary by patient. For example, a patient who is very mobile might be more difficult for a facility to manage compared to someone who is confined to a bed or wheelchair. Some need extensive physical therapy, others do not.

Someone above mentioned "a few missed showers." While I respect that as a concern, that's really not a medical issue and perhaps something that not all families would be concerned about.

I think what's crucial is to itemize precisely what you expect or need - does the patient need serious medical attention and/or physical therapy, or just to be comfortable and watched (i.e., making sure s/he doesn't leave the facility and wander about) or some combination. Then ask the facility how they meet those needs. Another critical question is the number of patients per nurse or aide. Regardless of what you pay, or how the facilities look, if the patient is cared for by an aide who has 20 other patients, your expectations will need to be limited.


spontaneous
apple44 said:
The challenge with asking for opinions is that different families have different needs and expectations for care, and care will vary by patient. For example, a patient who is very mobile might be more difficult for a facility to manage compared to someone who is confined to a bed or wheelchair. 

 This.  My grandmother started off VERY mobile, she just had no idea of where she was.  She would dress herself up, and with her purse on her arm and her car keys in hand she didn't arouse suspicion and was able to sneak out of a locked memory care unit on more than one occasion.  Thankfully she was found each time since she would wander the parking lot looking for her car.  She was truly convinced that she had driven there to visit a friend and thought she had just misplaced the car.  She then learned the code for the door.  It was because of my grandmother that the facility started changing the code every month.  As her physical health eventually declined she became easier for them to handle. 




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