There are currently 31 memory care facilities in Montana. This number is quite low compared to other states, many of which have dozens or even hundreds of memory care communities. Montana’s wide open spaces and sparse population in some areas are probably responsible for its lower numbers, yet memory care communities still provide much-needed services to seniors suffering from memory loss.

Who Benefits from Memory Care

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can benefit greatly from memory care. These communities are fully secure, so residents can’t wander and get lost. Staff members provide 24-hour supervision and guidance, which is important for people who can get confused about where they are or what they’re supposed to be doing. Caregivers also offer help with personal care tasks (such as bathing, dressing and grooming), medication and housekeeping and laundry. Communities supply nutritious, easy-to-eat meals and snacks as well as plenty of activities to keep seniors engaged with their surroundings and with each other.

Seniors’ families and friends also benefit from memory care, for knowing that their loved ones are safe decreases worry and stress. Often, family members can’t care for people with memory loss on their own, as much as they may want to. Memory care facilities can step in to provide support for everyone involved. Most communities work closely with family members, and some offer support groups and resources for them.

How to Select a Memory Care Community

When the time comes to start looking for a memory care community for a loved one, it’s usually best to begin with research. Websites for local facilities usually list and describe services and amenities, and seniors and their families can decide which ones offer the best packages. They should also consider living arrangements (private or shared, for instance), special programming (such as Montessori-based techniques) and reviews from current residents and their families.

The next step is to visit two or three memory care communities. The staff member providing the tour should be able to answer questions, present care packages and prices and explain procedures and rules. Visitors may also be able to enjoy a meal, participate in an activity or two and chat with residents and caregivers. This should provide a good idea of the community’s atmosphere and help seniors and their families determine which community feels most like home.