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Asking Avalon: Touring Our Memory Care Community

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Asking Avalon: Touring Our Memory Care Community

A few months ago, we wrote an overview of memory care communities and the questions to ask when you’re touring a community on behalf of a loved one with dementia. Today, we’d like to answer those questions to give you a picture of what life is like at our community. Without further ado, here are Avalon’s answers to your Memory Care FAQs.

Safety and Staffing

How is Avalon secured so that residents are safe?

All the entries and exits of our memory care community are secured by magnetic locks. These locks are password protected and connected to the fire sprinkler system, In the event of a fire, the doors will automatically unlock, allowing for safe and easy exit. We also have a secured outdoor space that allows residents to enjoy sunshine and fresh air while avoiding the risk of wandering.

What type of training does Avalon staff receive?

Each member of our staff receives a minimum of 16 hours of training upon hiring, as well as an additional 6 hours of training per year. Junior members of our staff shadow more experienced staff members until they have demonstrated their ability to provide for all care needs and care levels.

What is your staffing ratio during the day? (number of residents per caregiver)

On average, there is one staff member for every five residents during the day. This can fluctuate depending on the care needs of the individuals. We’re very proud that our staff members are dedicated to one single property in order to better form relationships and understand the needs of their residents. We also have floating staff members who are available to add coverage and fill in as needed.

What is the staffing ratio at night?

At night, we average one staff member for every eight residents. A staff member checks on every resident at least once every two hours and will perform more safety checks depending on the residents’ individual needs.

How are care plans developed for each individual resident?

Our care plans are developed in collaboration with our staff members, family members and the individual. Family members always have input if they wish to be a part of the care plan. Every resident’s care plan is reviewed prior to move-in, again after the first 14 days of living here, and then yearly or as needed after that.

Are there off-site physicians who visit regularly?

We partner with nearby physicians to perform “house calls” for residents who prefer to be cared for in their own homes. Medicare covers these appointments, just as they would cover a regular visit to a physician’s office. These medical professionals visit residents as needed and on a routine schedule set by the physician. Examples of some of the services provided on-campus are: physicals, wellness checks, general inquiries, podiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and wound therapy.

What medical services are available on-site?

Residents who see our visiting physician can have blood work and x-rays done here, along with various therapies.

How do you deal with and care for disruptive behaviors?

Avalon has a dedicated plan of care to manage disruptive behaviors in our residents. We use interventions based on each individual resident, taking into consideration what the family has recommended and what we ourselves have found to work. This might include music therapy, finding a calm space or performing light exercise. Following a disruptive behavior incident, we notice family members and the resident’s physician to discuss the situation and come up with the best interventions possible.

Community Policies

How is admission determined?

All residents receive an assessment by Avalon prior to move-in. Usually, this takes place where the future resident resides, but it can also be performed over the phone. Staff also contacts the individual’s primary physician to obtain a medication list and history.

What care services does Avalon NOT provide?

Avalon is not certified as a “skilled nursing” facility, which means we cannot provide any task that must be administered by an RN. However, we have outside vendors and partners that can provide these services as requested and required.

How often are families updated about resident health and well-being?

This is truly in the hands of the family. We update family members whenever there is a change of condition, but also have regular touch-bases as requested.

What is the policy for handling a medical emergency?

When a medical emergency occurs, we first call 911. Then, we notify family members that 911 has been called. Emergency personnel are given an information page with all contacts listed, as well as a list of any medications and the resident’s DNR, if applicable.

How does Avalon’s fee structure work?

There is a one-time, non-refundable move-in fee, and then the contract switches to a month-to-month rental agreement. The monthly fee covers room and board, ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), activities, utilities and cable.

What is your discharge policy?

Unlike many other memory care communities, we do not have a “three strikes and you’re out” rule. We evaluate each case on an individual basis and do our best to find a solution for every resident – after all, we understand that people with dementias such as Alzheiemer’s disease can be unpredictable. If we are unable to come to a solution or the resident is deemed unsafe, a move-out may be issued.

Memory Care Features and Treatments

What are the living arrangements at Avalon?

Residents have the choice of living in a private or shared apartment. We offer wheelchair accessible units, studio units and handicapped units designed for easy accessibility. To accommodate our residents, our community has air conditioning, and temperatures are regulated to optimize comfort and safety. Roll-in and wheelchair-accessible showers are available in select units, and units with a private bath are also available.

What is the dining program like?

Mealtime is an opportunity for residents to socialize, reminisce and connect to both past and present. Each Avalon property has its own style of dining, either family- or restaurant-style. All of our meals are made that day to ensure optimal freshness and nutrition, and all residents’ diets and preferences are reviewed carefully prior to move-in. It’s our pleasure to entertain company, too, and we love having family members and friends join for a meal.

What are the outdoor grounds like?

Fresh air, sunshine and the serenity of nature is soothing, fulfilling and a wonderful sensory experience for our residents. Each of our properties has an open, secure outdoor space filled with beautiful landscaping and walking areas that allow residents to enjoy the great outdoors with confidence and security.

How are residents grouped and housed? Are they separated by cognitive level?

At Avalon, our residents are like family members, and this is their home. Everyone is allowed to mingle with others at their leisure, no matter what their cognitive level or ability. Staff are always on hand to assist with supervision and behaviors as needed.

What sort of therapies are offered at Avalon?

Besides physical therapies, Avalon also offers music therapy.

How do you manage “transition” as residents move from one stage of dementia to another?

The dementia journey is very personal and unique for each resident. As individuals move through the stages of dementia, we update their care plan as much as required in order to make sure we’re providing the best care for their needs.

We hope these answers have given you a better picture of what life is like at Avalon Memory Care. We understand that choosing a memory care community is a very personal decision, and we’re here to help. If you have any questions we haven’t answered, or if you’d like to schedule a tour of our memory care community, please contact us at (972) 713-1383. Whether or not you choose one of our communities, it is our honor to serve you and your loved one during this important time.

By |2020-01-28T18:53:16-06:00January 28th, 2020|Categories: Avalon Memory Care|0 Comments