If you have a senior loved one who has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can be a lot to take in, to say the least. Surely, you have worries and concerns and only want the best for your loved one. You might be asking questions such as “what’s next?” or “where do we go from here?” or “how can I make sure my loved one is safe and taken care of?”. 

While all of these are perfectly normal questions, rest assured that maintaining independence and having a high quality of life for your senior is actually quite possible. One solution is to take a look at dementia care homes in Escondido and see what they have to offer. While sometimes senior living homes can come with a certain stigma, it is important to know what you’re looking for and getting started can feel daunting and overwhelming. After all, it is a big decision!

However, we want to make the first step of your journey easier by offering up five things you should know when booking tours. Continue reading to learn more!


1.) A Touch of Home

The first thing that you should look for when researching senior living facilities is the style and presentation of the community. Typically, most people don’t like a clinical feeling environment. This works fine for a hospital, but not for a place that is going to be your permanent residence. Avoid care homes that have stark white walls, plain linoleum flooring, and harsh fluorescent lighting.

Instead, opt for a place that resembles a home. Colorful or warmly painted walls, soft carpet or unique tile, and lots of natural light or options for floor lamps and sconces. This will help your senior feel like they are in a senior living community that is nurturing and inviting rather than clinical and cold. Touches like live plants, a piano, and pretty art hanging on the walls are sure to also add to the overall vibe. 

That being said, keep an eye out for important safety features that are necessary, such as grab bars, handrails, code-protected doors, and an easily accessible nurse’s station. A good care home will feature a balance of both safety and comfort. 


2.) Well-Trained and Competent Staff

Not all senior living facilities are built alike or serve the same purpose. In fact, when you’re looking for dementia care homes in Escondido, it is extremely important to choose one that specializes in helping those with memory loss issues, not just a standard assisted living community. Helping those with Alzheimer’s and dementia requires special training to be prepared for instances unique to memory loss. This can include handling issues such as dementia wandering, outbursts of anger or frustration, difficulty communicating, disorientation, and more. 

When touring the facility, inquire about their philosophy or mission statement. Make sure to look out for certain verbage or phrasing that solidifies their promise to put the resident’s needs and care plan at the forefront of their priority list. Each resident is unique and they should be treated as such. Caring for those with dementia requires patience and flexibility. If the staff can adapt to meet the needs of each resident, then that is likely a great place for your loved one. 

Also, don’t be afraid to read any reviews listed on their website or on their Google webpage. Nothing speaks louder than testimonials brought forward by real residents and their families. After all, it is a representative’s job to put the community’s best foot forward while potential residents take a tour. 


3.) Robust Activity Calendar

Dementia care homes in Escondido should be anything but boring! The third thing you need to be on the lookout for when doing research is a fun and diverse activity calendar. This will help to keep residents active, engaged, and socializing. These enrichment activities should have a good mix of physical, mental, and artistic options, ensuring that it appeals to a wide variety of interests. 

Here at Vista del Lago, we are proud to have a schedule of events that everyone can enjoy! For example, we offer our residents whiteboard games, workout Wednesdays, movie nights, balloon games, bingo, Family Feud, and so much more! Staying active and engaged will not only make your senior happier and healthier, but improve their overall quality of life. 


4.) Different Dining Options

When we’re talking about dining options, we mean several things.

First of all, you should look at sample menus available and see what variety of food is being served throughout the week. Good dining is more than just making sure that residents have the right number of calories per day. It’s also about ensuring that nutrition is a priority, with meals featuring a variety of proteins, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and more. Variety is the spice of life, as they say, and too many basic options should be a red flag

Not only that, but when it comes to dementia care homes, it’s also important to make sure that dignity is prioritized as well. If your senior struggles to use traditional utensils when dining, it might be embarrassing or frustrating to eat out in the public dining hall. Ask about options so that residents who need it can eat in private or can receive assistance from a staff member when required. 

A happy senior couple eating breakfast together



5.) Additional Amenities

Before starting your search, talk with your senior loved one and see what their preferences or wish list is. After all, they are the one who is going to be moving in and their input and opinion matters above all else. Ask them if there is anything special they would like, and go from there. 

For example, if they value going to see their hairstylist or enjoy getting their nails and getting pampered, be on the lookout for a community with an on-site salon. Here at Vista del Lago, our residents enjoy visiting the salon that features a wide array of services, including hair cuts, stylings, blow outs, and even manis and pedis. 


Wrap Up

We know that starting the search can seem overwhelming, but we hope that these five tips will help you make an educated and meaningful decision. Your senior loved one deserves the best, and Vista del Lago is here to provide the top quality care for all of our residents.