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What is the typical resident-to-staff ratio in a memory care facility?
Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM
If you've ever had a hospital stay, you've experienced a staff-to-patient ratio. The term refers to how many patients a medical staff person, such as a registered nurse, is responsible for during a work shift. On an intensive care unit where the level of care is very high and patients are at risk, a nurse may only have one patient in her care.
A memory care facility in a community also has an ideal staff ratio and is usually part of the licensing requirements of the facility. Because memory care communities are licensed as “special care” facilities, it means staff numbers must be higher and need to be more specially trained, so the staffing is more critically evaluated.
Typically, memory care facilities are licensed and regulated by each individual state. The industry consensus is that a 1:5 or 1:7 ratio is best for memory care staffing, but is flexible depending on the state's guidelines. The lower number of patients per staff member reflects the level of care and individual attention required to safely treat dementia residents that may also need various behavioral treatments.
If a memory care facility has a mixed population with varying degrees of dementia levels that will also affect staff ratios. More caregivers and personnel with specialties are required to handle such a diverse memory care resident population. In the interest of providing the highest quality care possible, the best facilities will staff to ensure that is possible.