What is Memory Care?
When a loved one reaches a level of care that you’re no longer able to provide alone, trying to find the right solution can seem challenging. If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, a memory care facility can help.
So, what is a memory care facility, and how do you determine when memory care is truly needed? Learn more about what memory care does and the types of services a facility might offer.
What is a Memory Care Home?
The Alzheimer’s Association® estimates that close to 5.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's. Memory care is a distinct form of long-term care specifically designed to meet the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. As with other types of assisted living facilities, memory care communities provide the same level of assistance in handling the daily tasks of life, such as medication management, providing meals, and helping seniors bathe and get dressed.
Where memory care facilities differ from other types of assisted living options is the additional services and care they provide to meet the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Most memory care facilities offer:
- Structured environments with set routines that facilitate a stress-free lifestyle
- Enhanced safety measures to help ensure the health and protection of each senior
- Specialized programs designed to cultivate cognitive skills
What Does a Memory Care Facility Do?
One of the primary goals of a memory care community is to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s or other dementias while fostering an environment where seniors feel a sense of purpose, community, and enjoyment on an ongoing basis. Most memory care facilities accomplish this goal by:
- Having expertly trained staff available to assist 24 hours a day
- Facilitating social activities that encourage involvement with others
- Creating engaging food experiences that bring residents together to learn and share memories over delicious meals
- Providing brain fitness exercises and games designed to boost memory
When Does Someone Need Memory Care?
If a loved has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, you should consider seeking help from a memory care facility now. As long as your loved one isn't showing progressive symptoms, they may be able to live comfortably in an assisted living or independent living facility while benefiting from the safety and assistance they need. This can also help to make the transition to a memory care facility down the road a less confusing and stressful ordeal.
If you're uncertain whether a loved one has younger-onset Alzheimer’s but you're starting to suspect that it's a possibility, don't hesitate to bring up your concerns to a trusted doctor. Although many seniors experience some memory loss, here are a few common signs it may be time for memory care:
Asking the Same Questions Repeatedly
Does your loved one often ask the same questions over and over again?
Difficulty Managing Daily Tasks and Responsibilities
Are daily tasks that used to be easy for your loved one suddenly becoming too difficult to manage?
Leaving Reminder Notes Around the House
Does your loved one leave notes or instructions to remember tasks they used to be able to manage without thinking?
Confusion When Following Storylines
Is it hard for your loved one to follow their favorite TV show or to engage in conversation?
Does your loved one often lose important items like car keys?
Is your loved one easily distracted or do they have a hard time finishing a task before beginning a new one?
Does your previously calm or cheerful loved one now easily get anxious or angry?
Does your loved one experience difficulty remembering words or expressing basic concepts?
Confusion or Mood Swings That Get Worse in the Evening
Does your loved one often become moody, confused, or angry later in the day?
What is the Cost of Memory Care?
The cost of memory care will vary based on your loved one's individual needs and the area you live in. A memory care community will be focused on meeting your loved one's unique current needs, as well as strategize an ongoing care package that can support their future needs as they continue to evolve.
Get More Information About Memory Care
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