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When Is It Time to Move Into Memory Care?

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An older adult woman holding onto a window sill and looking out of the window with a serious expression.

Supporting a loved one with dementia can be extremely rewarding, but it can also sometimes be challenging. It’s an emotional experience many people encounter in life. Dementia can be a complicated condition, but fortunately, you aren’t alone—seeking professional help from a memory care community can be an excellent way to get your loved one the care they deserve. But when is it time to move into memory care?

When dementia, memory impairment, or any kind of cognitive decline is diagnosed, it can help to consider moving to memory care. These conditions can all significantly affect a person’s well-being; by moving to memory care sooner rather than later, you can give your loved one an improved quality of life in an environment designed to cater to their needs.

What Is Memory Care?

Dementia isn’t a specific disease; it’s an overall term used to describe symptoms associated with memory impairment and cognitive decline. Though these symptoms can vary from person to person, they often cause memory loss, difficulty making decisions, and behavioral changes.

As the condition progresses, these symptoms often worsen, impacting a person more and more. This can eventually lead to the need for professional support.

Memory care is a specialized form of long-term care designed to support older adults living with dementia. It aims to improve a person’s quality of life and properly manage the symptoms of dementia. These communities provide a secure environment, supportive services, and therapeutic activities tailored to those with memory impairment.

How Memory Care Can Help

Dementia can be a challenging condition—especially without professional help. This is why memory care exists; it aims to help support your loved one and reduce how much their condition impacts their life.

Memory care emphasizes the importance of a routine, as structure and familiarity can greatly benefit individuals with dementia. The environment is usually less complex, with fewer distractions and a higher caregiver-to-resident ratio.

Meanwhile, the teams working in these communities undergo additional training to be uniquely equipped to support older adults with dementia. They have a wealth of experience and resources available to improve your loved one’s life.

While living in these communities, your loved one gains access to a range of services and amenities, including:

This way, your loved one can live in a safe, structured, and supportive environment tailored toward their unique needs.

Signs That It’s Time for Memory Care

The decision to move a loved one into memory care is deeply personal and rarely made easily. It should be based on a range of factors, like how it can benefit your loved one, whether or not you can care for them alone, and the location of any potential communities.

This makes it essential to learn the signs that a loved one could benefit from a move to memory care. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • They’re beginning to forget important dates and events
  • They’re having difficulty with daily tasks like eating, bathing, and dressing
  • They’re experiencing a significant decline in overall health
  • They’ve become agitated, aggressive, or combative
  • You’re struggling to keep up with their care needs on your own

However, you shouldn’t wait for symptoms to appear. If your loved one is diagnosed with any kind of dementia or memory impairment, it can help to think about memory care. These conditions are progressive, and the symptoms will likely become more severe.

This means that an early move to memory care can be an excellent preemptive way to improve your loved one’s quality of life. It gives them access to a team of experienced caregivers and an environment designed to support them.

How to Choose a Memory Care Community

If you think that your loved one could benefit from memory care, it’s time to choose the right community. This process can take some time, so it can help to start sooner rather than later.

There are several factors to think about:

The Level of Care

A community that can offer tailor-made care plans for each resident, making sure that their unique needs and preferences are met, is essential.

Staff Training

Look into nearby communities and see how well-trained the staff is. Many communities require their teams to undergo additional training and accreditation to offer a higher level of care.

The Physical Environment

The layout should provide a safe, structured, and easy-to-navigate environment. This can help reduce frustration and feelings of confusion for residents.

Activities & Programs

Look for communities that offer a wide range of stimulating and engaging activities. This can significantly impact your loved one’s quality of life.

Visitation Procedures

A good community should recognize the importance of family involvement and have easy-to-follow procedures for visitation.

Nutrition & Dining

A community that prioritizes nutritional needs and provides enjoyable dining experiences can greatly enhance your loved one’s overall well-being.

Community Engagement

Social interaction is vital for everyone’s mental health, especially for those with dementia. Look for a community that encourages involvement and fosters a sense of belonging and friendship among its residents.

By considering these factors, you can make a big difference in your loved one’s future.

An older adult man sitting with a cane conversing with a nurse holding a book.

Making the Right Choice for a Loved One

Dementia can be challenging, but your family doesn’t have to go through this alone. Memory care communities like ours at The Villages of Murfreesboro can be an excellent way to get your loved one the care they deserve. Our team is here to help transition your loved one to memory care, and we’d love to help you out. Book a tour with us today!

Sue Hall

Written by Sue Hall

Sue has been in healthcare for over 30 years as a nurse, consultant, and administrator. Through the years, she has always felt her calling was with seniors, and she feels at home at The Villages of Murfreesboro. Sue serves on the board of the Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes.

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