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From the Neighborhood Press

A senior man sitting with his daughter on the couch and smiling away as they enjoy a healthy conversation about moving.

When to Move from Assisted Living to Memory Care

Memory challenges can pose significant complications for a senior’s life—whether they live at home or in an assisted living community. While these communities offer a high quality of care to support each and every resident, seniors with memory issues or cognitive challenges may need extra support. Memory care can be a beneficial choice for some seniors—but it’s not always easy to know when to make a transition from assisted living to senior living.

Seniors should consider moving to memory care when cognitive changes and memory challenges start to make daily life more difficult. Conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia can have a significant effect on a person’s quality of life, so it’s crucial to recognize the early signs of cognitive changes and be ready to make a transition—or help a loved one make a transition—into memory care.

When to Choose Memory Care Over Assisted Living

Assisted living communities offer help for seniors to remain independent while getting extra care and support for daily challenges. Whether someone needs help with dressing, bathing, cleaning, or even cooking, assisted living communities offer care to meet those needs—and allow residents a great deal of autonomy.

When memory challenges come into play, assisted living may not provide enough daily support to meet a person’s needs. If a senior begins showing significant signs of cognitive changes, memory care may be a better choice for their living situation.

Memory care is a type of senior care that provides extra support for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive challenges. The staff, services, and amenities of memory care communities can be more focused on helping seniors who are experiencing the unique challenges of memory loss.

Signs that a Loved One May Need Memory Care

Memory impairment can often present several challenges for seniors. Learning which symptoms often indicate the development of a memory condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia can make it easier to see the signs a loved one may need extra support. 

The symptoms of dementia and other cognitive conditions can include:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Trouble communicating
  • Frequent memory loss episodes
  • Decreased ability to focus
  • Misplacing items frequently
  • Forgetting faces or names

If a loved one begins showing these signs, they may be in need of support that can come in the form of memory care.

 How Can Memory Care Help Someone Experiencing Cognitive Challenges?

Memory care communities have trained staff who understand the unique needs of people experiencing cognitive changes and challenges. The services and amenities of memory care communities include structured routines to help provide stability, safety measures for those with memory challenges, and activities designed to stimulate the mind and slow cognitive decline.

Through staff prepared to help residents experiencing cognitive challenges and spaces designed specifically to provide support for the challenges posed by conditions like dementia, memory care communities can be ideal for seniors experiencing any form of memory impairment.

Choosing the Right Memory Care Community

If you think that memory care is the right move for yourself or a loved one, it’s time to begin asking some questions. Take a look at communities in your area, and ask questions like:

  • What level of care does the community provide?
  • Are staff members trained in dementia care?
  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio? Are there more than enough caregivers to help every resident receive adequate care?
  • What types of therapies and activities are available?
  • Is individualized care planning offered?
  • How are medical emergencies handled?
  • How does the fee system work, and are there different fees for different levels of care?
  • What’s the visitation policy like?

By getting answers to these questions before making any decisions, you can gain a great deal of peace of mind.

Easing the Transition

Moving to a memory care community can be a big change for anyone. Fortunately, there are some tips for moving to memory care communities that can make the transition easier for everybody involved, including:

  • Prioritizing open communication and clearly explaining your views to your loved ones
  • Preparing in advance for the move
  • Involving your loved ones in the process (if possible)
  • Introducing loved ones to staff and other residents in advance
  • Providing emotional support and actively listening to any worries your loved ones may have

Don’t forget—the teams working in memory care are experienced with this type of support. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the people around you for help in easing the transition from assisted living to memory care!

A senior woman sits at a table, holding cards next to a cup of tea and smiling. In the background, fellow seniors engage in conversation while a nurse helps out.Supporting a Loved One in Memory Care

Once a loved one has moved into a memory care community, it’s important to continue supporting them as they adjust to this new period in their life. 

It can be helpful to visit often so they can see a familiar face. Try participating in local events and programs offered by the community so you can gain some insight into their daily life. And don’t forget to keep communication lines open!

The Importance of Memory Care

Memory care can play a vital role in managing the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and communities designed for memory care needs can provide a safe environment where those experiencing cognitive challenges can receive extra care, maintain their dignity, and enjoy life. 

At The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho, we are here to help you understand the choices between assisted living and memory care. If you or a loved one are in need of a memory care community, schedule a tour with us today.

A senior man sitting with his daughter on the couch and smiling away as they enjoy a healthy conversation about moving.

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