When Is It Time for Memory Care?

While some degree of memory loss is common in aging adults, it isn’t something to worry about unless the memory loss starts to interfere with the person’s safety or ability to manage the details of living. 

The point at which it’s appropriate to look at a move to a memory care community differs for each individual.  Dementia is a general term for the loss of cognitive abilities. (Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia.) Dementia may take a decade to develop fully. Its progression looks different for each person.

For anyone who’s concerned about the well-being of an elderly loved one and wondering if that elder needs specialized care, here is an explanation of what a memory care facility is and a list of signs that indicate when it’s time to consider memory care.

What is Memory Care?

A memory care facility is one that’s designed and run to meet the needs of those with moderate to severe dementia. It may be a stand-alone facility or affiliated with an assisted living community, nursing home, or other type of retirement community.

A memory care facility will usually provide common assisted living services like meals, housekeeping, and help with activities of daily living. In addition, there may be specialized therapies and security protocols. Each resident will have an individualized care plan that’s tailored to their unique situation. Staff at these facilities are trained to address the needs of the residents. 

Signs That Indicate When It’s Time for Memory Care

Given that dementia is progressive, it’s hard to know when to seek help. Here are some signs to watch for in your loved one’s behavior. If you notice one or more, it may be time to discuss memory care:

  • Trouble with maintaining basic hygiene and self-care
  • Not able to leave the home due to unpredictable behavior
  • Agitation or aggression due to dementia
  • Not able to hold a relevant conversation
  • Neglecting their finances
  • Physical changes like weight loss, unexplained bruises or other injuries, frailty
  • Forgetting to eat
  • Forgetting doctor appointments, medications
  • Withdrawing from social interaction
  • Wandering and getting lost
  • The caregiver (you, a spouse, or another family member) is overwhelmed, burnt out, or can no longer care for the person

Trusted Memory Care Communities in Saratoga County 

Home of the Good Shepherd offers compassionate memory care services in Saratoga and Malta, NY. If you are considering memory care for a family member, we invite you to get in touch with us and consult with one of our memory care experts for more information.