When to Move From Assisted Living to Memory Care

If someone you love is already in assisted living, you may be wondering if a higher level of care will be needed in the near future to keep up with their needs—especially if they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

While assisted living and memory care are two popular senior living options for those with varying degrees of memory impairment, specialized communities centered on memory care offer evidence-based, person-centered, and strengths-based wellness services that are well beyond the traditional services offered at nursing homes and assisted living communities.

Let us help you decide when the time is right for your loved one to make the move from assisted living into a thriving memory care community that not only meets their evolving needs but can offer them connection and fulfillment.

When is Assisted Living Sufficient?

Assisted living is sufficient for people who can generally manage their day-to-day life, but may need a little extra help.

Residents at assisted living communities receive simple assistance from caregivers with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as medication management, dressing, and more. Therefore, these services make this senior living arrangement ideal for people who have not yet been diagnosed with dementia or are in the middle/early stages of dementia and only experiencing mild memory loss.

Signs It’s Time to Move From Assisted Living to Memory Care

Sometimes assisted living is no longer sufficient to care for a loved one. This often happens in the late stage of Alzheimer’s when they require supervision and, in most cases, professional support.

A move to a memory care community becomes crucial in these situations for your loved one’s ongoing health and safety. It is a tough decision for family members, but it will be better in the long-run. Here are some signs that it is time to look into more specialized care options:

1. They Need Help Beyond What Assisted Living Can Provide

If you begin to feel that assisted living is falling short in meeting the care needs and level of support required for your loved one, you should consider memory care as the next step.

In many cases, the professionals closely involved in their care plan will notice that they are needing more and more attention. They might then suggest transitioning to a higher level of support to meet their needs. You can trust their opinion because their primary concern is ensuring that residents receive the best support and safety possible.

They might suggest it because they know that memory care is specifically designed to assist seniors not only in living comfortably but also in experiencing life in a more guided manner. This entails helping them avoid excessive stimulation and situations that they find distressing, providing a sense of safety, and ensuring that visits from loved ones are enjoyable.

As you contemplate transitioning from assisted living to memory care, reach out to the facility for recommendations and guidance on how to navigate the most suitable course of action.

2. They Are Not Participating in the Assisted Living Lifestyle As Much As They Used To

Have you observed a decline in your loved one's participation in community events? Are they no longer taking advantage of meals in the dining room without prompting? Are they demonstrating a lack of interest  in social activities?

These changes might be attributed to the cognitive decline associated with dementia. Many seniors in this situation become aware of these changes, including their inability to recall important information or simply failing to remember their usual routines. According to research, this may lead them to withdraw and in some cases even experience depression.

The top priority is the happiness and safety of your loved one. If they are no longer content or capable of participating in activities offered by assisted living, memory care may provide a more stimulating and secure environment to do so. Nurses, caregivers, and lifestyle staff in memory care can assist residents in engaging socially, recollecting meaningful aspects of their lives, and guiding them through an active and gratifying daily schedule.

Additionally, it ensures they have a higher quality of life by receiving sufficient nourishment and remaining suitably stimulated for years to come!

3. They Experience Confusion or Forgetfulness

In assisted living, team members strive to offer seniors as much or as little assistance only when needed, which means residents are free to make their own schedules and perform their daily activities with little supervision. However, if you begin to notice that your loved one experiences frequent confusion to the extent that they struggle to manage their own personal matters or engage in community activities, it might be time to consider transitioning from an assisted living facility to another form of long-term care.

Other related signs of dementia include behavioral changes, heightened confusion, accumulation of unopened mail, difficulty comprehending current medications or healthcare treatment plans, decline in personal care, and consistent misplacement of items. Severe forgetfulness, such as forgetting your visits or the friendships they have formed within an assisted living community, also suggests that dementia care could provide better support for your loved one.

4. They Need Staff and Friends That Are Understanding

If your loved one in assisted living is having difficulty maintaining relationships, seems to be withdrawing from their friends, or even forgetting their friends, it may be time to make the transition to a memory care unit.

As dementia progresses, your loved one will need people around them who understand dementia and can provide a gentle form of company that does not need consistent memory continuity.

Many seniors in assisted living are not experiencing Alzheimer’s and, therefore, may not be trained in supporting relationships with someone who has this form of dementia. However, the full-time staff in memory care understand dementia and they can help residents maintain relationships with both staff and other residents. Furthermore, memory care staff can help coach family members and friends on how to communicate with their loved ones to produce happy and rewarding interactions.

Memory Care at St. Andrews

Our person-centered support services empower individuals to exercise both their physical and cognitive abilities, so that they can retain their skills for as long as possible.

Our continuum of care means that we can provide the care your loved one needs, even when those needs change. We offer a wide range of services in our senior living communities, including:

  • Assisted living support
  • Memory care services
  • Skilled nursing care services
  • Rehabilitation services

But we aren’t just here for the one you love—we are here for you too. Our dedicated staff members can help you coordinate move-ins, decide on the best senior care for your loved one, and provide you with information you need to take care of your mental well-being during this time, too.

See how we’re leading the way in memory care today. Contact us for more information and schedule a tour of our community.

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