It may be time for memory care when a person with dementia is no longer able to live safely in their current home. This may be because they’re having trouble remembering to perform basic daily tasks, such as eating or bathing, or are frequently wandering and getting lost. As the disease advances, people with dementia often develop agitation or aggression that can be difficult for loved ones to manage.

As a caregiver, your own health can also provide clues. The day-to-day stresses of caregiving can take their toll, and when your own health suffers, it’s more difficult to look after someone else. If you notice you’re getting sick more often, gaining weight or having trouble sleeping, consider turning to memory care for help.

How Memory Care Helps People With Dementia

Memory care provides a safe, secure environment for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. These communities are designed with the cognitive abilities of their residents in mind. For instance, they may incorporate colorful murals and circular hallways to help residents navigate between areas. Often, they also provide enhanced security features to protect residents from wandering and getting lost.

Specially trained memory care staff provide the support residents need to live well. Caregivers offer round-the-clock supervision and assistance with day-to-day activities, such as eating and toileting. Activity staff members coordinate dementia-friendly activities and social events to help residents stay active and engaged. And in the kitchen, dining staff prepare meals that can help people with dementia meet their nutritional needs, such as finger foods and purees.

Memory Care Options for Seniors

When it’s time for a loved one to transition to memory care, there are a few options to consider. More than half of all residents in assisted living communities and nursing homes have cognitive impairments, so these facilities often provide memory care services. Many communities have a designated floor or wing for residents with dementia.

Standalone memory care facilities are another option available in some locations. These senior living facilities focus exclusively on residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.