There are 315 memory care facilities in Maryland as of 2023. Most are secure units within assisted living communities, although some are exclusively for seniors with varying levels of cognitive impairment. Families may want to learn more about memory care in Maryland before beginning their search for the right facility.

What Memory Care Facilities Provide in Maryland

A memory care facility typically provides the same care services as an assisted living community, but tailored to the needs of seniors with conditions related to memory loss. For example, staff can help the resident bathe, dress, use the toilet and get in and out of bed. They won’t prescribe medications, but can assist in administering those prescribed by the resident’s physician. Caregivers oversee the facility’s programming, designed to mitigate the effects of cognitive decline and keep seniors engaged. Residents are encouraged to reminisce about their early years, introduce small dogs to stimulate several senses and get supervised physical exercise in on-site green spaces.

Memory care facilities often have smaller staff-to-patient ratios compared to assisted living and environments designed to create a sense of calm, with pastel colors and soft music commonly featured. Security is a major factor because some memory care residents are prone to wander, so families can expect to find controlled-access doors and enclosed courtyards. Rooms are either shared or private, with several features included to keep residents safe. These often include bathrooms with walk-in showers and grab rails and centrally-controlled heating and cooling systems so seniors don’t accidentally make their rooms too hot or cold. Nutritionally-balanced meals are served three times daily in the dining room, and snacks and water are often available throughout the day.

How to Find a Memory Care Facility in Maryland

Families should contact their local Area Agency on Aging to get a list of nearby facilities and read reviews on those that interest them. It’s a good idea to contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman and request copies of inspection reports, which can give families a clearer impression of the quality of care the facilities provide. It may also be useful to speak to friends, as they may have personal experience with some memory care communities in the area.

Once families have a shortlist, they should visit each facility to determine if it might be a good fit for their loved one. If possible, they can time their visit to coincide with important parts of the day, such as mealtimes and classes, to see how the facility manages them. It’s important to observe the building’s design and consider if the layout is suitable for people with cognitive impairments. Important qualities can include easy-to-navigate corridors, to alleviate confusion; calming color schemes, to address sensory challenges; and warm lighting and flooring, to cultivate a sense of warmth and home.