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When Is It Time to Consider Memory Care?

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An older adult man with glasses leaning on a windowsill and resting his right hand on the top of a cane while looking out the window with a serious expression

Caring for a loved one with dementia may be something you’re planning to take on personally. However, it’s important to remember that dementia is an extremely complicated condition, and there may be a point where your loved one needs support from a team of experienced caregivers. So when will you know that it’s time to consider memory care?

When your loved one’s dementia begins affecting their everyday life, it’s time to consider memory care. However, if your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia but doesn’t show symptoms, memory care may still help your loved one manage their condition and maintain their cognitive health.

What Is Memory Care?

Dementia is an extremely complicated group of neurodegenerative disorders. It’s a term used to describe a range of symptoms that are caused by different diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 

Over time, this progressive condition can begin to affect all parts of a person’s life. From their ability to dress themselves in the morning to their communication capabilities, dementia can change almost everything. So what do you do when a loved one’s dementia is beginning to interfere with their everyday life?

You consider memory care. This advanced form of senior living is designed to cater to the needs of older adults with dementia. Unlike other types of senior living facilities, memory care communities offer a higher level of support, tailored to the unique needs of each resident.

In memory care, there’s a strong focus on providing a safe, supportive, and structured environment. This way, your loved one can get the support and care they need to maintain a good quality of life.

How Does Memory Care Help?

When a loved one is living with dementia, it’s important to think about how the condition is going to affect their life. Dementia can be complicated, and it affects everyone a little differently. However, it often causes:

  • Forgetfulness and confusion
  • Communication difficulties
  • Behavioral changes
  • Wandering or getting lost

These symptoms can all severely impact your loved one as they try to navigate their day. Fortunately, memory care can help.

Memory care communities are specifically designed for older adults with dementia, and the complexity of this condition is taken into account at every turn. Within these communities, hallways are easier to navigate, and there are often maps at each corner. Plus, each resident can access 24/7 support from a team of experienced caregivers ready to help however they can.

Meanwhile, every day is structured properly with meals, activities, therapy programs, and more. There are plenty of activities designed to help stimulate, entertain, and enrich your loved one. These programs can include:

  • Gardening
  • Bingo or board game nights
  • Movie nights
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Musical therapy

These programs are organized in a consistent schedule so your loved one can recognize a familiar pattern, and can often help reduce feelings of agitation and confusion. 

All aspects of a memory care community are designed to support your loved one however possible. This way, they can maintain a higher quality of life with a team of trained, experienced, and loving caregivers.

Signs That a Loved One Needs Memory Care

So how will you know if a loved one needs memory care, and what are the signs that it’s time for a transition?

Memory care can be an excellent way for your loved one to get the care they need and can benefit adults experiencing cognitive decline to almost any degree. However, in the earlier stages, dementia may not impact your loved one’s life very much. To tell if a loved one needs memory care, it can help to keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Increased forgetfulness or confusion, particularly with tasks that used to be routine or familiar
  • Frequent moments of disorientation, even in well-known environments
  • Significant mood swings or changes in behavior that are out of character
  • Safety concerns, such as leaving the stove on or difficulty with mobility
  • Difficulty with managing daily activities, including bathing, dressing, or eating
  • Increasing reliance on assistance from family members or friends
  • Signs of withdrawal from social activities, hobbies, or interests that once brought joy
  • Noticeable decline in personal hygiene or household cleanliness

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to consider memory care for your loved one.

Tips for Choosing a Memory Care Community

Choosing the right memory care community can take time. It’s an important decision that requires careful consideration. Thankfully, most communities allow you to schedule a tour before making a final decision. This way, you can see the community for yourself to understand how things will be for your loved one.

During your visit, there are several important factors to think about, including:

  • The pricing and fee structure
  • The physical location of the community
  • The level of staff training
  • The community layout and design
  • The meal services
  • The visitation structure and guidelines
  • The offered programs, events, services, and amenities

Trust your instincts and observe how staff interact with residents during your visit. The right memory care community will provide a warm, supportive atmosphere where residents are treated with dignity and respect. This way, you can rest easy knowing your loved one is getting the care they need.

An older adult man in a memory care facility sitting on a chair smiling and having a conversation with a nurse

Memory Care in New Jersey

If you have a loved one who needs memory care, reach out to us here at Fox Trail in Paramus. Our team is here to support you and your family so that your loved one can get the care they deserve. 

Request a visit with us today to find out how our memory care options could help your family member.


Written by Barbara Putnam

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