Memory care communities that first began appearing in the 1990s are an important care option today for the growing number of families caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. When considering memory care, look for a community with a rich and lively activity program, and staff who are well-trained in dementia care, and exemplify a caring and kind spirit.
When should a family consider memory care? It’s a good option when a loved one:
• Can no longer manage their own health (not taking their medications, poor nutrition or diet)
• Is wandering away from home or physically unsafe (leaves the stove on, fall risk)
• Demonstrates poor judgement and is at risk for elder or financial abuse (giving money to fraudulent charities, individuals)
• Stops managing their personal hygiene and self-care (not changing clothes, not bathing)
• Is lonely, isolated or in need of valuable, brain-healthy stimulation and socialization
Families considering this move often feel guilt. But a person living with dementia can thrive in a memory care environment rich with friendship, meaningful activity and engagement, with well-trained staff providing quality personal care.