Memory care communities provide extra safety, security, and enrichment for those with cognitive decline resulting from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Specialized care supports those with memory loss in maintaining their social, mental, and physical health.

However, knowing when to transition from home or an assisted living facility to a memory care facility isn’t always easy. What’s more, choosing between memory care facilities can be a challenge. Many senior living communities cater to those with mild cognitive impairment. Some assisted living communities have a memory care unit, and another option is a dedicated memory care community.

Keep reading to learn which dementia symptoms doctors pay attention to when advising a family member if it’s time to consider memory care. Plus, there’s advice for family caregivers on when to seek memory care and which type of senior living community is most desirable for a dementia patient.

Woman explaining to her mother the symptoms and signs it's time for memory care

How Do Doctors Decide When It’s Time for Memory Care?

There are certain dementia behaviors that doctors pay close attention to when looking at aging adults. During the early stages, it can be difficult to spot warning signs, and seniors are often reluctant to seek advice or admit to memory problems.

Some social, physical, and visual cues doctors look out for include:

  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Weight loss due to forgetting to prepare meals
  • Issues with medication management — for example, repeated missed doses
  • Social isolation
  • Significant changes to daily living routine
  • A decline in overall health

Family Members: Signs It’s Time to Consider a Memory Care Facility

If you’re worried about your loved one’s health or you’ve started to notice signs of dementia in an aging parent or relative, there are other signs it’s time for memory care:

  • Spoiled food in the cupboards
  • Poor personal care — for instance, not brushing hair or forgetting to tidy up
  • Performing daily tasks differently
  • Seeming lost in their own home or familiar locations
  • Getting agitated easily

When the disease progresses, the signs become more obvious. Your loved one might regularly experience confusion, become hostile or have difficulty speaking.

At What Point Do Dementia Patients Need 24-Hour Care?

As the condition progresses into the later stages, your elderly loved one might require dementia care around the clock. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to move the person with dementia into a nursing home. It’s just imperative that they’re in a secure environment that’s set up to cater to the emotional, social and physical changes caused by mid to late-stage dementia.

Assisted living facilities follow the same Alzheimer’s Association standards as nursing homes. The ideal situation for all parties involved is to seek a top-level assisted living community that offers a range of senior care levels before memory loss is a concern. Moving into senior living while an older adult is independent and thriving means they can enjoy social interaction and freedom from chores.

Plus, in case of cognitive decline or ill health, they don’t have to face the disruption of moving and adapting to a new environment during a stressful period.

Transitioning to Memory Care Here at Bel Air Assisted Living

Here at Bel Air Assisted Living, staff members are passionate about delivering the highest standards of senior care. We offer independent living, assisted living, memory care, and respite care, with almost three times more caregivers per resident compared to other facilities in Maryland.

Call us at (410) 893-9164 or schedule an appointment today to find out why residents love daily life with us.