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5 Signs It’s Time to Transition from Assisted Living to Memory Care

There may come a time when your senior loved one starts experiencing memory loss while residing in assisted living. How do you know when it’s time to transition them into memory care? We’ll outline five key signs.

When a senior loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, it’s only a matter of time before they’ll need more specialized support. If they’re already receiving care in assisted living, it may come time for them to transition into memory care.

What Is Memory Care?

Memory care serves the long-term needs of those experiencing memory loss. Residents benefit from a nurturing, engaging, and secure environment where they receive quality care from caregivers trained in supporting those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and memory loss. Memory care communities also provide enriching programs and nutritious meals to help residents enjoy their time and focus on their well-being.

While both assisted living and memory care provide personalized support with things like bathing, dressing, and medication management, memory care communities provide expert, specialized care. The caregivers in memory care settings have been trained in memory care techniques, delivering custom-tailored support that promotes happiness, health, dignity, and independence.

5 Signs It’s Time to Transition to Memory Care

If you’re wondering whether it makes sense to transition your senior loved one to memory care, here are a few signs to look for.

1. They’re losing weight and struggling at mealtime. Unintended weight loss can be a sign your loved one is having trouble during meals. It might be that a decline in verbal skills is making it difficult to communicate with dining team members when it’s time to order, or it could be challenges with hand-eye coordination when trying to use utensils. In a memory care neighborhood, residents benefit from assistance with ordering, hands-on support while eating, and options such as texture-modified and finger foods. At Sunrise, we also use Fiestaware dinnerware designed to accommodate low vision.

2. They have trouble participating in activities. When someone has dementia, it can be challenging to engage in conversation, concentrate, remember rules and instructions, or express thoughts and emotions. If your loved one begins withdrawing from social activities and hobbies, they may benefit from the small-group and one-to-one personalized programs offered in memory care neighborhoods. At Sunrise, we have dedicated Life Enrichment Managers who get to know each resident and help connect them to specific, purposeful programming that provides comfort, interaction, and cognitive stimulation.

3. They may wander or move about. Those living with dementia are likely to lose their ability to recognize places or become overwhelmed with large or over-stimulating environments. In fact, six in 10 people with Alzheimer’s will wander or move about from whatever setting they call home. Sunrise memory care neighborhoods are designed to be smaller and have many environmental features that support wayfinding and safe navigation. Our caregivers are trained to look for the resident’s unmet need that may be causing them to wander or move about.

4. They may become frustrated or overwhelmed by their surroundings. Adults with dementia can easily become anxious or overwhelmed by too much noise and stimulation, so the hustle and bustle of a thriving assisted living neighborhood might not be the right fit any longer. Memory care neighborhoods feature carefully chosen furniture, decor, lighting, and carpeting to foster a warm and relaxed environment. And at Sunrise, our team members are trained in the basic tenets of empathetic communication techniques, including the Validation method.

5. They may feel isolated. During the early stages of dementia, a person may have apathy or a lack of interest in activities and begin to withdraw socially. As someone with dementia begins withdrawing from friends and favorite pastimes, they are likely to become lonely. In a memory care setting, team members with special training in dementia care offer life enriching programming where residents can still develop friendships, experience joy, and have meaning and purpose.

Make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your loved one’s assisted living caregivers so you can work to ensure they’re receiving the care they need.

Finding Memory Care Near You

If you’re searching for memory care services, you can learn more about memory care at Sunrise and our approach to providing expert, compassionate care. You can also find a Sunrise community near you and schedule a tour today.

Article By: Sunrise Senior Living

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