What is Memory Care?
Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Memory care is a a more intensive service for people with cognitive impairments. Residents are offered structure and oversight or hands-on care with daily life tasks, depending on need. The typical memory care patient shows symptoms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Other memory care patients may have cognitive challenges resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, Parkinson's disease, and other causes. Generally, individuals in memory care need help with IADLs and will eventually need help with ADLs.
Here are questions to consider if you’re wondering whether a loved one could benefit from a facility with memory care:
Have they gotten lost in previously familiar territory, as when taking a walk in their neighborhood or running errands?
Can your loved one state their phone number and address in case they need help returning home?
Does the person forget to lock their doors, making themselves vulnerable to crime?
Have they forgotten to turn off a stove or other potentially dangerous appliances?
In the event of a fire, do you believe they would handle the situation safely?
Has your loved one’s level of personal care declined? For example, are they “not themselves” in terms of bathing, dressing, or eating?
Are they taking medications as scheduled? Are you confident they’ll take the correct dosages?
Have they become uncharacteristically suspicious or fearful of others?
As a caregiver, are you risking your own health? Are your caregiving duties interfering too much with your other responsibilities?
Could your family pay for the amount of skilled in-home care or adult day care required? A limited amount of respite care could be available for free or at a low cost. If extensive help is needed, though, a residential or memory care facility could be more affordable.
If your answers to these questions have changed in recent years or you're concerned that your loved one may be suffering from memory loss, it might be useful to speak with your loved one's phyisican about memory care.
About Memory Loss
Here are some experiences that are not part of normal, age-related memory loss:
Increased frequency of forgetfulness
Forgetting how to do things you’ve done many times before
Difficulty communicating or finding words
Repeating phrases or stories within the same conversation
Difficulty planning, organizing or handling complex tasks
Not being able to keep track of what happens within a day
Confusion and disorientation
Difficulty reasoning or problem-solving
Originally posted on www.seniorliving.org/memory-care