The Onset of Alzheimer’s: When to Move from Assisted Living to Memory Care

As your senior loved one ages, you may need to make difficult decisions regarding their health and what is best for them. While many older adults would love to age at home, often, there comes a time where they will need more assistance than you can provide for them there. When this happens, you may want to transition your loved one to an assisted living or memory care community. 

Dementia is a progressive disease that will worsen over time, meaning your senior loved one’s needs will increase. Seniors showing signs of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia will eventually need a specialized type of care, which is often best provided by trained professionals. 

There is no specific time that a senior should shift from home to assisted living or assisted living to memory care. Seniors with Alzheimer’s will experience symptoms at different rates. Each senior is unique, and the only way to determine when they should transition from one living arrangement to another is to pay attention to their symptoms and quality of life.

Being prepared by understanding their options can help you determine when to move from assisted living to memory care.

Assisted living versus memory care

In some ways, an assisted living community and a memory care community are similar. Both offer assistance to seniors who are no longer capable of living on their own. Though, seniors in an assisted living community may be more independent than those living in a memory care community. 

Key differences

  • At a memory care community, the staff receive a specialized type of training that helps them understand what it is like to have and care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Though both communities offer activities, memory care communities schedule their activities to benefit those with dementia. Their activities are planned in a way that will help residents remain calm and even sleep better. 
  • Memory care communities are often safer for memory loss residents than assisted living communities. They have more security features to help prevent wandering
  • The cost of memory care may be higher than an assisted living community since it provides residents with a more specialized type of care, and their staff needs more training.
  • Memory care communities will typically use unique layouts and other features, such as color-coded walls, to reduce confusion. 

When to move from assisted living to memory care 

Seniors can live comfortably and independently in an assisted living community. This is why many seniors often enjoy their transition from home to assisted living. Their given chances to socialize and participate in life-enriching activities while remaining independent and maintaining their privacy. 

However, there may come a time when they are not as independent anymore, and those hobbies they once enjoyed become too difficult or even frightening for them. If you notice your loved one is not participating in activities or enjoying things they once did, moving to memory care could be a better option. 

Memory care tends to be more comprehensive and offers a specialized type of care that a senior can’t receive anywhere else. Their staff and nurses are trained to provide 24-hour care to residents and more one-on-one attention. 

If you are concerned that your senior loved one is experiencing mental or physical changes and needs more assistance and attention, discuss this with their doctors and the staff caring for them. They can provide their insight and help you decide if a transition is needed and if their current community can accommodate this transition.

Transitioning from home to memory care

If you’ve been caring for your senior loved one at home and notice their memory loss worsening, you may want to consider moving them to a memory care community. As your loved one progresses through the stages of Alzheimer’s, it will become more challenging to care for them by yourself. 

A transition may be in order if your senior loved one neglects their hygiene, fails to pay their bills, has unexplained physical changes, has accidents (falls), or feels isolated and lonely. 

Keeping your senior safe is probably one of your top priorities. Even with your best efforts, it may be difficult to prevent your loved one from wandering or help them control their behavior. This is where a memory care community can be beneficial. 

Memory care communities know how to handle the different moods and emotions that their dementia residents experience, while also providing top-of-the-line medical care. 

Caregiver burnout and moving your loved one

Being a caregiver is a selfless, honorable, and challenging task. You may even become so wrapped up in caring for your loved one that you forget to care for yourself. When this happens, you may experience caregiver burnout

While self-care is beneficial and can help you ward off some of the negative symptoms of caregiving, such as exhaustion and irritability, eventually it may not be enough.

While you may feel guilty at first, there is nothing wrong with moving your senior loved one to an assisted living or memory care community. By transitioning your loved one, you will be giving them a chance to receive the best care and the opportunity to maintain and improve their quality of life.

Another perk to moving your senior loved one is that you can work on improving your relationship with them. Sometimes when one provides caregiving services to a loved one, their relationship becomes strained. By letting others help you, you and your loved one can enjoy your time together more.  

Does your senior loved one need memory care?

At The Kensington Redondo Beach, we provide an assisted living community and two cozy memory care neighborhoods, Connections and Haven. Each community is designed and specifically tailored for each resident based on their individual needs. 

Our staff is knowledgeable, compassionate, and understands how important your senior loved one’s well-being and quality of life are to you. This is why it is Our Promise to care for and love your family as we do our own. 

If you are interested in learning more about our community, our team, our services, and our dedication to providing the highest level of care, contact us today. 

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