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How to Know If It’s Time for Memory Care

This is a common question and one that many struggle with while caring for someone at home. It is best to ask yourself a few questions, is my loved one in need of more care than I can provide either with home care or by myself? Is my own personal physical and mental health declining? Would my loved one benefit from being around others like themselves where they can feel successful and form friendships?

What is a memory care community and why it is beneficial?

A memory care community specializes in the well-being of the person “living with dementia”. The goal is to provide the best “quality of life” possible for the person along their journey. This includes a life enrichment program where staff are trained in dementia and life enrichment activities. The life enrichment program will individualize activities for the individual. A memory care community can provide support for family with dementia education and caregiver support groups.

Common Signs That A Memory Care Community Might Benefit Your Loved One:

Alzheimer’s, Dementia or Dementia-related Diagnosis

While it’s common to become forgetful with age, routinely forgetting important dates, names and tasks might be a sign of Alzheimer’s, dementia or a dementia-related condition.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia or a dementia-related condition, now is the time to start thinking about and researching memory care options. Living at home for as long as possible is oftentimes encouraged in the beginning stages as long as there are no serious safety concerns. At this time, it can be helpful to start the process of visiting, touring and exploring options for memory care communities. Studies show that it’s helpful to transition individuals into memory care before later stages of dementia so that they can form relationships and connections with the staff and have a say in their care.

Concern for Your Loved One’s Safety

Memory loss can bring about new daily challenges for the person experiencing it. It’s possible they might go for a walk but forget where they were going or how to get home. Memory loss can also lead to more falls as people sometimes lose their habitual knowledge of where the curb ends or where they left an item around the house that might be a tripping hazard. If you are starting to grow concerned about your loved one’s everyday safety, it’s time to start discussing memory care.

Increased health issues

Memory loss can take a toll on your loved one’s overall health and well-being. They might be experiencing insomnia or other sleep issues due to losing track of days and times. It’s possible that someone with dementia might forget to take medications, or forget that they already took their medication and take additional doses

Preparing proper meals can become challenging and lead to rapid weight loss and weakened immune systems which could lead to getting a cold or the flu. If you see an increase in health issues as a result of memory loss, it might be time for memory care.

Caregiver stress

As a caregiver, your well-being is important. While you might be able to handle a great deal, being a caregiver for a loved one experiencing memory loss can be a strain both mentally and physically. You might be feeling stressed and that caregiving has become all-consuming — or worse like you could use your own caregiver.

If you’ve reached this point, it might be time to consider memory care. Memory care offers the support your loved one needs from trained and compassionate memory care professionals.

Living in Deteriorating Conditions

Memory loss can sometimes lead to the deterioration of a loved one’s home and living conditions. This might mean bills are going unpaid. There might be a stack of dishes in the sink at all times. Things might be messier than usual. Your loved one might also forget to go food shopping or take out the trash.

Sometimes memory loss can pose challenges for your loved one’s personal hygiene. They might forget to shower, brush their teeth or neglect other basic grooming.

If you notice your loved ones living conditions are starting to deteriorate this might be a sign that they could benefit from memory care and additional support from trained professionals.

Learn More:

At Clark, our philosophy on dementia care is to focus on what is possible and create an atmosphere where the resident thrives. Clark is the first Life Plan Community in the United States to adopt the International Montessori for Aging and Dementia program. Our program is led by certified Montessori practitioners, who empower residents with memory loss to lead as independent and purposeful lives. Clark does so by creating meaningful routines, activities based on interest, and an environment with memory cues and supports. Our program is supported by Music Therapy, Equine Therapy, IN2L computer programs and Eversound headphones for hearing difficulties.

Additional Resources:

Rethinking Dementia offers resources, articles and events to help you understand memory loss and find the support for both you and your loved one.

There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to memory care. However, knowing what support is available can provide you with the tools and information you need to make the best decision for your loved one.

Schedule a Call:

If you think your loved one could benefit from a memory care community, contact our senior living advisors at or 616-278-6520 or fill out the form below to schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your loved one’s situation and see if Clark is the right fit for your loved one.

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