Memory Care Decision Toolkit:
Assisted Living

Memory Care in an Assisted Living Community

Memory care in an assisted living community is a specialized form of care tailored to the unique needs of those experiencing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Residents enjoy apartment-style living within a secured, memory care “neighborhood” that is part of an assisted living community. While residents may require assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and medication management, they generally maintain a higher level of independence and mobility. Structured routines and specialized programming aimed at stimulating cognitive function and promoting overall well-being are implemented by dedicated staff members who have received additional training related to caring for individuals with memory impairment. Memory care in assisted living emphasizes maintaining a homelike atmosphere and enriching programming aimed at helping residents live engaged, productive lives. 

Why Consider Memory Care?

Memory care in an assisted living community can be a reassuring option for a person in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia. It can address a number of unique issues for people with these diseases including:

  • Wandering from home and becoming lost, or having trouble finding their way to and from familiar places
  • Finding it hard to hold up their end of a conversation due to a loss of short-term memory
  • Having difficulty remembering the names of even their closest friends and family members
  • Struggling with tasks that rely on memory or abstract thought
  • Feeling anxious, angry, sad or fearful without knowing why
  • Forgetting personal hygiene tasks or having trouble completing them
  • Experiencing challenges with manual dexterity or walking
  • Sleep disorders, such as problems going to sleep or staying asle

Benefits of a Memory Care Assisted Living Community​

When grocery shopping and meal preparation start to feel like too much of a challenge, a senior might skip meals or rely on convenience foods. It’s easy to understand their point of view. Preparing healthy meals for one or two people can be time-consuming and expensive.

For seniors who have given up driving, making frequent trips to the grocery store for fresh fruits and vegetables often means asking a loved one for transportation. Assisted living communities have dining services that offer well-balanced meals and snacks. They can also accommodate most special diets, such as those for diabetics. As an added benefit, residents can enjoy companionship and socializing in the community dining room during mealtimes. No more eating at home alone unless a resident chooses to.

Isolation is a known health risk for seniors. It contributes to health conditions ranging from obesity and depression to high blood pressure and falls. Unfortunately, older adults are more likely than younger people to experience loneliness and isolation. Mobility challenges, vision loss and a lack of transportation can all contribute.

When an older adult moves to an assisted living community, however, they have opportunities to join fellow residents in planned life enrichment activities, as well as informal gatherings. Both allow seniors to stay active and engaged with life. You’ll find everything from community gardening to woodworking groups to watercolor workshops, religious studies and book clubs.

Resident participate in a wide range of wellness programs every day. You’ll find classes and programs designed to nurture the body, mind and spirit, from Pilates and chair yoga to walking groups and meditation. These enrichment activities purposefully do not rely on short-term memory, allowing residents to feel successful. Professional caregivers also keep a watchful eye on blood pressure, temperature, weight and other vital health information. Because they get to know residents well, team members are often able to spot small problems and intervene before they become big ones.

While adult children frequently cite a parent’s physical safety and health as their top priorities, seniors themselves often worry more about losing their independence. But aging usually brings physical changes that can make living alone risky.

Unlike older houses that may have many stairs to climb, poor lighting, outdated bathrooms and laundry rooms located in the basement, assisted living communities are designed with safety in mind. Safety benefits include grab bars in bathrooms and near the bed, handrails in hallways, emergency call systems, and step-free showers. Caregivers are available on-site around the clock in case the senior needs help to and from the bathroom or experiences a medical emergency.

Another benefit assisted living communities offer is transportation. Most communities provide or coordinate services to get residents to and from medical and other appointments. That means families don’t have to take time off work to transport their senior loved ones.

Scheduled outings to area attractions, shopping centers, events and restaurants are also offered at most communities. For example, residents can sign up for a trip to a local museum or an afternoon matinee at a movie theatre. These outings help residents continue to feel connected with the world around them.

Fewer residents than in traditional assisted living, making for a quieter environment. Security features that lower risk of wandering, common among people with memory loss

Employees undergo training to learn the best practices for working with residents with dementia and memory loss.

Further Resources

The resources provided below are designed to support your family, empowering you make informed decisions with confidence. We encourage you to download and share them with everyone involved in this important decision making process.

Download Floor Plans & Pricing Information

Download Floor Plans & Pricing Information