Source: Hella Life

While memory loss can be a normal part of aging, there are some cases where it is a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as dementia. If you’re concerned that your loved one may need memory care services, there are a few warning signs to look out for.

Changes in behavior

A sudden behavior change is one of the most common signs that memory care services may be needed. This could include mood swings, confusion, or difficulty understanding and carrying out familiar tasks. A memory care facility may be beneficial if your loved one has become increasingly forgetful or needs help with activities they used to do quickly.

Confusion and disorientation

It is normal to experience some forgetfulness as we age, but signs of confusion and disorientation can indicate a more serious decline in cognitive abilities. Memory loss that affects everyday functioning is a key symptom of dementia, which can manifest in various ways. If an elderly loved one struggles to recognize family members or familiar places, is frequently getting lost while out and about, or has trouble completing familiar tasks, such as making a cup of tea, this can be a sign that it is time to consider memory care.


Another sign that it may be time for memory care is a sudden onset of incontinence. Unexpected changes in bathroom habits can be a warning sign of dementia or other underlying medical issues, such as diabetes or urinary tract infections. If your elderly loved one begins to have trouble controlling their bladder or bowel movements, this is an indication that it may be time to look into memory care.

Failing health

Memory care is necessary when an individual’s health begins to fail due to causes such as age or dementia. Memory deficits can affect a person in many different ways, including difficulty with short-term memory and problem-solving. In some cases, individuals may experience more serious changes like confusion when looking for familiar objects or even forgetting the names of people they know. Memory care can help individuals maintain cognitive functioning, improve their quality of life, and remain socially engaged.

Caregiver stress

If you are a caregiver for your loved one, it’s important to be aware of when it’s time for memory care and how their memory loss is affecting you. If you are feeling overwhelmed by how much time and energy it takes to care for them, or if you feel that they need more assistance than you can provide, memory care services may be necessary.

Poor self-care

If your elderly loved one has difficulty with self-care activities, this can indicate cognitive impairment. Poor hygiene or sudden changes in how they dress or groom themselves can mean a decline in their ability to care for themselves.

Wandering and falls

Wandering and falls are common concerns for those with memory loss, as they can be dangerous to those affected and those around them. Those with dementia often do not recognize danger or their limitations, so it is vital to take precautions to ensure their safety.

Falls are an especially concerning risk for seniors with memory care needs. Injuries from falls can range from minor to more serious, and those with memory loss may not be able to remember how they fell and, therefore, cannot recall the accident or seek help if necessary. It is crucial for family members and caregivers of those with dementia to pay close attention when their loved one begins exhibiting behaviors such as wandering or attempting to leave home, as these can be warning signs of an impending fall.

 Refusal of care

People living with memory care conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, often experience a refusal to accept care from family members or healthcare providers. This can be a sign of distress in the person and indicates that they may feel overwhelmed by the situation. Refusal of care is a common problem for those suffering from memory care issues and should be taken seriously. It can be a sign of fear, confusion, or frustration and should be addressed with patience and understanding.

What is memory care?

Memory care provides much-needed support for those suffering from dementia and other forms of cognitive decline. Memory care programs offer specialized services, such as Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST), which help maintain and improve cognitive functioning, as well as a variety of activities designed to promote independence and help residents stay socially engaged.

Memory care provides a safe, secure environment where residents can receive the care they need, from incontinence management to assistance with daily activities such as bathing and dressing. Knowing that your loved one is receiving quality care in a supportive setting can provide peace of mind for you and your family.

Memory care facilities offer a safe, secure environment for those who are struggling with memory deficits. They provide 24-hour supervision and activities that engage both the mind and body. Specialists in memory care may create a plan tailored to each individual’s needs. This may include nutrition plans, exercise regimes, and mental stimulation that can help improve memory functioning and delay the progression of memory issues.

Different stages of memory care, and each stage requires different services.

How to know when it’s time for memory care can be difficult; however, several phases or stages give a general notion of how abilities change once symptoms start to manifest.

Stage 1: Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

In this stage, the individual may be aware of memory lapses and struggles with day-to-day tasks. They may need help with navigation, word retrieval, recall, problem-solving, and decision-making. They can manage their daily activities with proper step-by-step guidance and coaching. However, the individual may benefit from a supportive environment that offers medication assistance and nutrition supervision.

Stage 2: Mid-Stage Alzheimer’s or Other Dementia

This can be a challenging stage for all involved. Cognitive abilities are declining, and individuals may rely more on others to meet their daily needs. Memory care communities provide an atmosphere with structure, allowing these individuals to maintain routines of activities and meals while receiving assistance when needed.

Stage 3: Late Stage Alzheimer’s or Other Dementia

This stage of memory care may require more supervision and assistance from a trained team of professionals. Individuals now depend on staff for their daily living skills, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and other personal hygiene needs. Memory care communities for Alzheimer’s patients offer 24/7 assistance with activities tailored to the individual’s abilities and interests.

No matter which stage of memory care an individual is at, a specialized and compassionate team of professionals enables that person to live with dignity and respect as they continue on their journey. Memory care communities offer personalized attention, tailored activities, and caring staff all in one place for individuals living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Always do your research before making any decisions about memory care services

Ensure that the memory care services are aligned with what you or your family member need. Visit the facility and ask questions about their staff qualifications, memory care services experience, and other relevant information. Speak to admissions staff, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who work closely with those receiving treatment. Also, request to speak to current residents or their families to get a better idea of the experience.

Before signing any contracts, carefully read and understand them, so you know precisely what services are included and how much they cost. Discuss payment options with the facility and any insurance coverage that may be available for memory care services. Ask about additional fees or charges that may apply if the care plan changes over time and understand the process for making changes to the program.

Finally, assess how comfortable you and your family member feel in the facility. Does it offer a secure, safe environment? Are staff members friendly and available when needed? Is there an open line of communication between you, the staff, and other residents? Pay attention to the atmosphere and ensure it feels like a good fit for you or your family member.


When it comes to caring for individuals living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, memory care communities are invaluable resources. They provide a supportive and secure atmosphere, tailored activities, and personalized attention from a compassionate staff all in one place. No matter what stage of memory care is required, these specialized services can help those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease to live with dignity and respect as they continue on their journey.