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​​Transitioning From Assisted Living To Memory Care: How To Know When Memory Care Is Needed

elderly man standing outside near a body of water

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


January 10th, 2021

Knowing when to move from assisted living to memory care can be complicated for family caregivers. Many families of aging loved ones weigh the options of in-home memory care as they work to provide their loved ones with the best quality of life possible in their final years.

So, when does someone need memory care? And, what are the signs it’s time for memory care service? 

If you’re wondering about how to know when it is time for in-home memory care, then keep reading.

Today, we’ll share important information about:

  • The differences between assisted living and in-home memory care
  • When to move from assisted living to memory care
  • Transitioning from assisted living to memory care
  • Getting support while moving a parent to memory care

Read on to learn more about how to know when memory care is needed.


The Difference Between Assisted Living and In-home Memory Care

Are you a family caregiver wondering how to know when it is time for memory care

Before we provide you with the answers, it’s helpful to understand the differences between assisted living and in-home memory care.


In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living communities are fee-for-service communities that typically provide residents with support for personal care services like:

  • Laundry
  • Transportation for outings
  • Shopping
  • Housekeeping
  • Security
  • Social activities

Assisted living communities are usually apartment-style housing facilities that promote independent living and programmed activities through on-site amenities like pools and fitness centers.

Employees at assisted living communities are not typically equipped to handle medical or memory care services; instead, they offer custodial or basic care for those who don’t need 24-hour medical supervision. And if you do want your loved one to receive more advanced memory care, there’s usually an extra monthly fee.

In addition, there’s usually a poor ratio of staff to residents (around 12:1) at assisted living facilities.

In contrast, in-home memory care offers a much more personalized and compassionate approach.


In-home Memory Care

Unlike assisted living, in-home memory care involves specialized care, attention, and services for managing behaviors often associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, including:

  • Wandering
  • Anxiety and confusion
  • Sundowning (increased confusion in the late afternoon or evening)
  • Disruptive or aggressive behavior
  • Lack of energy or mobility

In-home memory care typically involves a dedicated professional caregiver who comes to the client’s home for hourly care, overnight care, or full-time care. Reliable home health care agencies train caregivers to help clients maintain a quality life in comforting surroundings with access to friends and family members.

Therefore, there are many benefits of moving a parent to memory care at home vs. keeping them in an assisted living facility.


The Benefits of In-Home Memory Care

Many people are reluctant to give up their independence, but the benefits of specialized care for aging adults with deteriorating memories are undeniable.

 Some of these benefits include:

In addition, for those who need 24-hour supervision, in-home memory care can provide peace of mind that a loved one is well taken care of and protected from safety hazards.


When To Move From Assisted Living To Memory Care: 5 Signs It’s Time For Memory Care

So, when does someone need memory care? 

The choice of transitioning from assisted living to memory care may feel overwhelming. Here are a few key signs it’s time for memory care.


1. Dangerous Habits While Living Alone That Aren’t Improving

When a loved one exhibits dangerous behaviors, such as leaving the stove on or not taking their medication regularly, it can be difficult for family members to ensure their safety.

In 2019 alone, falls and other injuries accounted for nearly 34,000 deaths in those with dementia. Family members must ensure their loved one isn’t putting themselves at risk.

If the behavior doesn’t improve over time, in-home memory care can help prevent injury while maintaining a loved one’s independence.


2. Decreased Engagement With Friends And Community Activities

Another way to know when it is time for memory care is decreased engagement with friends and community activities.

When dementia or Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it can become difficult for a loved one to remember the date, time, or location of events they previously enjoyed. Even if seniors want to remain social, limitations from the disease can make it difficult to participate fully in activities.

Loved ones may become lonely or depressed due to a lack of socialization. A compassionate caregiver provides much-needed encouragement and support. They can also help your loved one remember dates/times of events and safely drive them to/from these engagements.


3. Increased Aggressive Behaviors That Are Difficult To Manage

As memory declines, aggression and anxiety typically increase. When behaviors become too difficult to manage alone, family members should consider in-home memory care with a professional caregiver.

Memory care providers train their caregivers to recognize difficult behaviors and handle them well. In-home memory care may prevent the escalation of these behaviors, which can put both the loved one and family members at ease.


4. Limited Ability to Provide Proper Care

For some, moving a parent to memory care is a matter of recognizing that family members can no longer manage their loved one’s care alone.

When a loved one’s disease has progressed to the point that family members can’t effectively offer proper care, memory care can be a safe and more ideal alternative to institutionalized care.


5.  Declining Caregiver Health or Mental Well-Being

Watching a loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can take a toll on a caregiver’s mental, physical, and emotional state.

One of the most significant benefits of in-home care is the flexibility and support it provides loved ones. Family members can choose the appropriate level and form of care for their family and adjust it as needed.

An in-home memory care provider will ensure the quality of care to your loved one while removing your caregiver stress.


Make the Transition to In-home Memory Care with Commonwise

When it is time for memory care, families may feel apprehensive or overwhelmed with the unknown. However, when family members recognize the benefits of memory care, they’ll feel confident they’re doing what’s best for their loved ones.

Knowing the signs it’s time for memory care can help family members prepare for the transition before anxiety or guilt make the situation more complicated.

If you’re looking for immediate assistance with care, contact our team at Commonwise Home Care

Our team of experts can provide in-home memory care for your loved ones in Charleston, SC, Richmond, VA, and beyond – often within 24-48 hours’ notice. Our trained and certified caregivers can help you with many memory care tasks like:

  • Bathing, grooming, and toileting
  • Transferring from bed to chair
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Providing companionship and activities

We know that discovering when to move from assisted living to memory care can be a challenging decision, and we’re here to change that.

We can also provide dementia caregivers to loved ones who are in an assisted living facility. Our memory care is often a great way to supplement the care your loved one is already receiving at their facility.

Contact us today to learn more about the Commonwise difference regarding memory care for a loved one.


In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

Contact us for a free assessment