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When to Move from Assisted Living to Memory Care

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Assisted living communities are designed for seniors who need help with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. These communities provide a sense of community and support for older adults who may require some assistance but want to maintain their independence.

However, there may come a time when the services offered in assisted living are no longer enough to meet the needs of an individual with memory loss or dementia. In such cases, a move to a dedicated memory care community may be necessary.

There is no clear-cut answer as to when an individual should make the move from assisted living to memory care. It ultimately depends on their individual needs and level of functioning. However, there are some signs that can indicate it may be time for a transition.

Indicators That It’s Time to Switch to Memory Care

Difficulty with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

As dementia progresses, individuals may have a harder time performing basic tasks such as eating, dressing, and grooming. If your loved one is struggling with these activities despite receiving assistance in assisted living, it may be time to consider memory care.


Those with dementia may wander and become disoriented, which can be dangerous in an assisted living community. Memory care communities have increased security measures to prevent wandering and keep residents safe.

Aggressive or Combative Behavior 

As dementia progresses, some individuals may exhibit aggressive or combative behavior. This can be difficult for staff in assisted living to manage, and a move to memory care may be necessary to provide specialized care for these behaviors.

Increased Need for Medical Care

As dementia progresses, individuals may require more intensive medical care. Memory care communities have nurses on staff 24/7 to attend to any medical needs that may arise.

Isolation or Withdrawal From Social Activities

If your loved one is no longer engaging in social activities or seems withdrawn and isolated, it may be a sign that they are having trouble functioning in an assisted living community. Memory care communities offer more structured activities and programs specifically designed for individuals with dementia.

Increased Incontinence 

As dementia progresses, individuals may experience increased urinary incontinence. Memory care communities have staff trained to manage this issue and can provide the additional care and support for individuals with this condition.

Need for Specialized Care

Most importantly, memory care communities are designed to provide specialized care for individuals with dementia. Staff members are trained in techniques to communicate and engage with residents who have memory loss, as well as providing assistance with daily tasks and activities.

It’s important to carefully consider the signs that may indicate a need for memory care. Every individual is different and may require different levels of care, so it’s important to consult with medical professionals and tour various communities before making a decision.

Assessing Your Loved One’s Needs

Assessing your loved one’s needs is a crucial first step when it comes to transitioning from assisted living to memory care. The following are some key questions to consider when determining if memory care is the right option for your loved one:

  • Safety: Are they at risk of wandering or getting lost? Do they have difficulty remembering important information, such as emergency contact numbers?
  • Medical Needs: Do they require more intensive medical care due to their dementia? Are there specific health conditions that need to be managed?
  • Social Needs: Are they becoming increasingly isolated and withdrawn? Do they have trouble engaging in social activities or maintaining relationships?
  • Daily Living Tasks: Are they able to complete daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating without assistance?
  • Behavioral Changes: Have you noticed any changes in their behavior, such as increased aggression, agitation, or confusion?

It’s also important to consider your own needs and limitations as a caregiver. Providing care for someone with dementia can be emotionally, physically, and financially taxing. It’s important to recognize when you may need additional support and resources too.

Understanding Memory Care Living Communities

Memory care offers specialized support for individuals with dementia, providing a safe and structured environment that caters to their specific needs. Some key features of a memory care community include:

  • Trained Staff: Memory care communities have staff members who are specifically trained in dementia care and understand the unique challenges of caring for individuals with memory loss.
  • Secure Environment: These communities are designed to prevent wandering and keep residents safe. They may have secure doors, alarms, or other measures in place to ensure the safety of residents.
  • Structured Activities: Memory care communities offer structured activities and programs that are tailored to the needs of individuals with dementia. These activities can help stimulate memory, promote social interaction, and improve overall well-being.
  • Specialized Care Plans: Each resident in a memory care community receives an individualized care plan based on their specific needs and abilities. This ensures that they receive the appropriate level of care and support.
  • 24-Hour Supervision: Memory care communities have staff members available around the clock, providing constant supervision and attention to residents who may require assistance or monitoring at any time of day.

Get the Support You Need at Fox Trail Memory Care

Moving from assisted living to memory care can be a difficult decision, but it is often necessary for your loved ones to receive the care they need.

At Fox Trail Memory Care in New Jersey, we understand the importance of providing quality care and support for seniors with memory-related issues. We’re here to help you assess your loved one’s needs and make the transition to memory care as smooth as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your family.

Written by adminfoxtrail

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