Memory Care

Is It Right For You?

Seeing a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be heartbreaking.

When you notice that a loved one is experiencing memory loss and difficulty performing day-to-day activities, it may be time to consider more serious care options.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; because there is not yet a cure, it’s not going away any time soon. There are many forms of dementia, and all of them are painful to watch.

Being the primary caregiver for a loved one with dementia can be stressful, but trusting someone to take good care of your family member can sometimes feel even harder.

There are many excellent senior care facilities that focus solely on memory care; their staff are expertly trained in caring for patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and offer professional nursing care and personal care.

Nothing is ever the same as having your family member at home with you. There, you have the peace of mind that your loved one is being treated with compassion and respect.

But the trained, professional staff in memory care settings are dedicated to recreating a comfortable, homey environment for each of their patients that respects and supports their dignity. Rest assured these senior living communities can be a safe and loving environment for your loved one.

To find out what these facilities are like, the services they offer, if your loved one needs memory care, and how to find the right long-term care facility, read on.

Or find memory care facilities near you!


What is Memory Care?

Memory care facilities, sometimes called Alzheimer’s facilities or dementia facilities, are residential care homes for individuals requiring specialized care.

These facilities are expertly designed to keep Alzheimer’s patients safe from wandering and injury. Many of them are designed to mimic a real neighborhood to give the residents a sense of familiarity.

Memory care facilities provide safe, secure, 24-hour supervision for people with dementia. They also provide quality medical care services, daily social events, and amenities to meet each person’s needs.

Other Forms of Memory Care

Not all memory care takes place in stand-alone facilities. There are various types of residential care for people who need Alzheimer’s care or dementia care:


Retirement communities often offer a lower level of care for patients with early Alzheimer's, who can still perform many activities of daily living on their own.


Assisted living facilities are a step between independent living and a nursing home. These assisted care centers offer a combination of housing, health care, meals, and personal care support.


Skilled nursing facilities offer round-the-clock senior care, care planning, and health care services.

It is very common for there to be a special care unit (SCU) inside a larger residential care facility. These are typically cluster settings, where residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are placed near each other in the nursing home.

Does Your Loved One Need Memory Care Services?

As you interact with your loved one, keep these questions in mind and take note of any new behaviors. These can help your family member’s care team address issues in a safe and timely manner.

  • Do they require help with mobility? Do they use a walker or wheelchair?
  • Do they require help with hygiene, including toileting & bathing?
  • Has their personality changed recently? Does it change quickly?
  • Are they displaying aggression, sadness, depression, or anxiety?
  • Does their memory continue to worsen?
  • Are they wandering or trying to escape the home?
  • Does home care no longer seem enough?
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Features of Alzheimer’s Facilities

  • A private or semi-private room
  • Three daily meals & snacks, often in a restaurant-style community dining room
  • Medication management
  • 24-hour personal assistance with all activities, hygiene, & mobility
  • Cognitive, occupational, physical, & mental therapies
  • Social activities
  • Exercise & wellness programs
  • Housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, & custodial care

Paying for Alzheimer’s Facilities

Long-term memory care can seem cost-prohibitive for many families. The costs of care are much higher than those for other older adult living communities due to the eldercare services required.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Many care providers are willing to work with families where they can. There are many payment options that can work for you and your family.

Many residents and their families choose private pay, which can save headaches, paperwork, and time on waiting lists. Besides family and Social Security income, you can also tap into savings, investments, life insurance, and the profits from selling a home.

Long-term care insurance can help pay for memory care, but this care must be purchased years before you need the services.

Medicare offers very limited assistance and there are many different restrictions. Medicaid and other state programs have benefits that vary, but they can assist low-income seniors who need memory care.

Veterans benefits and grants are other options for paying for Alzheimer’s facilities.

Things to look for in a Memory Care Retirement Community

Choosing a place for your loved one that is out of your supervision can be hard. But do your due diligence and you’ll be able to find a place that meets their needs and cares for them in a loving, supportive way.

  • What sort of training does the staff have? Do you do background checks on the staff?
  • What kind of oversight is implemented?
  • How do you keep residents safe from themselves, from each other, & from staff?
  • What is the ratio of staff to residents?
  • Who is on duty & when? When is the registered nurse on staff?
  • Which medical services are available on-site?
  • How are emergency situations handled?
  • How are the building & grounds secured?
  • What are the housing units like? How are such units secured & kept safe?
  • How do you care for incontinent, bedridden, or aggressive residents?
  • What kind of therapies do you provide? Do you have mental health counseling?
  • How often do residents participate in activities?
  • How often to residents get exercise indoors & outdoors?
  • How do you meet the needs of an individual with multiple conditions?

We know that finding the right Alzheimer’s facility for your loved one can be a daunting process.

We can help you figure out your family member’s needs and which facilities or other care options are best for them.

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