What Is a Memory Care Facility?

What Is a Memory Care Facility?

A memory care facility is a place where long-term care is given to those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of progressive-degenerative dementia. They receive personalized support from memory care specialists. Although, it may seem more appropriate to use the term “community” instead of “facility,” since the word “facility” can bring up images of a place that seems more like a cold, detached building or a hospital.


Whereas the word “community” conjures an impression of a more warm and friendly atmosphere that typically features secure environments where staff can closely monitor the health of your loved ones. A place where one can find joy, peace, and purpose.

What Is Memory Care and Why Is It Required?

Memory care is a kind of specialized care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Seniors who require a higher level of support and care than what family members can offer, or who have advanced dementia that makes it unsafe to remain at home may find that memory care is their best long-term care option.


Memory loss or an Alzheimer's diagnosis can be upsetting for many reasons, the first and foremost being that you may not recognize your loved ones, or it may no longer be possible to live in the home you love. There may be options to make the home safer for someone suffering from Alzheimer's, but that can be costly and may not be feasible in the long term.


However, memory care communities offer an organized, homelike environment designed with the needs of residents with dementia in mind. Here, staff members are specially trained to provide different programs, activities, and events that are designed to help memory care residents work on their cognitive abilities, and they provide quality care needed for seniors with memory loss.


Extra precautions and care are taken for the residents, like enclosed courtyards, circular hallways, butler-style dining, memory stations, contrasting colors, etc., to make residents feel safe, happy and at home in a comfortable, familiar setting.

How Do Residents Enjoy & Spend Their Time in a Memory Care Community?

Residents are encouraged to enjoy the passions and hobbies that they desire and to spur engagement and interaction amongst themselves. Activities are tailored to your loved one's wishes and they are also encouraged to take part in neighborhood responsibilities such as daily watering of the plants or filling the bird feeders, helping set the tables for a meal or selecting the music that will be played during dinner, helping hand out refreshments, sweeping up after a program, folding laundry, etc.


But again, finding the right memory care facility for your elderly loved one can be both emotional and stressful. Additionally, you face the challenge of finding an appropriate program for them when they have a memory disorder or struggle with dementia. A substantial portion of America’s elderly population struggles with dementia at various levels. Luckily, you can find excellent memory care communities in Bella Vista, Fort Smith or Hot Springs, where you can get responsible and focused care. 

Signs It May Be Time to Move Your Loved One to Memory Care

As mentioned, Memory Care Communities are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of people living with dementia. Staff members are specially trained to understand the needs of people at all stages of dementia, and to support seniors who may be experiencing frustration, forgetfulness, anxiety, aggression, extreme personality changes, or communication issues as a result of cognitive aging and which can put your loved ones at risk.


Though most families do all they can to provide compassionate and loving care services, dementia patients can require specialized care from people who are well-trained to meet their needs.

How Do You Know When You Can No Longer Provide the Care Your Loved One Needs?

These indicators may signal that it’s time to move to memory care.

Unexplained Physical Changes

If you notice physical changes like weight gain or loss, changes in posture, mobility problems, etc., it can indicate that your loved one needs more assistance. They may forget to eat or vice-versa; they may have already eaten but forgotten. Slow movements may be an indicator of confusion or disorientation.


Memory care communities will closely monitor your loved one’s nutrition and wellness, ensure that they are eating well, consider all the physical changes, and offer proper consultation.

Neglecting Finances

If your loved one is living alone, there are chances that the mail is piling up. Bills are unpaid, and notices are not taken care of. Those may include creditor and collection notices as well. You need to have an open and honest conversation with your loved one about their financial situation. Neglecting finances is one of the first signs of dementia for many and can leave your loved one open to financial scams, putting their finances at risk.


Neglecting Personal Care

Irregular bathing, unkempt hair, body odor, unwashed or wrinkled clothing, and other personal hygiene issues are other signs that it may be time to move to memory care. It can mean your loved one is unable to keep track of hair and nail appointments, forgetting to bathe, or forgetting to wash up. Memory care services will include personal care and assistance with activities of daily living that help your loved one stay on track.


If your loved one wakes in the middle of the night or becomes confused and disoriented, they may wander. Wandering can be an extremely dangerous situation where they might not even realize where they are going or how to get back home. It can put seniors in dangerous situations and leave them exposed to robberies, injuries and accidents, or harsh elements in the winter and summer. Memory care communities are secured and often have enclosed outdoor spaces to keep your loved one from wandering off without a caregiver.

Compromised Living Conditions

Early dementia can make living standards miserable since patients will no longer care for their home—food is spoiled in the refrigerator, dishes are left out, and the house is a total mess that becomes uncontrollable over time. Memory care communities include housekeeping and linen services, helping your loved one stay clean and tidy in their apartment home.

Their Safety Becomes a Concern

Whether your loved one lives alone, with you, or in an assisted living community, you may still be constantly worried about his or her safety, and therefore it may be time to move them to memory care. These communities are designed to meet the specialized needs of people living with dementia, and with specially trained caregivers, they can keep your loved one safe around the clock.

You Worry About Your Own Safety

As dementia progresses, many people experience significant personality changes and can develop confusion and agitation that leads to violence or threats of violence. Your loved one may exhibit these signs, which can make you concerned about your own safety or the safety of others in your home, especially children.


Under such circumstances, it may be best for your loved one to move to memory care. The caregivers at memory care communities are familiar with these symptoms and know how to help your loved one work through emotions in a more productive and stable manner.

You’re Exhausted

Caring for someone with dementia can be emotionally and physically exhausting and can really burn you out. Many caregivers let their own health suffer while they are taking care of a loved one and caregiving alone is not a sustainable situation. Memory care communities are partners in caregiving and can give you rest while still involving you in important care decisions.

Your Loved One Is Isolated and Lonely

Being with a loved one with dementia can be difficult for most people, no matter how close you are to them. Therefore, it’s very easy for people with dementia to sink into isolation. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can increase the risk of depression. Memory care communities have active and engaging calendars with activities that are specifically designed for people with dementia. Activities are meant to be purposeful and fun while also mitigating some of the agitation and anxiety dementia brings.

You Want to Restore Your Relationship with Your Loved One

Over time, as dementia progresses, you will likely become your loved one’s caregiver, which will cause your relationship to change, sometimes negatively. Moving to memory care can help you reverse that relationship so that you get to spend time with your loved one doing the things you love to do together while someone else handles the professional care.


When your loved one enters memory care withBrookfield Senior Living, they will not only receive an individualized care plan that’s specifically focused on memory care but a plan that promises the best services in all of Bella Vista, Fort Smith or Hot Springs. Proper memory care requires a very professional skillset compared to standard senior care, so it’s crucial to choose the right care team of experts if your loved one needs memory care.