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Memory Care Communities

When someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, your family will inevitably be faced with tough decisions regarding their future. We’ll help you determine if a memory care community is the right option for them—and for you.

Impact of Dementia in the U.S.

1in9
people ages 65 and older has Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association
$271B
Unpaid care provided by family and friends of people living with dementia in 2022.

What Is Memory Care?

Memory care – or dementia care – communities provide safe, secure housing and 24-hour specialty care for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  The goal of specialized memory care is to create positive, meaningful experiences within safe, stimulating environments so that those living with memory loss can lead engaged, purposeful lives – wherever they may be on their journeys.

Respectful care is provided by a team trained and experienced in caring for those with dementia. Personalized assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like eating, bathing, and using the bathroom plus dementia care is available around the clock.

Most memory care communities offer research-based programming, activities and therapies designed to help reduce confusion and agitation while enhancing quality of life.

Many communities offer structured days with plenty of activities, while also encouraging each resident to use their voice and make as many of their own choices as possible.

Because cognitive decline associated with dementia is progressive and affects each person at a different pace, dementia care facilities are personalized to meet specific wants and needs and to ensure the most comfortable lifestyle possible.

Where is Memory Care Provided?

Memory care can be provided in freestanding memory care facilities or in memory care units within a senior living community offering multiple levels of care – such as a CCRC or life plan community. Typically, people living in a memory care community do not have serious medical issues other than Alzheimer’s or dementia, they simply are no longer safe living in their own house or with a family member.

Memory care communities (or units) look and feel much like an assisted living community.  Most feature multiple areas dedicated to communal activities, such as eating, lounging, playing games, exercising, and engaging in hobbies. Most also offer safe, enclosed outdoor areas with paths, gardens, and places to relax.

What Is the Whole-Person Approach to Memory Care?

Many memory care communities take a “whole-person approach” to memory care. This approach recognizes – and celebrates – the unique history, preferences, interests, and needs of the person with memory loss. The goal is to improve all aspects of a person’s well-being, by prioritizing their physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, rather than simply focusing on cognitive abilities.

As the need for dementia care continues to grow, dementia care facilities are looking for ways to accommodate residents living with dementia in more innovative and thoughtful ways. Here are some examples:

Memory Care Design Trends

The Impact on Caregivers

35%
of family caregivers characterize their situation as highly stressful.

Family Support

Memory care communities today recognize the need for family involvement because they understand that memory loss doesn’t just affect the person with the diagnosis—it affects the whole family. From regular communication about their loved ones to providing resources for caregiver support groups, and even one-on-one support, the best Alzheimer’s care communities have plenty of resources to help you navigate your journey as a family caregiver. More on How to Be a Caregiver. 

Do You Have Caregiver Burnout?

Taking care of a loved one with dementia can take a considerable toll on their family caregivers and others who care for them. This quick quiz will help you figure out if you have burnout and what to do about it. Download the Burnout Quiz

Signs it Might be Time

Everyone has occasional trouble recalling the right word or sometimes makes a bad decision. But how do you know if the struggles are normal or the signs of something more?  Learn more about common warning signs that it might be time to consider memory care.

Visiting a Memory Care Community

If you think memory care is the answer your family is seeking, the best way to find a community that meets your loved one’s specific needs is to visit the community and talk with the team.

Topics to explore during visits

Visit Checklist

The choice to move a loved one to a memory care community is a big one, and it could take several tours to find the right one. Download our checklist so you can compare communities by location, programs and features key to your decision-making process.

Memory Care Checklist

Which Community Is Best for My Loved One?

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