When Should You Move From Assisted Living to Memory Care?

Sep 6, 2023

When you’re living in an Assisted Living community, you’re enjoying all the fun of staying as active and social as possible while receiving help with everyday tasks so you stay healthy. If your loved one is in Assisted Living, you have security and comfort knowing that they’re in a community that will allow them to stay as independent as possible and get assistance where they need it.

As time goes on, your loved one’s health needs may change. Should they start to show signs of dementia, their care team may recommend that it’s time to move from Assisted Living to Memory Care. In Memory Care, your loved one can receive more specialized support in a tranquil environment to help them stay engaged and calm.

How Different Is Care in Assisted Living vs. Memory Care?

Senior living communities offer different levels of care. You may wonder about the differences in care between Assisted Living and Memory Care. There are a few key differences between them.

Assisted Living means your loved one receives help with accomplishing activities of daily living, also called ADLs. These include bathing, using the restroom, dressing, eating, transportation, and mobility. But much of their lifestyle remains active and independent.

Older adults in Assisted Living eat at the community’s restaurants, engage in social activities, and live in their own apartment space.

Memory Care is full-time care designed for residents who have dementia or other forms of memory loss. Staff members provide specialized support that helps seniors with dementia live a full and vibrant life. This can include assistance with eating meals and also need more security measures to protect their safety.

If your loved one has received a dementia diagnosis, Memory Care may provide them with the care and support they need.

In Memory Care, your loved one will receive programming that includes a day full of physical and social activities that engage their senses and keep them in the present moment.

What Signs Indicate Your Loved One Should Move From Assisted Living to Memory Care?

Many seniors with a dementia diagnosis can live in Assisted Living. Their symptoms may be mild and they can thrive with the services offered through Assisted Living like support with ADLs and transportation.

While some people with dementia may never need to make the move from Assisted Living to Memory Care, certain signs may develop that indicate your loved one needs a higher level of care.

This decision is clinical–your loved one’s physician may recommend the move to Memory Care. They may have noticed the following symptoms in your loved one that would lead to needing a higher level of care:

  • Confusion. Your loved one may start to not recognize familiar people or places.
  • Wandering. This can be connected to confusion. Wandering when they don’t know where they are could result in accidentally leaving their community, a major health and safety concern.
  • Health Decline. Your loved one may have less energy, lose weight, and/or lose strength or mobility due to health changes. In these situations, they may need more help than they currently receive through Assisted Living.
  • Medication Issues. If your loved one didn’t need medication management assistance in the past, they may start forgetting to take their medications or are taking more than they need.

Your loved one’s care team understands how difficult this decision can be. While this decision is not an easy one, they only make this recommendation when it is in your loved one’s best interests. As a caregiver, you’ll know your loved one is getting the high quality care they need that will allow them to flourish.

Moving to Memory Care

While the move can feel like a big change, you won’t have to make your loved one’s transition from Assisted Living to a Memory Care community all on your own. Staff who are familiar with your loved one can help make that transition as easy as possible.

However, if your loved one’s physician recommends moving to Memory Care while your loved one’s symptoms are still mild, making the move sooner may help your loved one in the long run because they’ll have more time to get familiar with their environment and the people around them.

This doesn’t just apply to Memory Care. Moving to Assisted Living could also be a major benefit because they’ll be in a community with access to care and socialization – two factors that can slow progression of dementia.

If they do need to eventually move to Memory Care, they’re already familiar with the people who work there and the environment–which will make it easier for them to adapt. Staff will be familiar with the resident moving from Assisted Living to Memory Care and can help them with the transition and the day-to-day routine.

Memory Care at Quartet Senior Living in Bettendorf, Iowa

When we welcome residents into our Memory Care community at Quartet Senior Living, we take the time to truly know them. They’ll take a life enrichment assessment so we have a better understanding of their interests and life experience. This way, we can recommend physical, social and recreational activities that they’ll enjoy.

Our compassionate Memory Care staff understands that our residents benefit from routine and redirection to other activities. Since our staff-to-resident ratio is high, it’s easy for our staff to recognize when a gentle transition is needed and can help your loved one stay engaged and soothed.

Remaining active and engaged can also help your loved one with sleeping at night. Some residents in Memory Care may mix up days and nights, so establishing a regular sleep schedule can help them remain consistent and our team’s focus on staying busy during the day can assist with this.

Quartet team members in Memory Care, whether they’re nursing staff or dining team members, receive robust memory care training that ensures every interaction residents have is with a highly trained staff member.

At Quartet, you can expect a constantly changing activity mix that reflects current residents’ interests, life stations and a higher staff to resident ratio to assist with direction throughout the day. However the team also understands that an important factor is their approach to ensure that residents still feel wanted, needed and appreciated.

We focus on providing residents with privacy and independence as much as possible in a comfortable environment including a cozy hearth living room, therapeutic courtyard, and more.

Our Awakenings™ Memory Care program is set up to smoothly flow from activity to activity throughout the day, and your loved one can choose which activities they want to participate in. This daily engagement will also help your loved one sleep well at night and get the mental rest and recovery they need.

We are partnered with Dementia Friendly Iowa, an organization that promotes education about creating safe and dignified living spaces for people with dementia. At Quartet, we’re proud to have a dementia-friendly community that provides the best care from friendly staff who are dedicated to serving memory care residents.
Come Home to Quartet Senior Living

We designed our community to be uplifting and relaxing. Quartet isn’t an “Assisted Living facility” – it’s a home. Our buildings emphasize ways for natural light to always find a way to fill the rooms to help raise everyone’s spirits and put them in a good mood. We’d love to show you all our community has to offer. Call us today at 563-277-7021 to schedule a tour of our Assisted Living or Memory Care residences.