Does Your Parent Need Memory Care Services When They Move To A Retirement Center?

Your parent has decided that living in their home has gotten too difficult, so you're researching assisted living facilities and nursing homes for them. How much support do they need after they've moved, and do they need help because of memory loss? says there are almost 36 million people in the world with some form of dementia. On a planet with 7 billion people, that's not many. But when it does affect a person, they may need significantly more help with daily activities. Here are some of the indications that your parent needs memory care services once they move.

Defining Dementia

Dementia is a collection of symptoms related to the loss of key mental functions, such as communication, memory and cognitive thinking. While Alzheimer's is the common cause of dementia, other conditions, such as accidental brain injury, stroke, and nervous system diseases like Huntington's, can cause these symptoms. If you spot any of the following signs, your parent's doctor can determine what the underlying cause of the impairment is.

Mild Dementia Signs

These signs are often overlooked, or written off as "they're just getting old."

  • Forgetfulness - Your parent may forget simple things like what they had for breakfast in the morning.
  • Losing track of time - They may not realize how long they've been sitting in the park.
  • Becoming lost in frequented places - They may suddenly realize that they don't know where they are while in the middle of a familiar grocery store.

These rarely impact the person's activities and their memory may come back to them with help.

Moderate Dementia Signs

At this level, the memory loss is obvious and can put your parent in danger. They will need assistance in completing many of their normal daily activities.

  • Forgetful of recent events - Your parent may forget that they've already taken their morning medicine, and take it again.
  • Becoming disoriented in their home - They may stand in a familiar room in their house and not recognize where they are.
  • Increasing communication difficulties - They may not be able to stay focused on a conversation and wander into other topics easily.
  • Personal care issues - They may forget to bathe for several days and may wear the same clothes over and over.

With these symptoms, your parent needs more than the services of an assisted living center. They need people who proactively watch them for signs that they need help with daily routines.

Advanced Dementia Signs

With these symptoms, your parent is nearly totally dependent on help and they may be inactive otherwise.

  • Unaware of time and location
  • Difficulty recognizing friends and family
  • Require help with most daily activities including personal hygiene and eating
  • Will need encouragement to get out of bed, a chair and with walking
  • Behavior changes that range from being unresponsive to outward aggression

Your parent needs to be under a doctor's care at this point. Nursing staff need to be available in case your parent injures themselves.

A facility that offers memory care services will give your parent as much independence as they can handle, while helping them with other tasks. They also have programs that may improve memory and thinking ability.

While you're researching a facility for your parent, keep their mental state in mind. If your parent is one of the majority for whom dementia is not a problem, an assisted living facility (such as Health Concepts LTD) will do nicely. But if they are showing signs of memory loss and unclear thinking, consider a place that specializes in working with memory impaired people.