How do I know when it’s time for my loved one to move into a memory care community?

Moving a family member into a memory care community is rarely easy. There are, however, a few telltale signs that you can look for to recognize when you might start seriously considering residential care.

Home safety issues: Is your family member becoming increasingly unsafe in his or her own home? An honest answer to this question might give you clues that the moment has come to evaluate a memory care community.

Wandering: As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, the risk of wandering becomes greater and the probability of falls and injuries increases.

Sundowning: Very agitated behavior that increases as the day wears on is called sundowning and it’s a common characteristic among those with Alzheimer’s.

Aggression: Verbal, physical, even sexual aggression can create a strain on caregivers and other family members. Often, it indicates that it’s time to consider another living alternative.

Escalating care needs: Your family member’s increasing health needs may be rapidly surpassing your abilities and causing family disruptions.

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Meet the Author


Natalie has compiled over eighteen years experience providing outstanding care to people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In addition to being a certified Alzheimer’s and dementia care trainer, McFarland is a licensed continued education instructor for nurses and social workers through the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations. She has also developed several Alzheimer’s research partnerships. Included in those projects were Dr. Virginia Cruz, Ph.D., RN, Associate Professor of SIUE and Dr. George Grossberg, M.D., Medical Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Saint Louis University. Natalie is a graduate of Southern Illinois University.