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Memory Care is a specialized type of care that is equipped for seniors who are diagnosed with a type of cognitive decline, such as the many types of dementia, including Alzheimer's. While starting the senior living search, it is important to have a general idea of what type of care your loved one may need. There are a few signs of cognitive decline that you should be aware of so that you can decide if memory care placement is appropriate now, or in the future. Our advisors at Senior Living Experts can help answer these questions.

Physical Signs

There are several physical signs that can determine whether your loved one should be placed in Memory Care. One of the main physical signs is if they are becoming frail and weak. Those who are beginning to see the signs of dementia might forget to buy groceries,  eat three meals a day, or complete activities of daily living that lead to our overall health. You can also notice this if their fridge is more empty than usual, if there are no signs of foods having been eaten, or nothing in the garbage. 

Other physical changes include:

  • Trouble keeping balance
  • Slouching
  • Bruises and injuries that they do not remember receiving

One other major physical change may be if they look exhausted. Sometimes, those who are experiencing signs of cognitive decline will have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. This happens over consecutive days, so overtime they will become tired and look drowsy. 

Changes in Behavior

If someone begins to notice that they are experiencing signs of dementia, they may act differently than usual. They might feel concerned about their driving skills, ability to interact with their family and friends, or act more aggressive than usual. They also might forget to take care of their daily needs, such as brushing their teeth, changing their clothes, or any other daily routine that involves personal hygiene. 

If your loved one acts more aggressive than usual, it is important to determine if this was harmful to you, or a loved one. If their aggressive behaviors get out of hand, it is best for their safety, and the safety of those around them, to consider placing them in a Memory Care unit. The staff in Memory Care units are trained on how to manage this type of behavior, so it will benefit the senior, along with the senior’s loved ones. The senior does not realize they are acting more aggressively towards their loved ones, so they would also appreciate being with staff who are aware of the behaviors that may come alongside dementia. 

Moreover, anxiety is a common symptom of cognitive decline. This person may realize they are experiencing memory loss, so they may have anxiety about it. Anxiety can also root from their change in behavior as well. They may not feel like themselves,  or they may feel as if they are hurting others around them, which can also be where their anxiety comes from. Either way, monitor whether this anxiety is related to memory loss, or if it is related to any outside factors before considering Memory Care as an option. 

Signs of Memory Loss

Often, people may deny the fact that their loved one is showing signs of memory loss, so they choose to ignore them. However, you must pay close attention to these signs of memory loss, because it could get worse overtime. You want to get them into a Memory Care unit while they can still grasp what is happening, so it is important to monitor these memory loss symptoms when they are still mild. 

Some memory loss signs include: 

  • Forgetting medication (overtaking or undertaking medication)
  • Repetitive actions
  • Feeling suspicious about family members or friends
  • Poor judgement
  • Difficulty organizing their finances
  • General forgetfulness (dates, times, appointments, loved ones)

The nurses who work in Memory Care units are specialized in treating the behaviors involved with memory loss. This will make the resident feel safer, happier, and well taken care of. It will also put them in a place where they can exercise their brains, engage in activity, as socialization is key in combating cognitive decline. Signs of memory loss are important to monitor, and should be acted upon as soon as possible so the senior can reside in the most supportive living arrangement that meets the needs of your loved one.

Senior Living Experts can help with this process of finding a senior living community that best fits the residents needs. Our advisors are happy to answer any more of your questions. You can contact us at 773-231-7212 or visit

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