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When Is it Time for Senior Memory Care?

Elderly woman and caretaker looking at photo album while discussing if it's time for senior memory care

For many, memory loss is a normal part of the aging process. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that approximately 40% of adults 65 and older have some degree of memory impairment, of which about 1% will develop dementia.1 Many people with early-stage dementia can live independently or with minimal help. However, as it progresses, memory care typically becomes necessary.

Because symptoms of dementia can vary day-to-day, and the rate of progression is different for everyone, there is no hard-fast rule about the best time to begin senior memory care. That said, the transition to memory care is much less challenging when planned versus done in a hurry. Knowing when it’s time for senior memory care can ensure a smooth experience for all involved.

At Buckner Villas, we aim to provide our residents with a meaningful life, regardless of cognitive ability. Moving an elderly loved one into senior memory care is one of the most complex decisions a family will make. Our expert team is here to help every step of the way. Contact us at 512.580.9882 to learn more about The Harbor, our certified memory care program.

Signs of Senior Memory Care Needs

Dementia is an umbrella term for conditions that cause cognitive decline, including memory, thinking, and reasoning problems that negatively impact daily functioning. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, affecting approximately 6.5 million adults 65 and older. While dementia is progressive, the rate of progression is different for everyone, making it challenging to pinpoint the right time for senior memory care.

The recommended course of action for any suspicion of dementia is to see a primary care physician who can do testing to determine a baseline against which to measure future decline. Family and friends can help monitor the progression of dementia by tracking information on a calendar or journal.

Typical signs it might be time for senior memory care include the following:

  • Neglecting personal hygiene and daily housekeeping tasks
  • Not taking or incorrectly taking medications
  • Forgetting to eat or drink
  • Withdrawing from social interests or hobbies
  • Forgetting to pay bills
  • Incontinence
  • Changes in mood and behavior, such as increased irritability or aggression
  • Losing track of time
  • Frequent falls or unexplained cuts and bruises
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion and disorientation

Memory care services for seniors are generally appropriate when a person’s cognitive decline impacts their safety and well-being or when a caregiver can no longer meet their needs at home.

What Are Memory Care Services for Seniors?

Senior memory care specializes in addressing the unique needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Memory care facilities offer security features and 24-hour supervision. Caregivers have specialized training and deliver care, guidance, and support in a safe, highly-structured, yet home-like setting.

Not all memory care programs offer the same level of services and amenities, so it is important to research to find the program best suited to individual needs. Memory care services for seniors may include the following:

  • Private suites
  • Community dining, activity, and living spaces
  • Daily housekeeping services
  • Weekly laundry services
  • Medication management
  • Cable TV and WiFi
  • Transportation services
  • Apartment maintenance and repairs
  • 24-hour emergency response system
  • Memory-enhancement programs and activities
  • Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Outdoor garden and walking paths

Forgetfulness becomes more common as we age, but significant and ongoing memory struggles can indicate dementia. Knowing when it is time for senior memory care can be challenging, especially in the early stages of dementia; however, seeking professional assistance ASAP may improve quality of life.

Call Buckner Villas for Senior Memory Care

At Buckner Villas in Austin, residents of The Harbor Memory Care community receive the highest quality of care with state-of-the-art services and amenities. If you notice signs of senior memory care needs, contact us. Our low staff-to-resident ratio and person-centered approach to senior memory care mean your loved one will experience the best care possible. Call 512.580.9882 today or fill out our online form to learn more about our senior living community and schedule a tour.


NIH – Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet