3 Signs It’s Time to Look at Memory Care

3 Signs It’s Time to Look at Memory Care

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



Memory loss is often seen as a normal part of aging and that’s true to a certain extent. Who hasn’t lost their keys or forgotten an appointment once in a while, at any age? That’s why normal age-related memory loss shouldn’t prevent anyone from enjoying a full life. However, if memory loss has started to affect your loved one’s ability to live independently, to maintain a social life or to care for themselves, it may be time to look closer at the cause, and the three signs it’s time to consider a memory care facility.

Memory Loss Isn’t Always Alzheimer’s

In reality, Alzheimer’s disease is only one type of dementia, although it is the most prevalent type. Dementia is not a disease in and of itself; it’s actually an umbrella term for symptoms associated with a decline in thinking, reasoning and/or memory that impairs your ability to perform daily activities.

Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging and is actually caused by damage to brain cells with different types affecting different parts of the brain.

Symptoms of dementia can vary, but according to WebMD, typically at least two of these functions must be significantly impaired:

  • Memory
  • Communication and speech
  • Focus and concentration
  • Reasoning and judgement
  • Visual perception such as the ability to see color differences or to detect movement

There are a range of conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia. While many dementia are permanent, start slowly and progress over time, some can be reversed such as those caused by:

  • Medication side effects
  • Minor head trauma or injury
  • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • Alcoholism
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism
  • A tumor or infection in the brain

That’s why early diagnosis is so important.

Three Signs It’s Time for a Memory Care Facility

Once you know the cause of memory loss, it’s a bit easier to know what to expect – and what you might need – going forward. But ultimately, determining that your loved one needs more care than can be provided at home is a decision only your family can make. There are however, signs that it may be time for memory care. Examples include:

1.  Safety Issues

Has your loved one begun to wander, confuse night and day, struggle to use appliances safely, and in general, lose their judgement to make safe choices? Also, are they getting lost more frequently when leaving the house, and/or locking the keys in the car or house?

2.  Health Issues

Is your loved one exhibiting aggressive behaviors, having problems with incontinence, decreasing mobility, inexplicable weight loss or gain, more frequently making medication errors or forgetting to bathe?

3.  Emotional State

Does your loved one seem depressed or isolated, do they have enough social stimulation, are they exposed to activities to strengthen cognitive functioning? Do caregivers know how to appropriately respond to agitation? Is your loved one’s life as rich and full as it could be, despite their illness?

Memory Care Facilities Defined

Perhaps you’ve decided your loved one does need more care than can be provided at home. But what exactly is memory care?

A memory care facility is specifically designed to nurture those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with 24-hour supervised care. They feature specially trained staff that provides individualized support in a safe environment with opportunities for your loved one to find purpose and joy.
In a memory care facility you can typically expect:

  • A private or companion apartment
  • Meals and snacks
  • Medication management
  • Personal care
  • Cognitive and physical therapy
  • Fitness programs
  • Social activities
  • Housekeeping and laundry services

Keep in mind that memory care facilities are not always stand alone, they may also be found on the same campus as assisted living which can be helpful as your loved one’s care needs evolve.

Our new guide, The Beginner’s Guide to Recognizing Early Signs of Dementia, will help you identify whether or not your loved one may have dementia, and explore memory care senior living options to ensure your loved one gets the right care. Download it here.

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