Senior Living Resources Lutheran Senior Services
What is Memory Care Assisted Living and When is It Needed?

What is Memory Care Assisted Living and When is It Needed?

Memory care assisted living is a controlled-access, purposeful environment created with the special needs of the residents in mind. Staff cater to those needs, with a focus on the residents’ holistic well-being. Older adults living with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments can benefit from a living setting that provides the care they need along with programming that engages them.

Memory care assisted living provides many opportunities designed specifically for residents. Each day is planned by knowledgeable, caring staff with activities and programming tailored to keep residents engaged physically, mentally, and spiritually. This includes daily routines and opportunities to participate in normal daily tasks. Residents who live in memory care also receive assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, and toileting.

In memory care assisted living, specially trained staff are available 24 hours a day to help residents. When considering memory care in a senior living community, it’s important to make sure that the staff will be focused on your loved one. Memory care staff members understand that change is difficult, especially for older adults living with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments. Staffing in memory care assisted living is consistent. This eases the transition and helps residents feel more comfortable in their surroundings.

To better care for residents, staff members often work closely with their family members. They learn about who the resident is now and what their life was like before the need for memory care. It’s important for staff to meet the resident where they are, as sometimes older adults with memory impairments believe they are at a different point in their life. For example, they may think they are living in their childhood or early adulthood. Memory care staff members are trained to embrace where residents are today and to not contradict them.

In addition to controlled-access communal living rooms, dining rooms, and activity rooms, many memory care areas include secured outdoor patios, porches, and gardens for residents. By providing the opportunity to be with other residents and staff members, residents are more socialized and avoid being isolated as compared to living alone at home.

For each older adult and their family, the decision to look into memory care assisted living comes at different times. Family members may notice changes in their loved one that make it no longer safe for them to live on their own or become more than an at-home caregiver can manage. These may include:


  • Forgetting to turn the stove off or leaving water running.
  • Wandering off.
  • Showing poor financial judgment.
  • Mismanaging medications.
  • Eating poorly or not taking care of oneself.
  • Becoming increasingly isolated.


To determine if memory care assisted living is a good decision for a loved one, or for help finding a memory care community that fits their needs, family members should consult with the older adult’s doctor, other family members, and senior living community staff. Moving to memory care assisted living is a change for both the resident and family members. Working with the senior living community staff can make the transition easier. Staff have gone through this transition before and can provide resources and support.

A Life Plan Community offers all levels of living: independent living, assisted living, memory care assisted living, long term care, and rehabilitation. Residents of Life Plan Communities have access to the other levels of living offered at that community. This gives older adults and their families a plan for the future knowing that care is there if it is ever needed. In addition, older adults can also stay in the community where they are familiar with staff, the community campus and buildings, and their fellow residents.

Independent living is exactly what it sounds like – residents enjoy a full range of amenities and abundant opportunities for personal growth and enrichment. In assisted living, residents have help with daily activities including medication administration. Dedicated staff is available to assist residents when needed.

Long term care provides nursing care 24 hours a day. Short stay rehabilitation is focused on getting guests stronger and back to their previous level of living after a hospital stay. Therapies offered include physical, occupational, and speech.

Memory care assisted living is an important part of any Life Plan Community. It provides around-the-clock care and special life enrichment programming to help cognitive functions and keep memory care residents active.

Memory care can provide many benefits for older adults living with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s or other memory impairments. In addition to the care they need, memory care assisted living offers activities and social opportunities to help memory care residents have meaningful days.

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