Senior Resources » Assisted Living » 8 Critical Signs It’s Time for Memory Care

8 Critical Signs It’s Time for Memory Care

Almost 40% of adults aged 65 and older will suffer from some form of memory loss. However, it’s important to recognize when these symptoms require professional help. Moving a loved one into memory care is challenging, but it may be essential for their safety and well-being. Here are 8 critical signs that it’s time for memory care.


1. Increased Forgetfulness

It’s normal to forget things once in a while. However, if your loved one’s forgetfulness has started to interfere with daily functioning, it’s a cause for concern. Some signs of forgetfulness in older adults include:

  • Repeating conversations
  • Misplacing items
  • Difficulty with following instructions or recipes
  • Forgetting to bathe, eat, or take prescription medication
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Forgetting important dates, like birthdays or anniversaries
  • Becoming increasingly confused about time

2. Sundown Syndrome

Sundown syndrome is a common phenomenon among Alzheimer’s patients, wherein symptoms worsen during the evening and night hours. However, it’s important to note that it doesn’t occur only at night. Common symptoms of sundown syndrome include:

  • Insomnia
  • Wandering
  • Pacing
  • Rocking in a chair
  • Crying
  • Increased fear, anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion

3. Wandering

woman holding a cane outside

Unfortunately, wandering is a common occurrence in individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. If your loved one wanders and often gets lost or disoriented, it could be time for specialized care. Memory care communities have security features and trained staff who provide round-the-clock care and supervision.

4. Difficulty with Daily Tasks

Individuals with memory issues may find it difficult to perform everyday tasks. Cooking, cleaning, and even bathing can become a challenge. And that’s where memory care comes in. Facilities staff highly trained professionals who assist residents in daily activities. So, if your loved one is struggling to get by day to day, it may be time to start looking into memory care.

5. Changes in Mood and Personality

If an individual’s personality is beginning to change, it could be an early sign of memory loss. Your loved one might become confused, agitated, or violent, putting them and their caregivers at risk. Memory care facilities offer a calming environment, specialized staff, and medication management, ensuring residents get the best care possible. Some common signs of personality changes may include:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Apathy
  • Lack of initiative
  • Paranoia

6. Decline in Hygiene

African American retired man brushing teeth in mirror

Individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia often find it hard to maintain personal hygiene. From bathing to brushing teeth and hair to wearing dirty clothing, older adults with memory disorders may struggle with every aspect of self-care. Poor hygiene can lead to health issues and infections. The good news is, staff members at memory care facilities will able to provide personalized care and ensure residents keep up with hygiene!


7. Trouble with Communication

As memory-related diseases progress, communication skills tend to decline. Your loved one may struggle to express themselves or understand others. This can lead to confusion or frustration for both individuals and their caregivers. Fortunately, memory care homes offer specialized programs designed to promote communication and social engagement.

8. Safety Concerns


Keeping individuals with memory disorders safe can become a challenge, especially as the disease progresses. Appliances may be left on for extended periods of time. An individual may wander outside the home or even fall. Luckily, memory care communities are equipped to handle safety concerns and provide the care your loved one needs.

Click HERE to check out a Home Safety Checklist for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Deciding to move a loved one into memory care is never easy, but it’s crucial to recognize the signs. Consider talking to a medical professional about the most appropriate level of care for your loved one’s unique needs. While change can be hard, the right memory care community can bring peace of mind to both you and your loved one.

Looking for more?

supportive hug

Begin searching for assisted living.


Find nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities here.

Originally published July 06, 2023

Free Senior Resources

20 Retirement Secrets

20 Retirement Secrets That Will Change All Your Plans in 2023

Get The Guide
Blessings for Baby Boomers

Blessings for Baby Boomers

Get The Guide
Ultimate Estate Planning Checklist and Guide, 2023

Ultimate Estate Planning Checklist & Guide

Get The Guide
Medicare Guide for Veterans cover

Medicare Guide for Veterans

Get The Guide
Show this content while the ad loads.