5 Signs That Memory Care Assisted Living May Be Appropriate

Dementia is a progressive disease, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good, because it means that when it’s detected early, the individual can take steps to ensure the health, safety and security of themselves and their family members, while also enjoying the opportunity to make memories and live life to the fullest. Bad, because unfortunately the individual will require more and more assistance as time goes on, and a caregiver may not know or recognize when memory care assisted living would be a benefit.

“Although today’s memory care communities are a far cry from the facilities of the past, caregivers and family members still may have a instinctive reaction about placing their loved one into a ‘home,’” says Chrissy Ross, Executive Director of Bridges® by EPOCH at Mashpee. “The stigma is still there, paired with the guilt that many people feel about not being able to care for their loved one themselves.”

However, often memory care assisted living can provide the best possible care for the individual with dementia – and by extension, the caregiver as well.

“Caregiving is an all-encompassing role, and no one person can shoulder it all themselves,” she says. “At our community, we have staff members available around-the-clock, but because they are on shifts, they’re able to care for our residents without getting burned out. This allows family caregivers the space and time they need to rebuild their relationship with their loved one on a personal level, not on a care level.”

Chrissy says that a lot of people worry about moving into memory care “too soon.” However, sooner may be better than later, she says. “In a perfect world, individuals with memory loss would move into memory care somewhat early on in the progression, which would make the community feel more like home to them,” she says. “Sometimes the transition can be a little more difficult for someone who is in the later stages of dementia because the community is new and different. Moving earlier allows the person time to connect with the team members and build those connections.”

That’s why, she says, it’s important to understand the signs of when memory care assisted living may be in your best interest.

“Knowing when it may be time to make the move can make a difficult decision a little less so,” she says. “It also empowers you to take steps in a positive way, instead of waiting until an accident or other event requires you to make a snap decision. Either way, we’re here to support families through every step of the journey.”


5 Signs to Watch For

1. A dementia diagnosis

It sounds obvious, but once an individual has been diagnosed with dementia, it’s time to start the conversation about memory care. While most seniors wish to live at home for as long as possible, the fact is that a memory care assisted living community may be the best place for ensuring their safety and continued quality of life. Although it may be difficult to hear, a dementia diagnosis gives you the time to start exploring and visiting potential communities in your loved one’s area.


2. Increasing caregiver stress

Most individuals with dementia are being cared for by family caregivers. And family caregivers are very rarely professionally trained. As the dementia journey progresses, the caregiver can find him or herself becoming overwhelmed and burned out. It’s not possible – or feasible – to be a good caregiver if you yourself are stretched to the max. If you’re a caregiver who’s becoming more and more stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, it’s time to consider how a memory care assisted living community could help lighten your load. Your health is important, too.


3. Declining health (for you or your loved one)

As dementia progresses, it becomes increasingly harder for the individual to perform daily tasks of life. This can cause a decline in overall health for both them and you as a caregiver. Hazards like falls, accidents and others can cause disastrous results. Plus, stress can cause our immune systems to not function properly, and it’s not uncommon for caregivers and their loved ones to become ill regularly. If you find that your health – mental, physical and emotional – or your loved one’s health is suffering, moving to a memory care assisted living community can help.


4. Lack of socialization

Dementia causes isolation and fearfulness, which can cause an individual to withdraw and seek solitude. Unfortunately, isolation actually worsens the symptoms of dementia as well as depression, anxiety and other emotional issues. A memory care assisted living community provides individuals with dementia not only with caring support, but also meaningful socialization and engagement opportunities. Having friends, activity and opportunities to connect meaningfully with others can greatly improve the quality of life for your loved one.


5. Your gut is telling you it’s time

We as human beings don’t trust our instincts enough. Pause for a moment and ask yourself, “Is it a good idea for my loved one to move into memory care?” If your gut instinct is yes, well, there’s your answer. Pay attention to your instincts and understand that such an action is made out of love – even when it’s a difficult decision. Sometimes the hardest decisions we have to make are the best decisions in the end.


Peace of Mind for Cape Cod Seniors and Their Families

Bridges® by EPOCH at Mashpee provides memory care assisted living that is comfortable, positive, safe and engaging. Exclusively dedicated to caring for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, our community creates a wellness-focused lifestyle that promotes dignity, respects individual preferences and makes a truly positive impact on the lives of our residents each and every day.


Dedicated Memory Care

Bridges® by EPOCH at Mashpee offers compassionate dementia care and unique programs that are tailored to meet the physical, cognitive and emotional needs of each resident – throughout every stage of disease progression. Residents can age in place comfortably and with dignity, while families gain peace of mind.


Supportive, Engaging Services

At Bridges® by EPOCH at Mashpee, we offer a program of care and services that celebrates life and supports individual strengths. Our compassionate and engaging approach adapts to the unique challenges and individuality of each resident. Our memory care professionals receive specialized and ongoing training designed to help residents maximize their independence in a secure, calm environment.


 Contact us today to learn more.