What Is Memory Care?

Memory care is a kind of specialized care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Communities typically feature secure environments where staff can closely monitor the health of the residents. You'll also find programs, activities, and events that are designed to help memory care residents work on their cognitive abilities, while also getting to enjoy passions and hobbies. Staff typically are specially trained to provide the quality care needed for seniors with memory loss.

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Features of Our Memory Care Communities

Just because someone you love is experiencing memory loss, it doesn't mean that they should have to sacrifice their quality of life. Our residents spend their days surrounded by familiar people who know them and help them to enjoy life, experience feelings of belonging and purpose, and maintain their current skills through our daily path of engagement. Depending on the community, you’ll also have access to specific programming that helps meet the unique needs of early, middle and late stages of Alzheimer's and other dementia.

Here are just a few of the ways we help the seniors in our memory care programs make the most of this season of their lives: 

A Secure Setting
Many of our communities keep exterior doors secured 24 hours a day with keypad entries, and have doorbells at the entrances and exits to monitor who comes through the building. Many locations also feature enclosed courtyards so residents can explore the outdoors while remaining in the community.

Quality Services
Your loved one deserves to experience a full life in a place where they are well known and taken care of. We provide services to help do just that. Our staff handles chores such as laundry and housekeeping, while providing support throughout the day, whether it's during meals, taking medication, bathing, and more. Your loved one will also enjoy a supportive dining experience that includes dementia-friendly menus, personalized assistance throughout the meal, and consistent seating to encourage familiarity.

A Warm and Welcoming Environment
Our communities feature apartments that feel and function like a private home with bathrooms and plenty of natural light. This helps our residents feel more comfortable and at ease when they move to a community. You'll also find easy-to-navigate floor plans, areas where seniors can participate in everyday activities, and walls painted in cheerful, soothing colors.

Relationship-Rich Care
Because we’re all unique, we believe in providing quality care that caters to each individual resident. Sometimes that means using a different approach for one person than we would for another. It's all with the goal of getting to know each resident for who they are and incorporating their individual needs and interests into their care plan.

Consistent Care Assignments
We don’t just hire good people; we invest in quality training and education, offering staff initial and ongoing training to help them keep up-to-date on the latest dementia care techniques. Through our consistent care assignments, your loved one will often work with the same care partner, whenever possible, on a regular basis, which helps encourage familiarity and person-centered partnerships.

Engaging Activities
As a resident, your loved one will have a full social calendar that changes regularly. Our residents stay engaged with a gentle daily structure of planned activities to help them maintain their abilities and encourage the use of their current skills. Brain games, dancing, art classes, and music programs are just a few of the ways our residents enjoy their days. Residents are also able to safely enjoy time outdoors whether it’s walking or gardening because of our secure outdoor spaces.

woman outside with caregiver

Clare Bridge: Our Evidence-Based Approach

Clare Bridge is our exclusive brand of Alzheimer's and dementia care. Developed over 30 years ago by a well-renowned gerontologist, our memory care program has continued to evolve based on the latest research and learnings. One of our main goals is to help our residents feel a sense of belonging while providing safe activities to help maintain their abilities and encourage them to use their current skills.

One unique aspect about this program is that each day residents enjoy a gentle structure of six planned programs. Having a daily, structured routine is a great way to help your loved one feel a sense of security knowing they are right where they need to be. Your loved one may participate in a morning cognitive workout with discussions and brain stimulating games, followed by a physical activity through our exclusive B-Fit program then art classes, music time and reading groups to finish out the day. We also offer secure outdoor spaces where your loved one can safely walk, garden and enjoy nature.

What is Crossings?

Discover how this Alzheimer’s and dementia program can help someone you love.

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“When my mom moved to Brookdale, she got involved in activities I never thought she would enjoy. Her community hosted parties with lots of dancing, and I had never seen my mother dance. But as a young girl, she was very fond of dancing. So when she came here and those parties were held almost every week, she really had an opportunity to thrive.”


Nelson, son of a Brookdale resident

Making The Right Choice for Them

Discover our person-centered approach to memory care

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Common Questions About Memory Care

Assisted living communities are designed for seniors who are relatively independent, but may need some assistance with daily tasks, like bathing, dressing and managing medication. Assisted living is ideal for those who are looking to make the most of their retirement by living closer to other people in the same stage of life, while getting access to quality care, great onsite amenities, and interesting activities happening at the community.

 

Memory care communities are specifically designed for seniors living with Alzheimer's or dementia. They feature safe and secure environments where staff can closely monitor the health of the residents. You'll also find programs, activities, and events that are designed to help memory care residents work on their cognitive abilities, while also getting to enjoy passions and hobbies. Staff typically are specially trained to provide the quality care needed for seniors with memory loss.

Memory care features can vary from location to location. Sometimes they are stand-alone communities, and sometimes they are part of a larger community with more levels of care. They often include safety features like emergency alert systems; secure outdoor spaces and keypad entry; personalized programming; and easy-to-navigate features like color-coded hallways and spacious hallways. They also include accommodations for seniors in both the early and late stages of dementia.

As much as we wish there was a cure for Alzheimer’s, the best thing a memory care community can do is provide opportunities for your loved one to maintain or experience improvement in their current skills. Research has shown that living in a community can reduce the amount of medication a resident needs, increase their overall health and wellness with proper nutrition and exercise, and provide increased social interaction that leads to lower levels of depression and isolation.

The cost of memory care depends on several different factors, including location, floor plan and how much care your loved one needs. The good news is that our residents only pay for the services they actually need. 

This is one of those tricky questions that only you can answer. It’s important to do your research before coming to a final decision. But we can tell you that as the disease progresses, the amount of time, energy and resources required to provide quality care will increase. This often creates more stress for the caregiver and could compromise the otherwise high quality of life your loved one could enjoy in a memory care community.

Our communities incorporate several features to help keep your loved one safe, like including emergency alert systems in each apartment. The majority of our communities also have enclosed outdoor courtyards so residents can explore in a secure environment.

Many caregivers think that a private suite is always the better option for their loved one, but research has shown the value of companionship for seniors living with Alzheimer's or dementia. Sharing an apartment with a roommate can sometimes give residents a greater sense of purpose and lead to deep and lasting friendships. Companion suites can also be more budget-friendly!

Most memory care communities provide educational materials and outreach for families exploring senior living options, but you still need to do your research. Consider what specific items are on your wish list, taking into consideration your loved one’s individual needs and any activities, treatments or accommodations that you believe are important. For more information on finding the right memory care community, visit our Find the Right Memory Care Community page.

Further Reading

How do you know if you or a loved one need memory care?

How will my loved one spend their time in a memory care community?

The cost of dementia care can vary, but there are several ways to afford it.