When to Move To A Memory Care Facility

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In most cases dementia is a condition that develops gradually making it easy to miss, or misunderstand, signs and symptoms – especially in the early stages.

By the time you notice a family member or loved one demonstrating memory loss, confusion, agitation, personality changes, and other dementia-related symptoms it is often a sign you will eventually need to alter their living situation to accommodate these, and future, changes.

As Alzheimer’s and dementia impact more of the brain there may be a point where the individual simply can’t live on their own.  Some families consider a move assisted living, which can be helpful, however, not all specialize in the caring for those with memory loss.  At a memory care facility, your loved one is cared for by staff who are trained and experienced in caring for patients living with dementia. This includes everything from how to best communicate and encourage, appropriate activities to beat boredom and important safety and health considerations.  

Below we outline some top signs a memory care facility might be a a good fit for your loved one.

You Constantly Worry About Them Getting Lost or Wandering

memory care richmond va
Secure courtyard at The Memory Center, Richmond

Those living with dementia can forget where they are or become disoriented and frightened.  In many instances this can lead to wandering, which can put them in dangerous situations.  Wandering is often a response to a physical need, such as wanting a drink of water, the desire to look for a familiar face or triggered by a past memory (such as needing to get to work on time). 

Aside from getting lost, wandering can also lead to dangerous falls or other injuries.

Memory care facilities, such as The Memory Centers, are designed with safe places for walking, safety measures such as eliminating trip hazards and equipped with security features.  In addition, staff are trained to recognize the signs of potential wandering and know how to re-direct the individual with appropriate activities, music and conversation. 

They Are Neglecting Their Health & Hygiene

Adults with dementia and memory loss may also forget to take care of themselves or lack the skills to do so.  They may forget to take prescription medications on time, take too little or too much.  You may also notice them skipping meals and no longer able to adhere to a well-balanced, nutritious diet.

Other signs include unkempt hair, wearing dirty, mismatched clothes or clothes inappropriate for the season such as winter coats in the middle of summer.  This are indicators their dementia is likely interfering with day to day personal care.

If your loved one is neglecting their health and hygiene, a memory care facility can support them with medication management, proper nutrition, bathing, toileting and other important aspects of their health.

Their Current Living Situation Or Level Of Care Is No Longer Enough

Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s and dementia progress, so does the level of care needed for the individual.  Care you were once able to manage at home, with occasional hired help, or even with assisted living, become inadequate.  The later stages of the disease will eventually require around the clock care, specialized care.

In some instances remaining in their current living situation can become dangerous not only for the individual but for their primary caregiver.  Even if renovating a home to eliminate falls on stairs, trip hazards and slips in the shower were financially feasible, many caregivers simply aren’t able to handle the physical demands that accompany around the clock care. 

Memory Care Doesn’t Mean They Can’t Live Well With Alzheimer’s and Dementia

when to choose memory care
The Memory Center, Virginia Beach

At The Memory Centers we get to know the person for who they are today, not who they used to be.  Each day is designed to inspire purpose and full of daily activities, music, games and events to focus and engage the aging mind, which also eases common symptoms of boredom and agitation.

Our atmosphere is peaceful, natural, and filled with sunlight including safe access to an outdoor courtyard and secure walking trails.

If you are considering a memory care facility in Richmond/Midlothian, Virginia Beach or Johns Creek/Atlanta, contact us for more information about our specialized programs. 


Recent Alzheimer’s Statistics

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Alzheimer’s and dementia will affect everyone at some point.  Whether it is a friend, neighbor, parent, loved one or you work with as a caregiver – someone you know, love or care for will be impacted.

These Are the Facts and Figures About Alzheimer’s

Even though the statistics are scary it is important to stay informed.  The more you know about Alzheimer’s and dementia the more you can recognize early warning signs, separate Alzheimer’s facts from myths, or learn how to handle the emotional diagnosis of a loved one.

Here’s a Great Infographic from the Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer s Facts and Figures

How Many Americans Have Alzheimer’s Disease?

The Alzheimer’s Association reports more than 5 million Americans are living with the disease and someone in the U.S. develops the disease every 66 seconds.   This is why The Memory Center communities are dedicated to providing care specifically to those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

People with dementia struggle to separate memory from the physical state of present-day living and research shows meaningful, structured activities focus and engage the aging mind, which eases common symptoms of boredom and agitation.  All Memory Center programs are designed to inspire purpose, validate actions and invigorate while providing the highest quality of life for residents.

Schedule a Tour of an Alzheimer’s Facility

Contact us to get more information on our programs in Virgina Beach, Richmond, VA or Atlanta, GA.  Or read more about our structured daily activities designed to help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to live well.

Contact The Memory Center

Join Us For A Trees For The Cause Social

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alzheimer's donation midlothian va
Download full size flyer.

Join The Memory Center Richmond for a special holiday event and help us give back to the Alzheimer’s Association!

Channel your creativity and join in decorate a small Christmas tree anyway you like.  Drop your decorated tree by The Memory Center, Richmond by December 1st.

Beginning December 2nd all donated trees in our lobby through December 15th. Stop by and to view the trees and choose your favorites.  If you see a tree you like, purchase a raffle ticket for only $10 and the tree could be yours to take home.  All raffle ticket proceeds go the Alzheimer’s Association.

The raffle will take place during our Holiday Social on December 13th from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m..  You may also purchase raffle tickets at the social.

Download the attached flyer or call 804-378-5100 for more information.

The Memory Center, Richmond is located next at  13800 Bon Secours Drive (adjacent to St. Frances Medical Center) in Midlothian, VA 23114.

Daily Activities For People With Alzheimer’s

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Caring for a spouse or family member with Alzheimer’s has many challenges.  Keeping them safe, bathed and well fed can be difficult, but finding ways to keep your loved one busy and engaged during the day can be just as difficult.

My Spouse Doesn’t Want To Do Anything

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s family members may notice their loved one withdrawing from activities they used to enjoy.

It is important to realize that people with memory loss often do have the desire to participate but can become withdrawn.  They may no longer be able to perform the activity on their own or can’t remember how.  A person who insists they don’t want to participate might be doing so because they are anxious or afraid.

memory care richmond va

To stave off boredom, caregivers need to take an active role in planning and initiating appropriate activities on a daily basis.  This can mean modifying activities they used to enjoy or working with them to complete the task.

If your spouse used to enjoy long walks in the park but now seems dis-interested, suggest a short walk around the block or a walk to the mailbox for example.

Incorporate Activities That Provide A Sense Of Purpose

People with Alzheimer’s and dementia want to contribute to everyday life and be a valuable part of the family.  If there are day-to-day activities they can still complete on their own and seem interested in doing, encourage them to do often.

Activities like sweeping, folding laundry, stacking newspapers, wiping kitchen counters or tables are activities many people find their loved one enjoys and can complete.  If they enjoy sweeping the kitchen floor it is perfectly acceptable to ask them to help you sweep more than once a day.

Let the person know what they are doing is helpful and meaningful.  For example, if they are wiping the kitchen table say “Thank you for helping keep the table clean.”   Even if it is the 10th time the table has been cleaned that day.

Don’t Worry About The End Result

Caring for someone with memory loss is hard and it isn’t uncommon for family members to not understand what their loved one can or cannot do.  Especially during the early stages of the disease when some days may seem better than others.

If someone is engaged in an activity they enjoy and doing it differently than they used to, don’t emphasize the end result or worry if it isn’t perfect.

They may like to set the table but you find it set with different sized plates, soup spoons, and no forks.  Don’t worry about what needs correcting or make a point to show them what they did wrong, just encourage them to continue.  Keeping them engaged is more important than showing them what they did wrong.  Even if you correct them several times they might remember the next day.

Pay Attention To Mood

If you pick an activity and find your loved one become agitated don’t force them to continue.  You can stop and try another activity.  Caregivers should also pay attention to the time of day and mood.  Most people have certain times of the day when they are more apt to participate or just seem happier.  Take note of these and try to encourage more activities during these times.

Activities to Try

The Alzheimer’s Association has a list of 100 activities caregivers and loved ones might want to try.  Some include:

  • Simple baking recipes incorporating measuring and stirring
  • Craft projects like stringing Cheerios, stringing beads or coloring can be soothing
  • Sorting – anything from cards, socks, beads, checkers, buttons or different color shapes cut from construction paper
  • Spending time outside taking walk, or helping in the garden. Pulling weeds, then planting seeds or their favorite flowers
  • Singing familiar songs from the past and reminiscing about their family or favorite memories.
  • Clip coupons or cut pictures from old magazines or catalogs

Visit our Typical Day page for more ideas and an overview of The Memory Center activities program, which has been specifically developed to inspire purpose, validate actions, and invigorate while providing the highest quality of life for residents.

Contact The Memory Center

Health Body, Healthy Brain Event

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memory care midlothian va
Download full size flyer.

Alzheimer’s disease touches almost everyone in some way, and many people ask what can they do to help prevent Alzheimer’s or slow the progression.As the population in the US ages and Alzheimer’s becomes more and more prevalent, these are important questions to ask.

Join us at The Memory Center, Richmond on November 9th as The Alzheimer’s Association will be here to discuss daily choices for a healthy brain and much more.

Complimentary refreshments from our brain food bar will be served. 

This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited.  Reserve your space today by contacting Stephanie Barrow at 804.378.5100 or stephanieb@thememorycenter.com.

When:  November 9th, 12 noon – 1 pm

Where: The Memory Center Richmond, 13800 Bon Secours Drive, Midlothian, VA 23114

TMC Richmond Named VALA Diamond Award Winner

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The  Virginia Assisted Living Association recently named The Memory Center, Richmond a Diamond Awards Winner at the Virginia Assisted Living Annual Fall Conference.

We are honored to receive the 2017 VALA Diamond Award for Best Practices for their Handcrafting Kindness Program!

See the video below for to see The Memory Center’s program in action and learn more about our comprehensive community dedicated to serving those living with Alzhiemer’s and other forms of dementia.

How Much Does Alzheimer’s Care Cost?

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Millions of Americans are living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. As more of the population reaches age 65 and above, instances of the disease continue to rise.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes memory loss and behavioral changes that eventually leaves the person unable to safely care for themselves.  In the early stages of the disease many spouses and family members prefer to care for their loved one at home, but as the demands of the disease increase often residential care will become necessary.

While family members want the best for their loved one, the cost of care is a very real consideration, and memory care can be expensive.

How Much Does Memory Care Cost?

The cost of living in a memory care facility depends on several factors including private vs. semi-private room, cost of living in the geographic area, level of care needed, medical supplies and more.

While there is not one specific price for memory care, SeniorHomes.com compiled the average cost of memory care by state.

The states with the most expensive median monthly memory care costs are:

  • Maine – $5,800
  • Massachusetts – $5,642
  • Vermont – $5,575
  • Connecticut – $5,344
  • Rhode Island – $5,270

The states with the least expensive median monthly memory care costs are:

  • Idaho – $3,165
  • Mississippi – $3,233
  • New Mexico – $3,440
  • South Carolina – $3,703
  • Arkansas – $3,792

Memory Care Costs in Virginia

The reported median cost of memory care in Virginia was $4,100 per month.  Keep in mind this means some facilities will cost less and some will cost more.

Comparing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Costsmemory care cost virginia

When gathering information or touring residential facilities find out exactly what is included in the monthly cost.  These costs vary from one facility to the other so knowing what is, or isn’t, included will help you accurately compare and avoid surprises later.

The Memory Center in Virginia Beach and Midlothian/Richmond offers an all-inclusive rate so families know what to expect.

Our memory care pricing includes:

  • Private & semi-private rooms including private bathrooms
  • Three daily meals, snacks, and daily ice cream socials
  • Emergency pull cord in every room
  • Memory boxes to help stimulate meaningful memories of their life
  • Utilities to include: Cable, Telephone & Wi-Fi
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Maintenance of building and grounds
  • Outings with the Activities Program
  • Items from visits to the General Store

Personal Assistance:

  • Highly trained staff to assist with activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting
  • Medication management by our certified medication technician
  • Health monitoring by an RN nurse
  • Medical oversight by physician trained in geriatric care
  • Full activities and Memories and Motion program designed by our Activities Director
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy with a physician prescription as needed
  • Hospice/End of Life Care available

The only additional costs are incontinence supplies, salon services, long-distance telephone or transportation to an individual appointment.

Find Out More About the Cost of Memory Care In Virginia

There are several options for memory or dementia care in Virginia.  The Memory Center communities provide care solely for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  Founded as the first assisted living facility devoted specifically to memory care, our program is designed to meet the challenging conditions of an aging brain with a caring, interactive community.

Utilizing the latest in science, nutrition, and interactive therapies, our daily structured activities provide meaningful purpose to those with memory loss. All Memory Center communities are built around our original Town Center and Neighborhood layout and feature focused programming and daily activities.  We get to know each resident for who they are today – not who they used to be.

Contact us to learn more about the cost of memory care, or find out more about our programs and what to a typical day looks like in our assisted living facilities.

Contact The Memory Center

Assisted Living vs. Memory Care – What’s the Difference?

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As more of the population grows older, the need for residential care, including both Memory Care and Assisted Living Care, outside the home continues to increase.  But figuring out what type of elderly care is right for you, or your loved one is difficult.  Knowing the differences between types of care, specifically assisted living and memory care, will help you choose the best option for your family.

Memory Care Vs. Assisted  Living

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is typically designed for seniors who maintain a level of independence but may need day-to-day assistance with bathing, dressing, cooking or managing medications.  The Assisted Living Federation of America defines it as “a long-term care option that combines housing, support services, and healthcare, as needed.”

Residents live in a private or shared room or apartment with a full bathroom.  Some resident rooms may include a kitchen and laundry area.

residential care for alzheimers
Assisted living doesn’t have to be boring.

Assisted living communities usually include:

  • Transportation for outings, shopping or medical appointments
  • On-site dining
  • Social and outdoor spaces where residents can gather
  • Staff to help with maintenance and housekeeping
  • On-site fitness center or exercise classes
  • Around-the-clock staff to help with needs such as bathing, dressing or toileting

If you, or your loved one, are still active but can no longer live alone without supervision or help, assisted living may be an option for you.

What is Memory Care?

Memory Care refers to long-term skilled care specifically for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia who cannot live on their own. Memory care provides around-the-clock supervised care including meals, activities, bathing and routine medical care.

Just because someone is living with memory loss does not mean they want to sit alone in a chair all day watching television. If a memory care community isn’t offering a wide variety of appropriate daily activities, residents can easily become bored and agitated.

What to Expect at the Best Memory Care Facilities?

A quality memory care community recognizes residents as the individuals they are and offers activities accessible to different levels of dementia that promote purpose and meaning. The best memory care facilities provide residents with access to art, music, and other fun activities for dementia patients.

Some assisted living communities have specially designated areas for memory care residents. Others, like The Memory Center facilities, are communities specifically designed to address the needs of those in cognitive decline.

memory care richmond
Resident dining at The Memory Center Richmond

Memory care communities should include:

  • Around the clock care for bathing, toileting, dressing and other personal needs
  • Full dining services including all meals
  • A full activities program including evening activities to reduce sundowning and agitation
  • Specially designed layout to reduce trip hazards and address safety concerns including wandering
  • Staff trained to care for those living in cognitive decline
  • Medical care

Ready to Tour a Memory Care Facility?

Considering assisted living or memory care for a loved can be a very difficult decision, and finding the right facility is important.  Not only for your loved one’s health and well being but for your own peace of mind.  The Memory Center guide to touring details what to look for on a tour and important questions to ask.

About The Memory Center

Currently, the Memory Center operates two facilities, Midlothian (near Richmond) and Virginia Beach.  Our communities provide exceptional care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  We founded the first assisted living facility devoted specifically to memory care with a program designed to meet the challenging conditions of an aging brain with a caring, interactive community.

Contact us for more information or to set up a tour.

Contact The Memory Center

Join The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement

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alzheimer's care virginia
Courtesy of http://thewomensalzheimersmovement.org

Almost every minute Alzheimer’s disease impacts a new brain in the United States, and 2/3 of these belong to women. Women are also more likely to become a primary caregiver to someone living with Alzheimer’s.

While Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia impact everyone, women are at the center of this growing epidemic.

Maria Shriver and The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement™ is on a mission to inform and educate women around the US and provide key research to find out why women are more likely to receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

You can join the Women’s Movement in the fight.  Sign up online to show your support, see tips on how to keep your brain healthy and active, get the facts on Alzheimer’s or explore tips for caregivers.

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Taking Care of Kids and Elderly Parents at the Same Time

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Taking care of your kids at home while caring for an elderly parent?  You’re a member of The Sandwich Generation, although the name sounds more appetizing than the scenario.

Adults in The Sandwich generation have children at home – or older kids maybe fresh out of the nest but still requiring support – and they also have an elderly parent who with increasing care needs. It’s a daunting and exhausting place to be – and we haven’t even mentioned the full-time workload you’re probably carrying.

We’re here to provide support.

7 Tips to Ease the Burden of Raising Kids While Caring for Elderly Parents

There is good news for The Sandwich Generation is twofold. First, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center nearly 50% of adults between the ages of 40 and 59 have a minor at home and/or an adult child they support AND have a parent 65+ who will require increasing levels of care. Just knowing you have a tribe out there can help.

Secondly, you are seen. Those of us who work in the world of senior and memory care witness first hand the burden placed upon you. We have many tips to help you take care of everyone in your family, without sacrificing the last vestiges of yourself, your energy levels and overall well-being.

Putting these 7 tips you can put into place can help ease the hardships placed on you and your family during this compressed period of time.

memory care richmond
Dining at The Memory Center, Richmond

1 – Start visiting local assisted living communities

. In the midst of crisis is one of the worst times to make big decisions. Instead, take advantage of free consultations with assisted living and memory care communities in your area. These consultations are rich with information and ideas you can put to work now while considering and developing your long-term plan. 

Visiting long term care facilities is the only way to know which one feels like the best fit for you/your parents when the time comes.  And if your parent is in the beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, these consultations give him/her some agency regarding their future – very important during a time when seniors often feel like they’re losing autonomy.

2 – Make the home safe and accessible

There are plenty of articles out there on how to remodel a home and make it accessible, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated.  With even simple changes and adjustments to your parent’s house and yard, you’ll notably decrease their risk of falling – and that decreases their risk of hospitalization or surgical interventions known to contribute to senior cognitive decline.

Some of the most easiest changes to making a senior’s home safer include installing motion-sensitive lighting, minimizing trip hazards (like exposed cords, edges of area rugs, uneven thresholds, etc.), installing handrails in toilet and bath/shower areas, building a ramp if needed, rearranging cupboards so everyday items are accessible without bending over or standing on a step stool, and providing an easier way to reach you when needed.

3 – Include your children in the process

. We often forget children are alert and aware of what’s happening in the household and to the ones they love. Even if you think you’re keeping the majority of the “heavy stuff” out of their world, they know and sense you are being stretched beyond your means.

However, even adult children don’t always know what to say or how to help. Similarly, children are just as worried and concerned about their grandparent(s) in their own way and may feel very helpless, which can cause younger children and teens to act out.

If nothing else, foster open communication in age-appropriate ways about what’s happening to grandma and/or grandpa, how you are feeling and about how difficult this situation is at times. The more open and communicative your family is, the more supportive and connected it can remain – even during the toughest moments. If they’re old enough, engage children in helping to provide care and companionship, if they’re young – find little things they can do to be useful. We recommend reading, alz.org’s, Helping Your Children or Grandchildren. The tips are universal for any family coping with dementia or Alzheimer’s – whether you’re sandwiched or not.

4 – Make taking care of yourself a priority

You know the airplane safety spiel about fastening your oxygen mask first, and then ensuring everyone around you has fastened theirs? Use it as a metaphor for your current life. If you think things are emotionally and financially challenging now, imagine what it would be like if you wound up succumbing to serious medical issues as a result of over stressed caregiver depletion. It happens all the time to primary caregivers and it leaves their loved ones in a major lurch.

Primary caregivers must make their well-being a priority so they remain healthy, balanced and as centered as possible through this phase of the journey. That means eating a well-balanced diet, finding ways to get a little exercise in (some days, that might  mean parking in the furthest spot to walk a little longer or taking the stairs instead of the elevator) and finding a way to clear 5- or 10-minutes of quiet-time amidst the busy-ness. Joining an Alzheimer’s support group can also provide a wealth of emotional support and bolstering.

5 – Take advantage of respite care options.

If your parent hasn’t relocated yet, contact local home care agencies to ask about their respite care services. Respite care providers give primary spouse and/or family caregivers the opportunity to focus on their regularly scheduled lives. In your case, this means more time to have dinner with the family, attend academic and extracurricular activities, go to bible study or religious events and to gain more quality time with the kids.

It can also serve as a baby step of sorts, a means of getting you and your parent accustomed to letting someone else help out with everything from companionship, driving and medication reminders, to meal preparation, bathing, dressing and toileting – all the things that may need to be taken over as your parent’s condition progresses.

tips for caregivers

6 – Imagine you’re meeting your parent for the first time

Whether a parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, suffering from the crippling grief from the loss of a spouse and/or peers, or is simply frustrated s/he can no longer do the things s/he loved – The ability to take big steps back is an amazing skill-set for children caregivers to develop.

Imagine you’re meeting your parent for the very first time. See your parent as s/he is now – while keeping your memories sacred. This will help you to find new ways to connect, explore creative ways to communicate, and establish deeper means of cultivating compassion with who they are – and what they’re capable of – in each moment.

7 – Be gentle with yourself

You’re under a tremendous pressure – not to mention emotional duress. Also, you are human. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself – and always forgive yourself in the moments you aren’t at your best.

Please visit our News Feed for more resources on Alzheimer’s and dementia care. You can also contact us to schedule a tour of The Memory Center communities in Atlanta, Richmond or Virginia Beach




When to Move To A Memory Care Facility

In most cases dementia is a condition that develops gradually making it easy to miss, or misunderstand, signs and symptoms – especially in the early stages. By the time you...



Recent Alzheimer’s Statistics

Alzheimer’s and dementia will affect everyone at some point.  Whether it is a friend, neighbor, parent, loved one or you work with as a caregiver – someone you know, love...



Join Us For A Trees For The Cause Social

Join The Memory Center Richmond for a special holiday event and help us give back to the Alzheimer’s Association! Channel your creativity and join in decorate a small Christmas tree...



Sign up for e-mail updates, news and tips from The Memory Center.

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