When Should You Consider Memory Care Assisted Living for a Parent Diagnosed with Dementia?

Perhaps it’s your father who has been diagnosed with some type of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia and affects more than 5 million Americans right now (Alzheimer’s Association). 

Memory care assisted living could very well be something to talk about as soon as possible. If your father was diagnosed a few years ago, maybe things seemed as though your mother and you could support him properly. Yet, things change. 


With dementia, the challenges increase over time.

Assisted Living Daphne, AL: Memory Care Assisted Living

The majority of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia usually exhibit some early signs and symptoms of the disease for about one or two years before formal diagnosis. 

At the time of diagnosis, both the senior and his or her family have had some sinking suspicions for a while that something wasn’t quite right. So, it doesn’t always come as a complete shock, but it can take a while to absorb and accept. 

Also, generally at the time of diagnosis, a person with dementia may still be fully functional. They may have certain memory related challenges that require reminders and a little extra support, but it doesn’t seem anything worth talking about assisted living or a long-term memory care facility option. 

Yet, as the disease progresses, it affects memory more significantly and can begin altering behavior. In fact, some people with Alzheimer’s may become hostile and belligerent, even to the people they love the most. It isn’t deliberate and it may not be directly associated with the frustration they feel because of that memory loss. 

Memory loss can cause confusion, fear, and anxiety. Prolonged stress of this kind can cause just about anyone to snap, even at the people they love the most. 


What can memory care assisted living offer? 

First and foremost, the staff who work at memory care facilities are experienced and well-trained. They understand the progression of dementia related illnesses and diseases. 

They know about Sundowner’s syndrome and how verbal and physical outbursts may be more prevalent in the evening hours, so they encourage residents to spread out their daily tasks throughout the day, rather than waiting until bedtime to get everything done in a hurry. 

It also provides a sense of community. When seniors are surrounded by people their own age, they can often feel more comfortable, even if they aren’t fully lucid each moment. 

Assisted living is often safer for aging men and women with dementia than remaining home. The sooner you get your aging parent who has been diagnosed with dementia into an assisted living community, the better it’s going to be for them. 

They will adapt, become comfortable, and start getting used to their new living environment in time. That can be a powerful asset in helping them maintain as high a quality of life as possible during these challenging years. 


If you or an aging loved one are considering Assisted Living near Daphne, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017. 

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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