Mom had a stroke in 2009 which left her with short term forgetfulness. She's 93 now and was suggested she be moved into memory care which puts her in with residents that act out, have no language. She loves to sit and visit but almost everyone cannot. She's frightened and is declining due to lack of stimulation. I'm beside myself trying to find a place that suits her.

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Go to your local library. They should have a Senior Guide booklet behind the counter (free) that has listings for AL, Memory Care, Caregiver Services, Nursing Homes, etc.
So much easier to have it all listed in front of you with location, services, prices, etc.
A county social worker may be of some help with suggestions.
Also, "A Place For Mom" helped me find the Senior housing (before the memory care) and a Health plan social worker actually recommended her m/c in Rosarito. (We live in Tijuana, so it was an option for us.)
Try to utilize all the resources you can. Good luck.
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I so appreciate all of concerned replies. My brother and his wife have come for a visit and it's been a great help to talk this out with them also. I've shared all the responses with them. We're doing a lot of thinking right now. Thank you all.
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Hi Linda,
I had the same experience. At the time I had to move her, my mom was still more alert and somewhat communicative (stage 5 Alzheimer's). We were up against the money issue. She had too much money to qualify for a government assistance placement, so they wanted her to "spend down" the few thousand dollars she had, so she would qualify. I checked into what she would qualify FOR and found out she would share a room with one or two women in a board and care. Knowing my independent mother, that would have never worked. She had lived alone for 30 years before the Alzheimer's started, so she would never accept someone else in "her" room.. Later she lived in a (non-assisted) senior apartment building. The manager was was telling me story after story of her confusion. I was checking on her 3-4 times a week and it just became too much to try to figure out where she put the phone (she wrapped it up in a flannel sheet and put it in the closet), find the Visa bills (hidden in the cracks of the couch), etc. She was telling people that I had physically abused her and stole her pain meds. The option I chose was a small memory care facility in Rosario, Mexico. The price is very reasonable, she did not have to spend down her money and she gets great care. They have a great English speaking gerontologist who oversees the residents and most of the staff speaks English also. The first place I checked out, all the residents had lost most of their function. This place had a few ladies who spoke English that were still able to carry on a "conversation" of sorts. Mother is not a visiting or socializing type, so she rarely engages them, except at meals.
It's a darn tough call of where to place them. There is no perfect place. Good luck.
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zytrhr, I hope if ever I reach my 90's that I can do whatever I want, be it watching TV all day... or eating ice cream for breakfast.

My Dad [90's] had dementia, and he was so happy to move into senior living after living in a house of his own for over 70 years, doing all the maintenance and the yard work. Now he could watch TV all day if he wanted, and he was happy as a clam doing that. Of course, if his personal caregiver said it time for a walk, he knew he better get his rolling walker ready :)
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I might consider what is causing your mom to be declining and frightened. It could be the normal course of what she was going to experience anyway or it could be the adjustment to a new place. Of course, things like stimulation and having people to converse with could be making her unhappy too, but, I'd try to confirm that before making a decision on the Memory Care.

Did your mom have a formal assessment to determine what her needs are? That might help. It often depends on the state as to what their requirements are for regular Assisted Living, as opposed to Memory Care AL. In NC there are rules about how much assistance a resident needs to be able to stay in regular AL. For example, to stay in regular AL you can't be double incontinent. One is okay, but not both. Also, you have to be able to transfer from a wheelchair with the assistance of one person. If more is required, you can't stay.

Also, some residents with dementia require more time and attention than others. They may need extra time from staff to get them out of bed, dressed, bathed, etc. Regular AL is not as equipped to work with each patient when they are scared, confused and resistant to care. In regular AL, I would get almost daily calls about my cousin saying she didn't want to get out of bed, didn't want to shower, seemed frightened. They just were not trained or prepared for someone who was at that level. Memory Care staff are trained, they get it and they know how to work with the patient. They seem equipped to care for the person who needs that type of care.

There are other considerations as well. Some dementia patients are not able to do things like feed themselves, Memory Care does that. They may also not be able to keep themselves safe. Like they may eat soap, toothpaste, lotion, etc. So, in Memory Care, the residents are protected from things like that. Also, the Memory Care residents in some states receive a better staff/resident ratio than regular AL.

I'd explore the options, get a professional assessment and see what type of place your mom really needs, considering her condition.
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Are they sat in front of the tv for hours on end as well?
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I understand your concerns
I placed my 93 year old mom in memory care in February as she wasn't accepting of caregivers in the house
I have regretted it since but there doesn't seem to be a good solution
The men and women can get violent and their behavior often goes unchecked
I now have private aides with her 12 hours a day to keep her safe and provide some company
Very few can communicate and contrary to the sales pitch - staff doesn't engage residents - they largely ignore them
Other facilities I've visited seem like the residents are wheelchair bound and non communicative which would be horribly depressing for a more active person
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Who recommended the memory care unit? Why? The most common reasons for placing someone with dementia (of any kind) into a memory care facility is 1) they are a wandering risk, and they need a secure environment where comings and goings are carefully monitored or 2) their behavior is disruptive. If neither of these apply to your mom then I would question carefully why this recommendation was made for her.

The father of a member of my local caregiver group was placed in memory care. After a week or so he called his clinic, waded through the complex phone menu and actually succeeded in talking to his doctor. He complained that he was much more functional than the other residents and his doctor moved him into assisted living, where he lived the rest of his life.

More than half of all residents in Assisted Living or Nursing Homes have dementia. They can be cared for just fine there and generally do not need the closer observation that memory care provides (unless they wander or are disruptive).

Where was your mom before she moved into memory care?

I really hate to think of people in memory care unless they really can't function safely elsewhere.
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