Moving mom from assisted living to memory care. Facility says she is ready but OT says she is highly functional. Is it time for the move?

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My sister left me a message today that She just moved from independent care to assisted 3 months ago. OT says she is highly functional. She takes her showers, dresses herself, takes medication on her own using an alarm medication dispenser. There is no doubt she gets confused and has her memory lapses. We did see the decline when we moved her to assisted. She knows her apartment is very small and desires a 2 bedroom and loves to get out with others. I live an hour away and visit her weekly as well as have brought her to my house to spend the night a couple of times. Of course time and history run all together but as far as her dressing herself and showering at my house I have not seen a change. She also makes herself an egg and toast for breakfast at my house, turns on and off the stove. So, I do not want to make a mistake moving her to memory care which I know is restrictive and could possibly make things worse. I need you thoughts!

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It's good that you meeting with their team to find out their reasoning. I know that when my cousin went from regular Assisted Living to Secure Memory Care, it seemed to be a relief to her. She seemed instantly more content. Being with other residents who were similar to her seemed to make her feel more comfortable. I would ask them how high functioning residents would fit in.
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Thank you so much for chiming in on your thoughts. So helpful! Mom does not wander at all. We are to be talking with the facility this week or next to get their reasoning. They have a new memory care unit there and mom has been making friends with may of those that will be moving there which I think is part of the concern. But, mom is very friendly and I know she can make new friends. She just needs to stay busy which AL should be able to provide.
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Does Mother wander? Does she leave the building without supervision?

Does Mother's behavior disturb other residents?

Those are the usual reasons for moving AL residents to the memory care unit.

Of course, having more Memory openings than AL open rooms and being able to charge more for Memory care is not outside the realm of possibilities.

I'd look into the reasons very carefully. If you are not convinced, offer to reconsider the question in 60 days.
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WOW, I agree you don't want to move her to memory care too early. It is restrictive. The one thing I see is that if a resident begins to wander, the facility insists on moving them to memory care. Has this happened? More importantly, is this AL the place that has the best memory care? Often a facility excels in one area of care but 'not so much' for other care. You may have to do another search! I would ask the basis for the recommendation to move her. Keep in mind, the facility charges more for memory care, may have openings in that wing and finances may be driving the decision.
My MIL is in AL and clearly has memory issues. But she is still in that area with a lot of help from aides. From what you have indicated here, I'd say it is too early for memory care.
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I have visited several Memory Care facilities and the ones that I saw had accommodations for residents of all levels. It does sound like your mom is quite high functioning.

Based on what I have seen, Memory Care facilities are required to have written documentation of why the person is there, especially if she is receiving financial assistance or insurance coverage. Have you seen that paperwork? It lists how much assistance your mom needs with her daily care and activities and how often she needs it. I might ask the director for a meeting to sit down with the team from the facility to discuss their opinion and findings. Maybe, there has been a progression of her condition that you are not aware of.

I would think they would notify you if she is incontinent or unable to function at the level the Assisted Living facility requires. Sometimes, the resident requires more supervision and care than they can devote in regular Assisted Living. I'd find out why they believe this about your mom.

I would also visit the Memory Care facility to see if it looks like a good fit for her. Are they going to have activities that she will find amusing? One Secure Memory Care facility that I visited have a group of ladies in their rec room playing cards. They seemed very engaged, well dressed and groomed and I would never have guessed that they had dementia. But, it's not always obvious. They could have been wanderers, who have to be in a Secure facility.

I hope you find the answers you are looking for.
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