She has severe dementia and they've told us that she needs to be in the memory care unit. I am very upset but am aware that her safety comes first and that left to her own devices she will walk out. Is this typical?

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I agree with the others. I had to place my mom into a memory care unit in Sept. It took her a couple of weeks to acclimate but then she was fine. The key to her acclimating so quickly was because I took the case worker's advice & did not visit every day, so that Mom wouldn't beg me to take her home. Unfortunately, on Thanksgiving, Mom broke her ankle while at my house for dinner, underwent surgery & had to be placed in rehab. By the 3rd month in rehab, she was using a walker but her dementia took another down slide & the memory care unit couldn't take her back because she needed constant instructions of what to do (which way to turn with the walker, how to sit in a chair without falling, etc.) I was told that if my mom can be more independent, she could come back to memory care, but that isn't likely to happen. She likes the rehab/nursing center and I don't want to upset the apple cart by moving her. Sorry, I got off track here. The memory care unit was locked & you had to have a code to get in and out, so I doubt very much that your mom would succeed in escaping. There are a lot of activities in memory care units to keep her busy. Give it some time and she will get used to it, even though you may have to stay away for a week so she can get acclimated. I wish you the best!
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portulaca, my Dad was even evaluated before he was allowed to move into Independent Living to make sure he could do for himself even using a rolling walker.

Later on, it was the Staff that called me into a meeting to tell me it was time for my Dad to move into Assisted Living/Memory Care, which really surprised me. When the Staff told me he was wandering at night, then I knew moving him was the right choice.

I feel like the other writers here, surprised your Mom wasn't evaluated before being admitted.

Depending on how the facility is separated, during the day my Dad could walk around the building and the front door was locked to the building. And the elevator was locked for going down into the basement. Dad had wonderful sun rooms that he could sit in. At night time, Dad's floor was locked via the elevator, therefore everyone in Memory Care were on that one certain floor. What a relief that was for me :)
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Sue’s right. Assisted living is far below where she needs to be if she is at risk to wander. When the SNF caught my mom trying to escape once, they put an ankle monitor on her. She cut it off twice and they called me in for a meeting.

Even if at some point your mom settles down and accepts where she is, she has, unfortunately proven she’s a flight risk. No one, unless you hire a 24/7 aide, can watch her all the time. The consequences could potentially be devastating.

Also, as Sue says, your mom should have been evaluated before she was admitted. Unless she did a great job of Showboating, an exam could have shown she had the potential to wander.
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Heavens yes.

Having severe dementia, she is not a candidate for Assisted Living. She should be in a locked Memory Care facility.

I'm surprised that the AL place took her. Did she have an exam upon admission?
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