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My mom just turned 79 in August and she seems a lot younger than most of the residents of her memory care. The caregiver at the facility even said she is "young" when she heard how old my mom was. From looking at the 48 residents, it looks like there are only 2 other ladies who are younger than my mom, and the rest are older. Is 79 considered young to be in memory care? Mom can talk and knows me. She had moderate severe dementia in 2017 and has continued to progress, but just moved into memory care this year. I don't feel like this is a young age, but I feel strange when they have the family get togethers. I see the other families with their family members who are many years older, like they might be wondering, why is your mom here? I feel sad and out of place because I'm a lot younger than a lot of the adult children, and think why did this happen to mom at this age?


And, is it normal for memory care facilities to not take residents on outings and exercise/walk? When I'm not around, all mom does is sit around doing the community activities (mind games, movies, etc), and her health is deteriorating quicker. Even though I'm only 47, it makes me want to start shopping for my own place for memory care so my family knows where I want to be. I wish my mom could have shown me where she wanted to be, but does it really matter now? I feel like there aren't many choices for memory care, as they all offer similar things and have the residents stay put. And, this place is one of the better ones out there.

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my mom has been in memory care for nearly 4 years - it is private pay - they take certain residents on outings - only the early stage cooperative ones
there is a locked yard where residents are free to go outside

most residents are about 80ish - some younger and some older

your mom's facility has a good ratio at 6 to 1

many residents, my mom included, have private caregivers on top of the outrageous facility cost as understaffing is chronic especially given the behavior issues which surface with the disease
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Roseformom Sep 29, 2019
Thank you! I like the idea of hiring private caregivers. The facility says the caregivers I hire would not be able to assist my mom with anything, but at least I could have the caregiver take her for walks in or out of the facility and keep an eye on mom's care. If her teeth aren't in, the caregiver could ask the ones at the facility to do it. Thanks again for your help!
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https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/alzheimers-disease/earlyonset-alzheimer-disease

Alzheimer disease most commonly affects older adults, but it can also affect people in their 30s or 40s. When Alzheimer disease occurs in someone under age 65, it is known as early-onset (or younger-onset) Alzheimer disease.

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers/younger-early-onset

Causes of early onset including genetics
Doctors do not understand why most cases of early-onset Alzheimer's appear at such a young age. But in a few hundred families worldwide, scientists have pinpointed several rare genes that directly cause Alzheimer's. People who inherit these rare genes tend to develop symptoms in their 30s, 40s and 50s. When Alzheimer's disease is caused by deterministic genes, it is called “familial Alzheimer's disease,” and many family members in multiple generations are affected.
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There is early onset dementia for some, where it actually hits in the late 40s/50s. That is more rare. But it happens. 80 isn't "too young" unfortunately.
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The youngest person at my mom's nursing home is around my age so she would have been in her mid 50's when diagnosed with Alzheimer's, several others were in their 70's.
People with dementia can't be trusted to go on outings or walks outside the facility unless there are is very high number of staff or trained volunteers to keep an eye on them. Those of you who have mentioned facilities that do so amaze me, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to keep track of multiple people who might be prone to wander or motivated to "escape" and can't be trusted to follow directions - throw in a few bathroom breaks and incontinence difficulties just to make things interesting.

(I just wanted to add - yes there were outings at mom's NH, but unless those with dementia had someone to accompany them they weren't included)
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Reply to cwillie
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I had to move my dad into memory care at age 78. He's now 81. And yes I feel the same way when I visit. I am 52 and appear to be the youngest "kid" at my dad's facility. Most of the "kids" I meet are already retired themselves. Sometimes I have seen a few people there that I assume are visiting a spouse or sibling, but they are the kid! A lady in my dad's facility turned 102 the other day - she's old enough to be MY dad's mother! I feel totally ripped off - both for my dad and myself.
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Reply to Upstream
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Where my step dad and wife are they have outings several times a week, they have a shuttle that moves them around. It really helps them. They are enjoying the AL that they are in, same runs about 6k per month.
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Roseformom Sep 29, 2019
What is the name of their AL? Do the residents with more advanced dementia get to go on the outings as well? Thank you!
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I work as a receptionist in a Memory Care community, and my 92 year old mother is also a resident at a different place here in town. It's not normal for there to be no outings in these communities.......both of the ones I'm involved with take the residents out several times a month. My mom's community takes them for weekly scenic drives, and out to lunch or a museum at least 2x a month. The community where I work recently took them out to the Bronco's training camp for a visit. It may be time for you to shop around for another care community for your mom as the one she's in is obviously lacking. Residents should not be sitting around doing nothing while their health deteriorates! They should be kept active & engaged, for the most part.

My mother is great at showtiming...........leading others to believe she has NO business being in memory care, even though she's got moderate to severe dementia. She relies on muscle memory to make small talk with others, fooling them, in other words. She's even had care givers ask her what she's doing there...........leading me to get aggravated, to be quite honest. Nobody is going into a memory care community who does not have to be there. Period. So, let others think or believe what they'd like............your mother is where she belongs, care wise, which is all that's important, right?

At the MC where I work we have a 60 year old resident who's been here since the place opened in 2014. Dementia & Alzheimer's strike people at all ages. The why's and wherefore's of disease make no sense, so there's no point in asking 'why'. Why does a child get diagnosed with leukemia at age 6? Life on life's terms, I suppose.

Just because your mom has dementia does NOT mean you will necessarily develop dementia and require memory care! If I were you, I wouldn't be worried about such a thing at 47.

Best of luck!
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Roseformom Sep 16, 2019
Thank you for putting everything into the right perspective. And, thank you for sharing your experience with memory care facilities. At my mom's place, the ratio of caregivers to residents is 1:6. Is this similar where you are? When the bill comes in it does say SNF, but that is not what the facility is called. It is known and advertised as a memory care facility and they just focus on the needs of those with Alzheimer's and dementia. It is all memory care level, no assisted living.
A strange thing I notice is that they do not give the residents milk, only a glass of water and a glass of what looks like KoolAid with their meals. Does anyone know why they wouldn't give milk to the residents? I'm thinking of bringing this up with the director.
There is another all memory care facility in the area that does outings, but I witnessed lack of care for the residents while I was touring the facility. I live in southern CA, so maybe it's harder to find a good facility than in the area you're at.
Or, are the people going on outings in assisted living, and not memory care? All of the assisted living facilities with memory care where I live have outings for their residents. Maybe the reason there are not outings is because my mom is in an all memory care facility, no AL?
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Dementia happens at any age, some I have read are in their 30's. As far as I know there are not facilities for only those that are younger. Maybe sometime in the future. You might be surprised that some of the residents there are actually younger than you think they are.

The memory care my mom was in had outings on the fAcility bus for the dementia residents. My mom had also attended a day care facility that had outings. Eventually the day trips were stopped for mom because she would become so terribly confused and agitated following a trip. In memory care they only took mom out once because of the agitation upon returning.

There are good reasons for not having outings, but facilities have different policies and practices. Can you imagine how difficult it would be for staff returning from an outing and having ten or more agitated residents?!
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Roseformom Sep 15, 2019
Thank you! I wish the place she's at had outings or at least took her for walks during the day, especially for how much they charge, $6K/mo. And, the exercise would help her keep her muscle mass, which she has lost so much of. But, you're right about the agitation. I tried taking mom to the park a couple of months ago (she loves to pick flowers), and had to drive right back because she was being belligerent with me. As soon as we got back, she was fine. I was thinking of just my mom when asking the question, so I'm glad you brought up the other residents. As a whole, it would be very difficult to deal with a group of residents on and after an outing at this stage of dementia. Thank you for your answer.
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Thank you for your answer.
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Reply to Roseformom
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I am not sure there is any minimum age requirement for any disease. No matter what the medical community say, This disease and so many others use more of a shotgun rather than a rifle to chose the pesons age to inflict its self on its victims.

The same is true of how long a person will live after diagnoses. All of that is, in my opinion, just a WAG.

Most facilities do not have the staff to take patients on any sort of outings. At the most it is just as you have seen. All indoors and seated somewhere. Not to mention the liability insurance issues.

You could talk with the facility about you taking Mom out for things like an ice cream or burger,even a really good lunch. But it will be on you not them.

I wish you the best in what is to come.
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lealonnie1 Sep 15, 2019
Activity directors are hired expressly to take residents on outings! They also handle the day-to-day activities in the communities, but arrange outings as well.......they went out for frozen yoghurt this week and next week are scheduled for a lunch outing to a BBQ joint. Mom's place took them to IMAX and the Museum last week for an outing. Not sure where all the misinformation is coming from..........perhaps you're thinking of Skilled Nursing Facilities?
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