My mother, Donna-81, is in a senior living place where meals are provided. She has dementia and doesn't remember what she had for breakfast; but recalls past experiences very well and is well aware of her children and surroundings. Her 5 children share in visits with her with my sister living the closest being assigned her fiduciary and handles all of her affairs. Her routine has become her lifeline, but we do not want to wait too late for memory care; too late being she goes for a walk and..

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Are you asking how much longer you should wait? Many of my residents with dementia (who live in memory care) know their kids and recall past experiences very well, so that’s not a good judge of when she needs to move. The best judge is her ability to A.) fit in with the other residents there and B.) if she’s an “elopement” risk, like is she going to walk out the door and get lost?

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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