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When is it Time to Move to Assisted Living or Memory Care?

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

It is sometimes hard to know when you or a loved one should consider moving into an Assisted Living or Memory Care home. Do you wait for a major health or safety concern? Maybe moving prior to a crisis would be best? What triggers the need to start looking and then to make the actual physical move from one's home to another location?

For many individuals and families there is no one trigger, but often it is a multitude of items that begin to add up over time. These include the following areas:


As we age our social circles begin to decline sometimes due to lack of mobility, mortality, or distance. However, it is very important that seniors stay socially, mentally, physically, and emotionally active. Studies show that when this occurs it can lead to enhanced quality of life and reduce the speed of cognitive decline.

At The Koselig House, we provide many ways for our residents to stay socially active and stimulated mentally, physically, and emotionally. Our daily Life Enrichment programming is tailored to what each resident likes to do and our team is trained in ways to approach and communicate with them to increase participation. In addition, our residents stay connected to the surrounding communities of DeForest, Madison, and Sun Prairie, Wisconsin through planned outings to local restaurants, museums, theaters, and more!

Even just the simple act of dining with others can be a benefit to the person, who normally would eat alone. This increase of socialization at the breakfast bar or dining room table evokes smiles and conversation that would not normally occur. In addition, the setting also lends to an increase in appetite and at The Koselig House, our Culinary Experience includes meals, snacks, and beverages which have been selected by a Registered Dietician to be both nutritious and delicious!

Maintenance and Mobility

Keeping up the interior and exterior of one's home can be more than just a chore. It can lead to safety and mobility concerns that may prohibit the person from remaining in their home. In addition, it becomes very important that spaces within the home support the needs of those living there. If they become crowded with items this can lead to increased falls. Stairs can pose a problem for those who need mobility devices like a walker, cane, or wheelchair. Lastly, cleanliness can cause health and hygiene concerns if the person is no longer able to maintain the home or themselves in an appropriate manner.

When one moves into an Assisted Living or Memory Care home they are no longer tasked with any maintenance or housekeeping concerns. Just like at The Koselig Home, most Assisted Living and Memory Care homes are either one level or have an elevator for residents to use and must meet all ADA accessibility standards.


Typically the mitigating factor for choosing to move to an Assisted Living or Memory Care home is due to a safety concern. Below are items to consider that could trigger such a move:

  • Is the person unable to maintain their hygiene and appearance?

  • Is there abundance of TV watching or napping? Does this result in them being up at night?

  • Is there a lessening of outside interaction with people or things they used to enjoy?

  • Is the person having more difficulty doing their normal chores around the house (i.e. washing dishes, cleaning the toilet, changing linens, sweeping and/or vacuuming the floor, etc.)?

  • Is someone else doing the driving, shopping, errands, and/or meal preparation?

  • Is the person becoming unsafe in their current living situation (i.e. falling more often, leaving the stove or oven on, opening the door to strangers, giving out money or information to telemarketers, eating spoiled food, etc.)?

  • Is the person becoming suspicious or exhibiting other abnormal behaviors related to paranoia, delusions, or hallucinations?

  • Is the person leaving the house or apartment without knowing where they are going, at odd times, dressed inappropriately, or without anyone's knowledge?

  • Is the person experiencing unknown bruising, cuts, scrapes or multiple falls?

  • Is the person requiring assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, toileting, dressing, medication management, etc.? Can the person find the help they need?

  • Is the person's healthcare power of attorney activated? In Wisconsin, activation means that two physicians or a physician and a psychologist have personally examined the person and signed a statement that says the person is incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for themselves.

  • Do you or the person feel that they would benefit from consistent, trained assistance with their grooming, medication, physical, mental, and/or safety needs?

  • Do you or the person believe that increased social interaction and activities would enhance their quality of life?

  • Do you or the person feel that consistent nutritious meals and snacks would be of help to the overall health and wellbeing of the person?

  • Is the person(s) (aka caregiver) providing additional supports and/or care feeling overwhelmed, untrained/uncomfortable, in poor health, or exhausted?

If you have answered "Yes" to more than 3 of the above questions, it is time to consider moving to an Assisted Living and/or Memory Care home. It is important to realize that the walls of the home cannot provide the supports the person needs to live a safe and high quality of life.

They now need PEOPLE to support and assist them. What is on the walls can come with the person and will continue to spark memories and make their new living space feel like home. However, by engaging the PEOPLE and services provided at an Assisted Living and Memory Care home like The Koselig House, you will be ensuring they have the care and socialization that they need, when they need it and to continue to live a joy filled life!


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