Memory Care: Does My Loved One Need Dementia or Alzheimer’s Care?

Discover how a memory care community in Dalton, GA provides relief and enjoyment to older adults living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

At some point, we all tend to be forgetful. Those moments might become more frequent as we age, but understanding the difference between a “senior moment” and a more serious condition is vital to giving the opportunity of a good life to our loved ones.

Orchard Ridge Residences | Senior man running with grandson outdoors
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A dementia diagnosis may alter the path of your or your loved one’s life, but it is certainly not the end of the road.

What is dementia?

According to the National Institute on Aging, “Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning.” As abnormalities in the brain worsen over time, a person with this diagnosis will require assistance to live an independent lifestyle.

What are the types of dementia?

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. The State of Georgia estimates that Alzheimer’s occurs in 130,000 of its residents, and that number is expected to nearly double within the next decade. Other forms of dementia include:

What are the signs my loved one has dementia?

Most diagnoses are given in stages three or four; if your loved one starts exhibiting these signs, a visit to your doctor is the best practice.

Stage 1
  • Normal behavior; no change
Stage 2
  • Very mild
  • Losing personal items like phone, keys, or wallet
  • Forgetting names of people you just met
Stage 3
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Repeating phrases or statements
  • Have a hard time concentrating at work
  • Forgetting appointments or getting lost driving
Stage 4
  • Moderate cognitive decline
  • Trouble remembering what they just did
  • Slower response time
  • Moodiness
  • Trouble with activities of daily living
Stage 5
  • Middle stage dementia
  • Vastly diminished problem-solving skills
  • Forgets their address, phone number, and friends and family names
  • Begins to wander or increased wandering
  • Sundown syndrome
Stage 6
  • Severe cognitive decline — late-stage dementia begins
  • Paranoia and delusions
  • Aggressive behavior and extreme mood changes
  • Incontinence
  • Doesn’t recognize loved ones or care staff
  • Pronounced memory loss
Stage 7
  • Care needed 24/7
  • Loses the ability to sit/stand/eat by themselves
  • Loses ability to communicate

*This is a guide for informational purposes and should not replace medical advice. Please consult a doctor for more information.

How is dementia diagnosed?

There’s not one catch-all test for dementia. For a proper diagnosis, you will need to consult your doctor. In some cases, your loved one may need an MRI or CT scan. A dementia test could include:

  • A physical exam
  • Questions about past illnesses and events, including talking to a family member for reference
  • Simple memory tests like repeating a set of words, drawing from memory, or asking what day it is
  • Lab tests to determine thyroid hormones, vitamin deficiencies, and much more

How quickly will dementia progress?

Eighty percent of people with dementia tend to develop Alzheimer’s within seven years. Some people are known to live up to 20 years with such a diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s usually develops slowly. However, certain factors can create rapid progression and should be addressed with a doctor as soon as possible.

What should I do if my loved one needs dementia care?

Find early-stage resources and support groups. Talking with people who have gone through similar experiences is very helpful, and caretaking is not a process to engage in alone. As dementia progresses, your loved one will require 24-hour assistance, which means they’ll need a visiting nurse, family caretakers, or professional memory care services.

Are memory care services available in Dalton, GA?

Orchard Ridge Residences is Dalton’s only standalone environment for memory care featuring:

  • Nurse on-site and specialized 24/7 associates
  • Activities of daily living assistance
  • Medication management
  • Continuous monitoring of health
  • Activities promoting memory enhancement

How does Orchard Ridge Residences provide care for dementia?

Our community is a resource for families. Because we take care of things like house cleaning, brain-healthy meals, and transportation, your loved one will have time to live in the moment and enjoy a fulfilled life.

Our activities schedule includes everyday games and hobbies like bingo and painting, but hanging out with furry friends, digging in the garden, and watching live Elvis performances are also normal. We organize activities to challenge the brain, provide relief, and trigger memories for our residents.

Will my loved one enjoy dementia care services?

The Grove at Orchard Ridge Residences is a standalone environment designed to make life easier for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents. Its openness encourages interactions with others, and families can rest assured knowing their loved ones are in a secure community. We have access to an outdoor walking trail and participate in monitored outings.


Where can I learn more about dementia care services in Dalton, GA?

We’d love to show you around. Contact Orchard Ridge Residences to learn more about our services, resources for families, and opportunities to visit. Get to know us better and follow us on Facebook.
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