Second Home operates similarly to local real estate agents, but tailored to assisted living, board and care, and memory care facilities. All at no-cost to you!



Do you have a senior loved one in your life who suffers from symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia? Are you or your loved one starting to question their safety at home due to memory loss and other cognitive problems?

Memory care is professional personal and medical care rolled into one facility specifically to help patients with moderate to severe dementia.

In the following article, we will be addressing frequently asked questions regarding memory care and providing detailed answers to assist seniors, friends, and family members with navigating the world of memory care and to help them make educated decisions for themselves or on behalf of their loved ones.


Memory care is a specialized form of residential long-term care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Memory care can be encompassed in a stand-alone facility or be a dedicated wing in another general long-term care facility.

As dementia progresses in a senior, cognitive decline can become so severe that the individual is unable to care for themselves. Furthermore, loved ones, family members, and informal caregivers may feel at a loss as to how to properly care for this person at home.

Memory care facilities are filled with highly trained specialists who dedicate their focus on working with patients with dementia and to meet their personal and medical needs on a daily basis. Daily life is very routine and structured to minimize residents’ stress and improve their quality of life.

Prospective residents are allowed to transition to memory care from a private residence, a nursing home, a rehabilitation center, or even a hospital. The resident and their family members/caregivers must fill out the admissions paperwork.

Along with the paperwork, memory care facilities generally require a medical history and physical assessment, which can be provided by a primary physician or a specialist who can verify their medical history and cognitive-related diagnosis.

The facility will perform a needs assessment to see if the memory care unit is the right fit for the individual applying for a room. Once the resident has been accepted, then work can commence on filling out contracts.

The monthly cost of memory care widely varies per state, running an average between $3,700 and $7,000. Other factors that determine overall cost include:

  • The level of and intensity of supervised care
  • Amenities and services
  • Location and agency

Since dementia disorders are progressive in nature, it’s expected that a senior’s symptoms will worsen with time and that they will require increased care in the future. Families and informal caregivers will need to plan financially for cost increases as time passes by.

If a senior and their family are seeking a specific memory care facility separate from other long-term care communities, Medicare will not cover the stay. This is especially true for residents who are receiving assistance for symptoms of dementia and not other medical conditions that require 24/7 care.

In some skilled nursing facilities, there are designated memory care wings in which patients with dementia can be admitted. If they have a co-occurring medical condition being treated that meets policy criteria, Medicare may provide coverage. Keep in mind that memory care stays in skilled nursing are limited to however long it takes to properly treat other underlying medical issues.

For many seniors seeking memory care, they are expected to pay monthly fees privately. There are multiple ways to gain financing for memory care, including:

  • Medicaid: partial coverage that varies per state.
  • VA benefits: partial to full coverage depending on pension.
  • Life insurance: withdrawing and liquidating savings.

Prospective residents have the option of liquidating other assets they may have in order to finance their stay. Families and seniors should consult with potential memory care facilities to gain full understanding of their payment structures and tax deductible information.

Memory care is a 24/7 care facility for residents who require more supervision than, say, residents at an assisted living facility. In assisted living, residents are free to roam around with little supervision whereas residents in memory care require consistent supervision for safety reasons.

Families and seniors can expect any of the following services to be provided at a memory care facility:

  • 24/7 security
  • 24/7 medical alert systems
  • 24/7 nursing
  • Recreational and social activities
  • Assistance with ADLS (activities of daily living)
  • 24/7 wandering alert systems
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Private or semi-private room accommodations
  • 3 meals per day with snacks and beverages offered throughout the day

Additional services and amenities depend on the memory care facility and if the unit is a private community or attached to another long term care unit. Some memory care communities offer:

  • Family support groups
  • Fitness centers
  • Spas
  • Music room
  • Arts and crafts room
  • Gardens and courtyard spaces
  • Full wifi services
  • Private rooms for family events or celebrations

All recreational activities are highly supervised to ensure the patients’ safety and quality of life.

Since memory care units specialize in working with individuals with cognitive deficits, staff members are highly trained in working with this population to better meet their medical and personal needs. Staff may include nursing, CNAs, contracted rehabilitative specialists (if needed and ordered by the physician), housekeeping, respiratory care (if needed), recreational staff, and nutritional staff.

Since memory care is a specialized level of care and the facilities house patients with cognitive limitations, there may be many personal belongings that are prohibited in order to keep patients and staff members safe. Sentimental items such as photos are generally allowed and encouraged. Patients and family members should consult with staff members to determine what personal belongings are allowed in to better prepare for the transition.

There are two signs that indicate that a senior with dementia may be ready for memory care: the individual is unable to care for themself safely at home, and their loved ones or informal caregivers are unable to provide enough care to keep them safe and thriving at home. Let’s take a look at the following case scenario to gain perspective:

Jonathan is a 76 year old male who has been living in his private home for the last 30 years. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 7 years ago. 3 years ago, his two adult daughters moved in with Jonathan to help him with basic activities of daily living. Jonathan’s cognitive abilities have greatly deteriorated in the last few months to the point where his daughters have to manage his medication to keep him from overdosing, have to shave his face to prevent him from overshaving, cook for him since he started that stove fire last week, and keep him on an alert system since he’s wandered out of the home a few times. His two daughters have families and their own health problems to manage and feel that it’s become too much for them. As a result, Jonathan and his two daughters start to research memory care facilities in the area.

Common safety concerns at home for an individual with dementia may include:

  • Wandering out of the home unsupervised
  • Overdosing or avoiding medication
  • Increased falls
  • Kitchen accidents
  • Increased aggression or self-harm
  • Not completing ADLs correctly and safely

Transitioning to memory care is a very personal decision that should be made with the utmost care. Patients and their family members are welcome to seek out professional advice from any medical experts on dementia disorders to see if it’s the right time to take that step.

These days, seniors and their families have choices available when it comes to selecting the right memory care facility for their loved one. Families and informal caregivers can take proactive steps and start their research with thorough questions, including:

  • Where is the facility located and is it in close proximity to family and friends?
  • What is the staff to patient ratio?
  • What is the staff turnover rate like?
  • What amenities are available at the facility?
  • What is the visitation policy?
  • How efficient is security?
  • Are the staff happy or content with the patients and with working there?
  • Is the environment pleasant, organized, clean, and free of safety hazards?
  • What are the online reviews like for this facility?
  • What is the protocol like for medical emergency situations?
  • What is transportation like?
  • What possible methods can I use to finance my stay at this specific facility?
  • What is the food like?
  • Will I be staying in a private room or will I have a roommate?
  • How do staff handle aggressive behavior?

Although your loved one may already have moderate to severe cognitive deficits, it is essential to involve them as much as possible in the selection process of their memory care facility.

Memory care facilities specifically house residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia so that staff members can tend to their cognitive-based symptoms and needs. Family members and informal caregivers can help seniors select the most optimal memory care unit by planning finances and care plans early and involving them in the process.

Words From Our Clients

Ron Ziebell
Ron Ziebell
November 1, 2021.
Second home did a great job of searching for several months for me. My mom‘s budget was pretty low but they searched and searched and finally found her a place although it was quite a ways outside of our area we were still very happy we found a place for her. Although it didn’t work out my brother and I increased her budget and I needed a new place in a hurry and second home found a place in Long Beach close to us that lowered their rates to meet our new budget. We are extremely happy with the new assistant living place she’s at with the memory care unit she needed desperately. Thank you guys for all your hard work! Ron Ziebell
Mike Grant
Mike Grant
August 12, 2021.
Second Home helped me with Alzheimer's care placement of my Father who just couldn't live safely at home with my Mother. Speaking with Erika put my mind at ease at making this tough decision as I never thought I would need to move my Father to a facility. She compared herself to a real estate agent, but for seniors, which is completely true! She guided me on different options and rates and even set me up with tours the very next day. I was always in the loop and she checked in with me each day to see how things were going/if I had any questions. Highly recommend Second Home!
Linda Koire
Linda Koire
August 1, 2021.
Second Home is and has been the most reliable business I have ever worked with. I got acquainted with them several years ago when I was searching for an assisted living facility for my brother. The compassion they showed, the knowledge they had of the industry was overwhelming. That was approximately ten years ago and my brother resides at the facility they recommended to this day. Just two weeks ago my 93 year old mother needed to be relocated as her condition worsened. I reached out to Second Home again, (??) in hopes they could help. Once again, in a matter of a few days Mike was able to locate the perfect place for Mom considering her current condition and my issue was solved! ♥️ Thank u, thank u to all the wonderful caring team at Second Home! Sincerely, Linda Koire Ojai, CA.
Neal Kerr
Neal Kerr
May 22, 2021.
I just want to say thank you to mike and his team for helping my family get my grandmother into an amazing home. We appreciate you all so much.
Heather Cohen
Heather Cohen
April 17, 2021.
This is the go-to resource for your senior loved ones housing. The company is professional and reliable. They develop a relationship with their clients that allows them to understand your needs and what your looking for in your budget! I was so happy I went with Second Home!
Amanda Joy Gilbert
Amanda Joy Gilbert
April 17, 2021.
I am so grateful for Second Homes! I am so stressed out with circumstances and they were so helpful. They had showed me so many resources and helped guide me to what would work beat for our family. My grandmother is now in a beautiful place. Thank you again Second Homes Seniors!
Linda Flores
Linda Flores
November 16, 2020.
I started looking for a care home for my mom on my own in the Torrance are of California. It was quite daunting since there is no comprehensive lists of care homes anywhere. A friend happened to provide me Justin's number so I called him, not really realizing what he did. Second Home has listings of care homes and can help you find the right one. This was a real godsend to me. I gave him mom's history, my price range and I had a list of 8 homes to contact within 24 hours. Plus I got other emails directly from other care homes. We interviewed 6, went to 4 and we then finalized our pick. Mom has been in her new home now for 2 weeks and is starting to thrive. Coming from a nursing home environment that treated her like a number, she is now in a home with only a few other residents and getting lots of attention. She lost 20 pounds at the nursing home. Now that she is in a real home that cooks homemade meals, her appetite has come back and she is looking and doing great and is positive about the future. This was the best thing we ever did for her and I could not have done it without Second Home. I am forever grateful for their help finding a wonderful home for my mother.
pearl laraneta
pearl laraneta
November 12, 2019.
First of all Justin Acuna is the best! My father is currently living with us, he is 88 years old! Justin calls me every couple of months to check in on us! I feel relieved and secure should anything change I can call Justin and he will help place my father into a wonderful, loving home. Thank for being there!
luz romero
luz romero
October 25, 2019.
Justin and the Second Home team were so supportive in assisting with finding the most suitable home for my mother. They were in constant contact with us during the home visits and selection process. Their compassion and professionalism is very much appreciated.
michelle wentz
michelle wentz
January 14, 2018.
Very helpful navigating a very difficult time. Our questions were answered honestly and thoroughly and with compassion and understanding. Defiantly recommend them for a great source of wealth and information.