When an older family member is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it can be the beginning of a long journey with numerous unknowns. Most people have never experienced having a loved with a progressive cognitive condition. In many families, there is a desire to care for the affected person at home. Even though it can be very challenging, many families are willing to do it.
For most older people who are living with dementia, their need for professional caretaking will grow over time. Often when the cognitive impairment reaches an advanced stage, the ability to keep a loved one at home becomes extremely difficult on every level including physical, emotional, and financial.
What is Memory Care?
Memory Care is a specialized care type typically for older adults with memory-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Memory Care residents live on-site in a community where they have 24/7 care, a safe environment, trained specialized staff, and access to memory-enhancing activities.
It can be very confusing to determine when it is best to transition an older person from home to a Memory Care setting.
Let’s look at 5 signs that it might be time to consider moving your loved one to a Memory Care community.
The 5 Signs
Neglecting Personal Care
Memory loss can lead people with dementia to forget about personal hygiene. Common things include forgetting to bathe, change clothes, or clean themselves after using the bathroom. Some people also struggle to do their hair. Some seniors may feel too embarrassed to ask for help.
It is quite common for people with dementia to wander off from their homes and become lost, as the illness causes them to lose their ability to recognize people and familiar places. This behavior takes a toll on caregivers since wandering can lead to dangerous situations. Memory Care communities have both indoor and outdoor designated spaces to keep residents safe.
Older people with dementia should have access to a diet that takes into consideration any medical conditions that are present. A decline in cognitive function can cause a person to forget to eat or even to overeat, which can lead to unhealthy shifts in weight. Other physical changes to be mindful of include physical weakness, struggling to complete simple tasks, and loss of mobility.
Memory Care communities offer residents high-quality meal services, as well as opportunities to exercise and receive physical therapy to maintain strength.
Many seniors who start showing signs of cognitive decline forget to take their medications or consume more than is needed. Memory Care settings have trained staff who are responsible for ensuring that all residents take their medication properly.
Maintaining a loved one’s safety is always a top priority for family members. Older people with dementia may wander off, forget to shut off appliances, or could trip and fall. It is also common for them to start hoarding, forget to clean, and even eat spoiled food. Memory Care settings provide a highly safe and structured environment for those living with dementia.
How We Can Help
The caring and compassionate staff at Frontier communities can help families determine if a Memory Care setting is the right decision for their loved one. We are here to support every step of the way during a family’s journey with the illness of dementia.
If you would like to learn more, we invite you to call or visit a community near you, take a tour and speak with our highly experienced and friendly staff about your loved one’s specific situation.