Age-related cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s and dementia doesn’t always have an immediate impact. Instead, the symptoms may take time to unfold. Symptoms also vary from person to person and moment to moment, even on the same day. So, maybe its time for memory care. You need to decide when you or your loved ones should move to a Memory Care facility. It would be best if you decide fast before it is too late.
Some significant potential warning signs state it’s time for memory care. Today we are going to give you 7 clear signs, which will help you decide whether it is time to move to Memory Care or not.
You Worry Constantly, and Your Gut Feeling Tells You
Worrying about your loved ones is common. But when you are always concerned about someone’s safety and well-being, you will know. The connection between family members is something precious which sometimes indicates it’s time.
Gut instincts never lie. You know your beloved one the best. If your gut feeling is saying it’s time to move to Memory Care, it would be wise to respect that decision. Often people are stuck in the denial phase. They cannot accept that their parents or loved ones need medical assistance in Memory Care.
Parents generally play a strong and supportive role in the family. They may not reveal that they need care services even if it hurts them.
Caregiving to someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be very challenging and stressful. It becomes hard when stages of dementia progress or symptoms worsen. The overwhelmingness and stressfulness can be a burden to caregivers. And if the caregiver expresses the stress in front of your loved one, it will definitely have a negative impact.
Caregivers have their lives too. Caregiver burnout is a serious matter to consider. It will have both a physical and mental toll on the caregiver. If you’re a carer yourself for your loved one, then you know how exhausting it can be. You must take care of yourself first before taking care of others. Also, look out if carer stress is affecting your relationships with family members and your health.
Changes in Behavior
One of the first signs that your beloved one needs Memory Care is changes in behavior. Do not ignore these symptoms like memory loss, confusion as a consequence of aging.
You may have noticed that your loved one’s behavior has changed. They might be more irritable, anxious, or angry. It is hard to keep up with their emotions, and sometimes they outburst without understanding why.
Sometimes it isn’t possible to detect the behavioral changes as stages of dementia progress or health declines. These changes can be dreadful to any family member who is seeing them after a long time.
These changes can vary, some of these changes are:
|Aggressiveness||Delusions & Hallucinations|
|Agitation & Violence||Delirium (Confusion)|
A Decline in Overall Health
One of the most common signs that memory care may be in order is if a loved one has had a decline in their health. If you notice that your loved one has become so thin or weak, you will be able to differ. Signs of dementia can lead to more chronic illnesses, which will cause moving from an assisted living facility, independent living community, or home care.
As people age and develop cognitive difficulties, they are at greater risk for developing conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. Suppose you notice your loved one has developed any new medical condition since being diagnosed with dementia (especially when it’s not related). In that case, this might also signal that it’s time for them to make a move to memory care facilities where they can get around-the-clock supervision and benefits like 24-hour nursing services and specialized therapies designed for dementia.
Some signs to look out for:
• Rapid weight loss
• Hunched posture
If you are concerned about your beloved one and thinking of long-term care, then it’s high time you consider moving to a memory care facility. In certain situations, you can also consider a nursing home that has a dedicated care service for Alzheimer’s disease. Most nursing homes don’t have dedicated facilities for dementia; ensure checking first.
Isolation and No Social Life
We actually can’t think of the situation a dementia patient goes through. The world becomes confusing to them. Social interaction becomes difficult, and they isolate them. Isolation can lead to loneliness and depression. According to the American Society on Aging, 34% of people with dementia are socially isolated.
Lockdown isolation can cause shocking levels of decline for people with dementia. If you move your loved ones to Memory Care, they can have a vibrant and interactive social life. These facilities have an engaging calendar filled with activities designed to keep the older adults active. All the activities are meaningful and help to reduce some of the symptoms.
Problems with Wandering
People with dementia will often wander around without having a clue whatsoever. This is very dangerous for them because they can get lost or even hurt while wandering. If it is winter or extremely hot outside, it would be really difficult for them if they wander.
Some signs to look out for
• Constant pacing
• Leaving the house and not realizing how to get back
• Getting up in the middle of the night to go outside without a reason
• Repeatedly asking “where am I?” when inside their own home
Memory Care facilities will keep them secured. They will have 24/7 supervision and expert care. They will have a place to roam around. They will also have a lot of activities and programs to take part in.
Personal Care and Living Conditions
One of the ways to decide if someone needs memory care is by evaluating their ability to take personal care and daily living conditions. If you often see rotten food in the refrigerator, dishes piled up, or they have not taken care of their hygiene, you will know by seeing the trend that it is time.
They will lose the ability to carry out their ADL and IADL. They might want to do a certain task but would ask you how to do it since they have forgotten the procedure. Signs such as forgetting to bathe, change clothes or feed themselves are indicators. Often people with Alzheimer’s Disease may have a hard time doing these by themselves. They could become sick if not taken care of.
Some signs to look out for:
• Not taking care of their beloved pet or trees.
• Mails are piling
• Bills are unpaid
• Can’t properly take medications
• The household is a mess.
• Falling for scams
It will depend upon their conditions. You will know by their living conditions. Suppose if your loved one has OCD and now s/he is not even taking care of things around her. So, it’s a sign.
What Is Involved in Memory Care
Memory Care is a type of senior living that provides thorough and dedicated care for people with memory issues.
Every aspect of Memory Care facilities is purposefully designed in a structural way to keep the residents in a safe and routined lifestyle. There is no definite cure for dementia. Thus memory care provides a healthy lifestyle and battles dementia through organized activities.
Some common features of memory care are:
|Doors with alarms||24/7 monitoring and support|
|Secured elevators with pin||Memory enhancing therapies|
|Outdoor space for residents to roam||Healthy diet plans|
|Tracking bracelets for residents||Housekeeping|
|Dedicated activities catering to unique cognitive conditions||Assistance with activities of daily life|
How Do You Tell Your Parents that Its Time for Memory Care?
Practice how you are going to convince him/her. Make your family involved. Make sure it is the right time and place to talk. And ensure that your tone welcoming, and him/her feel valued. Uphold the facilities of Memory Care and why s/he will love those. If s/he has a favorite person, make them a part of the conversation as well.
Here are some tips you can follow:
- Seek support from your siblings and family members
- Keep their loved ones in the conversation
- Listen to your parents and practice listening in a respectful way
- Make the doctor or any credible source tell them it is needed
- Find a suitable time and place to talk (talk in person)
- Be prepared for their concerns (Study and research)
- Empathy, not sympathy. Talk in a calm & composed manner
- Arrange a visit to a Memory Care facility
- Listen and care for him/her (Plan multiple sessions)
- Do not rush (be prepared to get no for an answer)
- Respect and remember it is their choice
What Is the Average Length of Stay in a Memory Care Unit?
The average length of stay in a memory care facility is two to three years.
Although, the length of stay can extensively vary from few months to even ten years or more. It totally depends on the certain conditions of each patient.
Some factors that affect the stay:
• Type of memory disability. (stages of dementia)
• Health conditions and flexibility. (Both physical and mental health)
• Support and Family’s opinion
• Availability and convenience.
When to Put an Alzheimer’s Patient in a Nursing Home?
When an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient reaches a certain stage where they can no longer live independently and need a high level of medical care, they should be moved to a nursing facility.
Alzheimer’s has certain stages. Early stages may need minimal care. When stages of Alzheimer’s reach the late stage (severe decline), patients can be unable to function. They might lose the ability to move or even communicate. They wouldn’t be able to share their pain and can be exposed to infections, especially pneumonia.
When should an Alzheimer’s patient go to a nursing home depends upon the physical and mental condition of the patient. At any stage, when they need a frequent high level of medical care, they should be placed in a nursing home.
We know it is hard even to accept the fact that your loved one needs memory care. You cannot do anything about it. All you can do is to make sure that your loved one gets the best care services s/he deserves.
Do you think its time for memory care? BoomersHub is always one click away from assisting you. Which of these signs do you find common in your loved ones?