5 Signs Your Loved One is Ready for Memory Care Assisted Living
As a senior loved one ages, it is always a never-ending battle of whether you can handle being their caregiver or should allow memory care assisted living to take over. But how can you know if they are ready to transition?
For seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, aging in place or with their adult children and other family members may not always be a safe and healthy option.
As the disease progresses, cognitive impairment becomes more pronounced together with behavioral and personality changes. Seniors battling dementia will eventually need your undivided attention, 24/7 care, and support. Not to mention their occasional need for urgent medical services from healthcare professionals.
There’s also the issue of possible caregiving burnout, which can only worsen your loved one’s health condition and your health as well.
No one is ever really ready to transition or relocate to a senior home. However, there are telltale signs that you can observe to see if memory care assisted living is a proper fit for your loved one.
Is Your Loved One Ready for a Memory Care Community?
A memory care unit refers to a safe and structured community designed to give seniors with dementia a place to thrive and have a quality life. These facilities provide the best services, activities, and healthcare services to cater to the everyday needs of their residents.
Moreover, they employ professionally trained staff and caregivers to give specialized care to your senior loved ones.
But how can you tell if it’s time to hand over the reins to a memory care facility? If your loved one can still communicate, you can bring up the topic of transitioning with kindness and compassion.
If not, you can observe these five signs indicating that your loved one is ready for memory care.
1. Having Trouble Performing Daily Living Activities
Elderlies in the earliest stages of dementia can still live life normally with little to no help from family members or caregivers.
But as memory loss becomes more evident, you will notice a gradual decline in your loved one’s ability to perform daily living activities on their own (e.g., bathing, grooming).
Some days they will leave the house to go to the grocery store, only to forget where it is located midway. Or they won’t be able to cook their specialty dish because they forgot the basics of cooking. This can quickly escalate to having trouble bathing or dressing oneself.
These red flags only indicate that it’s time to get the help of a memory care assisted living facility in receiving the support and caring that your loved one needs.
2. Severe Changes in Behavior
Besides memory problems, some seniors with dementia also show behavioral and personality changes. For example, a senior who was once a social butterfly can become withdrawn and reclusive. Or the once meticulous loved one you had known now neglected grooming and proper hygiene.
Other behavioral symptoms to watch out for in dementia include:
- Sundowning or sleep issues
- Anxiety and agitation
- Hallucinations and becoming suspicious
A memory care facility is better equipped to deal with these behaviors in a healthy way. Furthermore, they offer therapy sessions to help prevent or modify these challenging behaviors into positive ones.
These preventive plans can also help manage and even improve the condition of your loved one, allowing them to live a normal life.
3. Worsening Confusion that Compromises Safety
Dementia patients have trouble remembering things, even familiar tasks and recently learned information. Because of this, they also often experience confusion and disorientation because they can’t recall certain things.
This can range from forgetting what day it was to ignoring the rules of the road while driving. At this stage, a senior with dementia can also have a hard time grasping the concept of danger and safety.
When the worsening confusion starts to endanger their lives and others, then it’s time to consider memory care. Other safety concerns that your senior loved one may unintentionally do include:
- Forgetting to turn off the burner and other electrical appliances.
- Leaving the house without knowing how to get back.
- Crossing the street without looking left and right.
- Receiving fall injuries and bruises due to an untidy home.
Memory care can ensure your senior loved one’s safety by providing a fall-proof home equipped with assistive devices depending on a resident’s need. Moreover, there’s 24/7 staff and healthcare personnel presence to give round-the-clock assistance and enclosed outdoor spaces to prevent wandering.
4. Declining Physical Health
Physical changes are often the first noticeable sign to appear in seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. You may observe drastic weight loss because they struggle to remember to eat on time, cook and prepare meals, and shop for groceries.
It may also be due to them forgetting to take their vitamins, supplements, and other medications on time. Some may even take more than they are prescribed in a day. Additionally, these changes can come with neglected hygiene, a cluttered home, and an unattended lawn.
Fortunately, memory care assisted living communities provide certain activities and amenities to keep residents in top shape. This includes:
- Exercise programs suited for everyone regardless of the level of ability.
- Wellness-focused activities.
- Nutritious meals
- Grooming services offering a beauty salon and barber service.
- Daily home maintenance and housekeeping services.
Allow your senior loved one to live their best life by joining a memory care community.
5. Deteriorating Mental and Cognitive Health
There will come a time where your loved one will struggle to communicate due to dementia damaging their brain. They will experience a hard time comprehending a sentence or engaging in a conversation.
When this happens, a loved one might start to withdraw from social interactions due to frustration and anxiousness. Both the symptoms and dementia itself can also cause a senior to develop depression and social isolation.
Prevent these from happening by seeking help early on. Discuss the topic of memory care early so your loved one can become a part of the conversation and decision-making in their own transition.