According to the CDC, 5.8 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. As a loved one ages, the signs and effects of dementia can become more obvious. Many families will care for loved ones in the home, but it can become difficult over time. When caring for an aging loved one with dementia becomes too difficult, memory care is there to help.
Senior memory care facilities help people who struggle to do certain activities in their daily lives. These facilities provide care, wellness activities, and support for both the loved ones struggling with dementia and their families.
How do you know when seniors need memory care? Here are 7 signs that you can use to decide if a loved one needs memory care.
1. Struggling With Daily Life
For many adults, there are certain activities we do every day that we don’t even have to think about. Activities like opening the mail, brushing our teeth, or doing the laundry can feel like second nature.
One of the biggest signs it’s time for memory care is seeing your loved one struggle with daily activities. Dementia causes a mental decline that can result in forgetting how to do things your loved one has done for years.
When your loved one struggles to feed themselves or go to the bathroom, it can lower their quality of life. Senior memory care can help give your loved one their quality of life back. Regulated meals and constant staff support will ensure your loved one can get dressed, eat, and go to the bathroom without struggling.
2. Saftey Concerns
Because dementia impacts both your short-term and long-term memory, it become a safety concern. For example, if your loved one goes for walks regularly, dementia can cause them to forget where they are. They can get lost and struggle to get home.
Another example is if your loved one leaves burners on after cooking is complete. This can lead to a house fire. When loved ones can still drive, they might forget how to react to road signs and potentially run a red light.
Between getting lost, forgetting basic safety requirements, or forgetting road rules, your loved one can put themselves and others in danger. When your loved one is a safety risk for both themselves and others, senior assisted living is the next step.
Senior memory care centers have exercise areas, sports, gardening, and other activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle in a safe environment. With 24/7 care and supervised activities, you know your loved one will be safe. They won’t wander off or get lost, but can still take a great morning walk!
3. Major Behavior Changes
You know your loved ones well. You can tell when they’re annoyed, happy, or stressed out. Another area of their life dementia can impact is their behavior or mood.
Changes can start small. They might be overly agitated or more emotional than usual.
These changes can grow over time. For example, your extroverted loved one might become isolated. They could also forget to bathe or apply deodorant when they used to be extremely clean.
Behavior changes can be scary for caregivers to experience in a loved one. Memory care for the elderly adjusts to behavior changes your loved one will experience throughout the aging process. Trained professionals will be able to react properly and keep patient safety at the forefront when behavior changes happen.
4. Caregiver Stresses
Many relatives will want to care for aging loved ones at home for as long as possible. Caregivers could be spouses, children, or siblings. For many elderly individuals, home care works perfectly.
As your loved one ages and dementia symptoms become more prominent, it can put a lot of stress on caregivers. You might not understand how to handle every problem that comes your way. Or, maybe your schedule can’t provide the level of care your loved one needs, or you can’t afford an in-house nurse.
If the caregiver is a spouse, they can pass or get sick. When they can’t care for themselves, it can be difficult to also care for another person.
Needing to care for a loved one with dementia can be frustrating for caregivers. It can cause increased stress levels and financial difficulty. You might feel resentment towards your loved one or accidentally lash out.
Memory care for the elderly can reduce the stress caregivers feel when a loved one has dementia. You can rest easy knowing that your loved one is safe, watched over, and healthy 24/7.
You can visit them whenever you want, but it also gives you the chance to take a moment to yourself. Self-care when helping aging loved ones is important.
5. Lower Physical Heath
Saftey, behavior, and lifestyle routines all contribute to your loved one’s physical health. One of the signs that memory care for the elderly is perfect for your loved one is when changes begin to impact your loved one’s physical health.
When your loved one struggles to feed themselves, they can lose out on important nutrients. Forgetting to bathe can lead to skin irritation and other conditions. Not knowing where they are can cause accidents or injury.
Another danger is that your loved one could forget to take their medication. Or, they might take it more than they’re supposed to throughout the day. This can cause bad side effects or leave medical issues untreated.
Memory care facilities have on-site doctors that your loved one can visit. This helps verify that their physical health is being maintained. Medication management programs will make medication routines easy for your loved one.
6. Doctor Recommendations
If you’re unsure whether your loved one needs senior memory care, consider asking their doctor. Their doctor can provide a mental status exam that checks certain abilities your loved one needs.
This test will examine long-term and short-term memory by seeing if they can spell words backward, do math, name objects correctly, and understand visual cues. They might also draw a clock. If the numbers are in a corner instead of around the entire clock, it shows that their cognitive functions are deteriorating.
After doctors administer this test, they could decide that your loved one needs extra support.
7. Lack of Social Life
Before their dementia began to develop, your loved one might have had an active social life. They might have gone out to lunch, bingo, or volunteered at local events.
As your loved one ages, they can become more isolated. It can be harder to go to different places or schedule events with friends.
This is a huge benefit that memory care facilities can have for your loved ones. They can provide a social network that combats isolation and promotes togetherness. Group programs can create friendships and connections that make life fun.
Visit a Memory Care Center Today!
If your loved one is showing any of these signs, you should contact a memory care center today. Memory care facilities will lead to a better quality of life and create a safe environment for your aging loved one.
Bluegrass Senior Living is here to help you transition your aging loved one into senior memory care. Our program focuses on providing professional help and daily activities that your loved one will enjoy. With a secured environment and a private apartment, your loved one will thrive.
Contact us today to create a program perfect for your loved one!