When someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia, it can seem overwhelming and scary. While aging in place can be beneficial to those in early stages of dementia, there may be a time when you have to decide whether it is time to transition your older loved one to a memory care community.
What is memory care?
A memory care community specializes in providing assistance to seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders. The primary goal of memory care is to enhance the quality of life of residents in a safe, supportive environment.
Is it time for memory care?
Knowing if a loving one would benefit from living in a memory care community can be difficult. Here are a few signs to look for:
Major changes in behavior or personality
You know your loved on best, so when you start to notice significant behavior or mood changes, it can be confusing and scary. You may want to consider a memory facility if your senior has become increasingly:
Decline in Overall Health
As your loved one’s memory declines, they may start to forget important daily tasks. Neglecting these basic responsibilities can take a toll on their health and overall well-being over time. Physical changes can result from:
- Poor hygiene
- Lack of nutrients
- Poor medication management
A memory care community with 24-hour care, around-the-clock supervision and medical assistance creates a safe and healthy environment for a senior with dementia or some other form of cognitive decline.
Caregiver is overwhelmed
Caring for someone with dementia can be a highly stressful job. If your loved one’s primary caregiver is experiencing a deterioration in their own physical or mental health, then it is probably a good time to consider a transition to memory care. Memory care communities can help reduce the stress caregivers feel when a loved one has dementia. You can rest easy knowing that your loved one is being care for 24/7, and you’ll have the opportunity to visit them whenever you want.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s can cause confusion and disorientation that leads to forgetfulness and balance issues. This can pose a risk to your loved one’s own personal safety. For example, it’s not uncommon for someone with dementia to forget the directions to familiar places or get lost easily. Similarly, someone with a memory disorder can start to be unsafe in their own home, forgetting to shut off appliances, mishandling harmful tools or tripping on stairs and furniture. Memory care facilities offer around-the-clock care and supervised activities that help promote a healthy lifestyle for seniors with dementia.
Benefits of Memory Care
When considering whether memory care is a good option for your older loved one, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is remaining at home the safest, healthiest choice?
- Is my loved one at risk of harming themselves or others by living at home?
- What would my loved one want for themselves?
- What does the doctor recommend?
- Memory care communities offer many benefits including:
- A secure, welcoming environment that promotes increased independence
- 24/7 care that is tailored to the resident’s needs
- Support with medication management
- Assistance with daily activities
- Tailored meals plans that promote healthy nutrition
- Opportunities to socialize with other residents and staff
- Personalized programs and activities that help support healthy cognitive functions
Bottom line: It can be difficult to know if someone you care about could benefit from living in a memory care community. To help with your decision-making process, always talk to the senior’s doctor, caregivers and other family members for feedback and support.