Life happens fast. When signs of a loved one’s cognitive decline become more frequent, it can become a hard reality that many of us aren’t emotionally ready to have that conversation. One of the most complex parts about growing up is witnessing our parents get older and experience the health problems of reaching those upper-aged years. One of those unfortunate moments is watching our mom and dad live with dementia, the most common form of Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, almost 6 million people have dementia, and many of those folks live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, and it may not be possible for a family member to provide the needed kind of care.
But what happens when your dad, who was living with dementia, starts forgetting to take care of ordinary, everyday things like personal hygiene or has begun to let the house get messy, failing to pay bills or take out the garbage? This is when it might be time to have those hard conversations about if dad needs to move into a memory care unit.
Signs Your Loved One Might Need To Move Into A Memory Care Unit
Dementia affects day-to-day living, and for many seniors, moving into a memory care facility is the best answer for health and happiness. These establishments have staff trained in working with patients with dementia who require specialized care.
If a loved one is showing any of these behaviors, it might suggest a loved one needs memory care:
- Decline in physical health.
- A caregiver’s deterioration or death
- Behavioral changes
- Confusion and disorientation
A Decline In Physical Health
Physical changes are often the first thing we notice when someone has dementia or Alzheimer’s. Things like becoming thin or frail may mean your loved one forgets to buy groceries or take their medications. If someone fails to take medicines for other health-related issues, this could become a severe problem.
Some other things to look out for include:
- Rapid weight loss
- Lack of food around the house
- Neglected personal hygiene
- Hunched posture
- Bruises, breaks, and injuries
Caregiver’s Deterioration Or Death
Often, someone with dementia is cared for by a spouse or significant other. When that caregiver gets sick themselves, or worse, dies, that can affect someone’s health due to sadness and breaking routines that otherwise worked.
Caregivers do a lot for their loved ones, but once incontinence becomes an issue, the morale to help begins to deteriorate, and many seek outside help. For many, it becomes too much and leads to getting the help of medical professionals who can provide a different level of care.
Changes In Behavior
Dementia can look a few different ways, but they start acting dramatically different for some. Someone who’s typically independent could suddenly get apprehensive about going anywhere, declining any social invitations. The same goes for personal appearance, decreasing hygiene, and overall essential wellness.
Confusion And Disorientation
Confusion can be deadly. If a loved one is disoriented, that can lead to a car accident due to forgetting the road rules and running a red light or into a car. Some people with dementia are liable to wander off and end up somewhere they don’t recognize.
What Are Memory Care Options Available?
Depending on what level of care your loved one needs, some facilities can help them live to the fullest. Assisted living offers care based on individual needs. Many care centers offering Alzheimer’s in-home care develop a customized plan to provide medication management, personal care assistance, daily living, meal service, and mentally enriching activity programs.
Dedicated Memory Care Community
A dedicated memory care community is a specialized form of assisted living. This kind of environment offers comprehensive care in a secure environment. Residents can move about, often in controlled indoor and outdoor spaces, without fear of getting lost. Areas are typically designed with visual cues and artwork to help with navigation.
The highest level of care, a skilled nursing facility, is for those with a greater need, emphasizing the medical needs of those with chronic or complex illnesses.
If someone you love is showing signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s and you’re looking for answers, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our staff is here and ready to help families find compassionate solutions that work for families everywhere.