Caring for a loved one with dementia at home may at first seem like the least a family can do to keep them safe and healthy. Eventually, even the most dedicated family members will realize they may be in over their heads though.
As dementia or Alzheimer’s disease progresses, caregivers may be pressed to maintain the home while providing a level of care they are not capable of giving. When the diagnosis is dementia, keep an eye out for these red flags that can point to an answer to the question “When is it time for memory care?”
While dementia comes in many forms, one of the first signs that caregivers may be in trouble is when the level of daily care needed begins to increase. With mild cognitive impairment a senior may just need a little help to remain at home and live independently, but when dementia worsens, such as with moderate dementia many daily tasks become more difficult, or even impossible. According to the alz.com article, “Stages of Alzheimer’s,” a senior can experience a variety of problems that can include:
When these occur it’s time to consider whether the family can continue to provide adequate care or if memory care may be a better choice.
Wandering is a common symptom of dementia that is not only scary for a family but also dangerous for seniors. Seniors with dementia may wander in their home seeming to be looking for something, they may even get lost looking for their own bedroom or the bathroom, or they may wander away from home and become lost or injured. Coupled with the inability to dress themselves appropriately for the weather and remember where they live, wandering away from home can be truly life-threatening. Although families may install alarms and other technology to keep a senior safe, when wandering occurs often, it may be time to consider the 24/7/365 safety and security provided in memory care. Learn more in our blog, “What Does “Memory Care” Really Mean?”
Most seniors are on some type of medication, but seniors with dementia may be on more than a few. Managing their medications can often become a big challenge for families when seniors can no longer manage it themselves safely. Since different medications are taken at different times of day, some with meals, some without, and some cannot be taken together, taking the right medications at the right time means someone must be available almost around the clock to ensure a senior takes all their prescribed medications correctly. In memory care, however, families can rest assured their loved one is receiving their medications properly, no matter what time of the day or night. Get the facts in our blog, “Wandering, Falls, Medication Mix-Ups and More: Warning Signs for Seniors Living at Home.”
Another challenge for families is that of providing adequate nutrition to a senior at home. Staying physically healthy by eating well is key to fighting the ravages of dementia but meal preparation and delivery can tax even the most loving families. In addition, other changes like loss of appetite, forgetting to eat, medications, and problems chewing or swallowing can make it even harder for a senior to get the nutrition they need. When a senior needs hands-on help preparing and even eating meals, it may be a sign that more help is needed. Check out our blog, “Boosting the Brain: Nutrition for Older Adults in Memory Care,” to find out how memory care can be the solution.
No matter how badly a family wants to keep a loved one with dementia safe and sound, eventually they will need round-the-clock care to accomplish that. It is often long before that time that families feel the burn from the constant care and worry and the results can be their own health concerns, family squabbles, work complications, and other problems. The result is caregiver burnout, which is a clear sign that a senior and their family should take a look at memory care. When all the ideas offered in our blog, “Tips for Caregivers of a Loved One with Dementia,” are exhausted, take a moment to learn more in our “Family Decision Guide.”
When is it time for memory care? When families realize it is the best and healthiest choice for everyone. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your tour. For more information on memory care and other senior living care options, download our free guide: Senior Living Options: A Step by Step Guide for Making an Informed Decision.