If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, you might be wondering what comes next. Most family members aren’t quite sure how to support their loved one while they live at home, and many miss the warning signs that can indicate that living at home alone or with a caregiver is no longer the best or safest option. If you are curious about how to know if memory care is the right step for your loved one, here are a few signs that could point to yes.
Are they safe at home?
When dementia is in the picture, safety is always a primary focus, and for good reason. Cognitive decline can affect judgment, memory, and decision-making skills which can increase the risk for falling, accidents or other injuries.
If your loved one has fallen in the past few months, made risky decisions that could have caused an accident, or is no longer making sound decisions, a memory care community can offer that extra support to keep them safe.
Are they eating well?
Nutrition is tricky when someone is living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. You can find out if your loved one is eating well by checking the cabinets and fridge on your next visit. If you find expired food items or bare shelves, it may be time to begin looking at a memory care community.
Memory care communities ensure residents are eating nutritious and comforting meals daily.
Are they able to keep up with household tasks?
Keeping up with laundry, meal planning, housekeeping, and grabbing the mail can be overwhelming for people living with dementia. In fact, organization and complex household tasks are often affected even early in the disease process.
If your loved one’s home is cluttered, unkempt or dirty the next time you visit, or if you notice the mail piling up in the mailbox or laundry overflowing out of the basket, it could be time to start looking at memory care options.
Are they able to take care of their own personal hygiene tasks?
Poor personal hygiene can lead to skin breakdown, infections, and other potential medical complications. In addition, poor hygiene can lead to feelings of depression. If your loved one is struggling with keeping up with showering, dressing in clean clothes, or other personal care tasks, it’s time to find the support they need to stay engaged with their activities of daily living.
Memory care communities are staffed around the clock with trained caregivers who are there to give the verbal cues and physical assistance residents need to look and feel their best.
Do they seem lonely?
When someone lives with dementia, they begin to isolate themselves from family members and friends. Sometimes they pull back because it is difficult or overwhelming for them to keep up with conversations. Other times they isolate themselves because of feelings of embarrassment or because they can’t keep their social calendar organized. In any case, isolation can lead to increased cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression.
Memory care communities feature a social model, where residents are encouraged to participate in small group or individual social interactions throughout the day.
Are you exhausted and frustrated from your caregiving role?
Finally, sometimes choosing a memory care community for your loved one happens because you are simply too exhausted to continue offering the support they need to stay healthy, safe and happy at home. A memory care community can provide your loved one with the care and assistance they need so that you can return to being a daughter, son or friend instead of holding on so tightly to the caregiver role.
Learn more about The Cottages, the memory care community at The Glen, here. We’d love to answer any questions you might have or schedule a personalized tour.