Is It Time for Memory Care

Is It Time for Memory Care?

If your loved one was diagnosed with dementia, or if you are concerned about their cognitive decline, you have a lot of tasks on your to-do list. Each task is important and plays a part in keeping them safe, healthy and comfortable as they continue on the disease process. While you don’t need to commit to a memory care community as soon as there is a dementia diagnosis, these specialized communities are designed to support those living with confusion and cognitive decline. But, now that you’re researching communities near you, how do you know when it’s time for memory care?

You’ve accomplished the first step in doing your due diligence researching memory care facilities; this is important as you should find a community long before your loved one is in a crisis situation. Here’s how to know when the time is right so that your entire family can experience the smoothest transition possible.

They Are Making Poor Decisions

Many people associate dementia with forgetfulness. While the disease certainly comes with that symptom, the early stage of the disease is marked by poor decision making as well. You can determine if your loved one is having judgment challenges by observing if they choose clothes that are weather- appropriate, or if they are able to keep up with their household tasks safely.

If they are starting to require more oversight when it comes to decision-making, it could be time to begin making plans for a move to memory care.

They Have Gotten Lost

Confusion and getting lost happens sporadically in the early stage of dementia; when it happens, it takes the adult by surprise and can be quite scary. If you have gotten a phone call from your loved one who says they are lost in their neighborhood or in their regular grocery store, it’s time to put memory care toward the top of your task list.

They Are Losing or Gaining Weight Rapidly

One of the main reasons people living with dementia move to memory care, besides safety concerns, is the inability to keep up with healthy eating. Planning, preparing and eating a meal takes a lot of cognitive prowess. Those living with dementia can end up skipping meals altogether, eating expired food, or eating too much because they cannot remember that they ate a few hours prior.

Any type of weight loss or gain over a short period of time, or finding expired food in your loved one’s kitchen, can indicate that it is time to get the support they need in a memory care community.

Safety Is a Concern

People living with cognitive decline can experience challenges in daily life tasks. They might be unsafe because they are leaving their stove on, stepping into showers with water that is too hot, or wearing the same clothes for days at a time. If you are concerned for your loved one’s safety, or if they require more and more oversight from you in order to remain safe at home, memory care can provide that support.

They Are Isolated at Home Alone

Isolation can increase how rapidly cognitive decline occurs. Unfortunately, many adults living with dementia often end up isolating themselves from friends and family members because they feel uncomfortable in large or loud settings. If your loved one is lonely or is at home alone most of the time, a memory care community can provide gentle socialization and new relationships that are supportive and encouraging.

Make Them Part of the Process

While your loved one might not need memory care while in the early stage of the disease, when the majority of adults are diagnosed, it’s important to involve your loved one in the decision-making process. Being able to advocate for their own wishes and be a part of their future planning is not only empowering, but it can also relieve adult children or other family members of the sole responsibility of choosing a community.

Be sure to have your loved one look at brochures or websites, as well as go on tours of communities in your desired area. They can ask questions and make their opinions known as you all plan for the future together.

If you are searching for memory care options in the Shreveport area, we would love to show you around The Cottages, our assisted living memory care community right here on the campus of The Glen. Contact us to schedule your tour today.

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