An internal battle can ensue with the question of, can you handle being caregiver, or is your loved one ready for memory care?
Life is full of obstacles. The challenges we face are associated with big life changes surrounding career moves, family happenings, relocation, and the constant responsibilities we find ourselves stressing over. When your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can be a huge life-altering situation.
Memory care communities have expanded over the last decade as the U.S. population continues to age. The care differs from assisted living, and incorporates staff and and enrichment activities to provide comfort, therapy, and ultimate safety for those with memory loss. If you are raising questions on whether memory care is a true fit for your loved one, here are some signs to consider:
Drastic changes in behavior
You know when they aren’t being themselves. The social butterfly you once knew, suddenly becomes apprehensive to attending church. The best driver and classic car enthusiast, isn’t as comfortable driving as they once were. Visible aspects like personal hygiene are faltering, as regular tasks like bathing and brushing their teeth have become more difficult.
Sudden aggression can come to a huge surprise, especially if your loved one has always been known as the happy-go-lucky member of the family. If this aggression becomes a risk to you and themselves, it could be an indicator of a larger problem. Frustration from confusion associated with memory loss can be difficult to notice at first, but the underlying cause of having trouble carrying out tasks on their own is where it originates..
Sundowning is a sudden onset of anxiety and agitation known to those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It typically happens around the same time of day, and can be a pattern that can not only be difficult, but overwhelming as a caregiver. Something to take into account if you are the primary caregiver, is if your personal wellbeing is at a crossroads as well. When you are feeling burnt out, it can take a toll on those receiving the care as well.
Physical health decline
Along with cleanliness, physical health is one of the things you may notice first. Weight gain or loss can be a sign they haven’t been eating or remembering to take prescribed medications. What’s worse, they could not only forget what time to take prescriptions but the right dosage as well, which brings a greater concern for safety.
Increased falls can be a clear sign of imbalance and self-awareness. There are devices on the market that assist older adults when a fall does occur, but the best option would be to comfortably know your loved one is being constantly monitored, and living in an environment that presents no difficult obstacles such as high flights of stairs.
Increased confusion and disorientation
It’s normal for the occasional confusion associated with unfamiliar and overwhelming tasks. However, if your loved one is showing it frequently and to where it is raising concerns over personal safety, that is when it is time to consider. Forgetting the rules of the road can lead to dangerous car accidents, and forgetting the route of an otherwise routine morning walk can lead to getting lost.
It’s one thing to occasionally have something slip and be at “the tip of the tongue,” but entirely another if something that is normally very routine, becomes very foreign and faint of memory.
Discussion raising questions
Is the current environment the safest for my loved one to continue living in?
Is their behavior a risk for themselves or to others?
What feelings have my loved one conveyed about their wellbeing or situation?
If you are finding yourself asking these questions, it may be the time to look at the available options that will suit their best interests. There is no better time to look for memory care, than before it becomes too late and an emergency happens.
The Kensington is different. We promise to love and care for our residents like we do our own family. By offering two unique neighborhoods, we take your loved one’s individual needs into account, so that any stage of memory loss is given expert and loving care.
Alzheimer’s and dementia affects more than just the one diagnosed. In order to keep them safe and under the best care possible, we take every day as an opportunity to enrich each day with state-of-the-art therapies and activities. So when you can’t always be there, you can be rest assured your loved one is in a community that feels like home.