Five Signs Someone Is Ready For Memory Care
According to the most recent research from the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 9 Americans 65 and older have some form of dementia. And as our population ages, that number is only expected to increase.
If you have a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, you may wonder what the best course of action is. Many people choose to stay home and care for their loved ones for as long as possible. But there may come a time when it’s no longer safe or practical to do so.
So how do you know when it’s time to consider memory care? Here are five signs to look out for:
1. Changes in Behavior and Refusing Help
One of the early signs of dementia is changes in mood and behavior. If your loved one is suddenly exhibiting angry outbursts or withdrawing from activities they used to enjoy, it may be a sign that they’re struggling to cope with the changes in their cognition.
They may also start refusing help from family and friends, which can be challenging to manage. It’s important to remember that this is likely not a personal slight but rather a symptom of the disease.
Staff and caregivers at a memory care facility will be better equipped to handle behavior changes like this. They’re trained to provide the necessary support and care (even when a patient refuses help).
2. Difficulty Performing Daily Tasks
As dementia progresses, everyday tasks (sometimes referred to as activities of daily living or ADL) become increasingly difficult. Your loved one may forget how to brush their teeth or make a meal. They may also have trouble getting dressed, bathing, or using the bathroom.
Bills may go unpaid, and the house may become cluttered or unsafe. If your loved one is struggling to complete activities of daily living, it may be time to consider memory care.
3. You Don’t Think They’re Safe Alone
Wandering is a common symptom of dementia, and it can be dangerous. If your loved one frequently wanders off, gets lost, or tries to leave the house in the middle of the night, they may not be safe living alone.
You may also be concerned about them leaving the stove on, forgetting to take their medication, failing to eat, or falling and injuring themselves. Moving them to a memory care facility can alleviate most or all of these concerns.
4. Their Physical Health Is Declining
Dementia often leads to physical decline, as well. Your loved one may lose weight or have trouble moving around. They may also be more susceptible to illness, infection, and injury.
Incontinence is another common issue, and it can be both physically and emotionally difficult to handle.
If you notice your loved one’s physical health declining, it’s important to talk to their doctor. They can help you assess the situation and make a recommendation about whether or not memory care is the best option.
5. Caregiver is Experiencing Burnout
Caregiving is a demanding role, both physically and emotionally, and it can often lead to severe burnout.
Caregivers spend an average of 27.1 hours per week providing care to their loved ones with dementia. That’s in addition to their other responsibilities, like working and caring for themselves, their children, and their homes.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s 2022 report shows that 59% of caregivers reported a “high” or “very high” emotional toll, and 38% said they experienced a “high” or “very high” physical toll.
If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s important to reach out for help. Many resources are available, including support groups, respite care, and in-home services. But if you’re still struggling to manage, it may be time to consider memory care.
We’re Here To Help
We know that deciding to move your loved one into a memory care facility is never easy. But it may be time to start considering your options if you’re noticing any of these signs.
A memory care facility can provide the support, care, and assistance your loved one needs. And it can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re well-cared for and safe.