Your dementia-affected mother has always been meticulous about opening her mail and paying her bills. You and other family members should check in on her on a frequent basis to make sure she’s okay. Relatives see she’s letting her mail pile up unopened and forgetting to pay her payments over time.
These are some of the warning indications that someone with dementia may require memory care.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Some people with dementia are cared for by family members, while others reside in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Memory Care Facilities
The memory care unit of such facilities is ideal for people with dementia who display particular types of behavior that influence their day-to-day existence. These are units staffed by personnel who have been trained to work with dementia patients who require specific care.
Here are five signs or circumstances that someone may require memory care:
- Behavioral changes; confusion and disorientation endangering physical safety.
- A deterioration in one’s bodily well-being.
- The degradation of a caregiver.
Some people suffering from dementia may begin to act in unexpected ways. “A very self-reliant person may get worried about driving, decline social invitations, and retreat.” “Someone who is concerned about their looks may forget daily hygiene or how to perform basic duties such as bathing and hair styling and may be too ashamed to seek help.” A person’s anxiety or agitation may increase.
Physical safety is jeopardized by confusion and disorientation
Dementia can lead to disorientation and confusion, which can result in car accidents. Someone with dementia, for example, might forget the regulations of the road and run through a red light. Some dementia patients walk away from home on foot and are unsure how to return. “Someone with dementia symptoms may lose track of where they’ve been and end up in an unfamiliar location.” “It’s time to think about memory care if your loved ones are constantly putting their physical safety at danger.”
A deterioration in bodily condition
“When someone has dementia or Alzheimer’s, physical changes are generally the first obvious distinctions.” If a person gets thin or frail, it could indicate that he or she is neglecting to go grocery shopping or take prescriptions as prescribed. Some dementia patients neglect to take their prescribed medications. Some people forget to take their prescription and end up taking more than they should.
The death or deterioration of a caretaker
Some dementia patients are cared for by family members, usually a spouse or significant other. When the caregiver passes away or his or her health deteriorates, the spouse or significant other who is being cared for sometimes requires more intensive care, such as memory care. According to a doctor, she recently had an Alzheimer’s patient whose health was rapidly deteriorating. He had lost weight and was becoming increasingly perplexed. The doctor discovered that his wife, who was the primary caregiver, was suffering from dementia. The doctor investigated it and discovered that the wife had dementia and was unable to shop, cook, or ensure that her husband took his prescriptions. After that, a daughter arranged for the couple to be moved from their home to a memory care facility.
Caregivers can handle a lot, but when incontinence becomes a major issue, many turn to memory care. “They are feeling overwhelmed, as if it is more than they can take, more than they agreed to.” “It gets to be too much.” Nonprofessional caregivers, such as family members, as well as contracted medical providers who come into the home to aid, may be affected.
Should My Loved One Be Placed in a Memory Care Facility?
It’s crucial to remember that memory care facilities are often reserved for patients who are in the middle to late stages of dementia. As a result, some people who might require memory care already reside in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Memory care units are sometimes available in these institutions, and they are staffed by professionals who have been trained to work with persons who require extra assistance with daily tasks.
“Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition, and as care needs increase, family members may not be able to give round-the-clock care.”
If you’re debating whether a loved one should live in a memory care facility, ask yourself a series of questions about a dementia patient’s well-being.
Here are some things to think about:
- Is it safe for the person to stay in his or her current living situation?
- Are the individual’s actions likely to hurt others?
- What does the individual desire, require, and say about the situation?
- What are the recommendations of medical professionals and other family members?
- Are there resources and support systems available to enable the person “age in place,” or will they need to relocate for care and protection?
“If I were the individual, what would I want done for me?” is a good question to ask.
If you’re concerned that a loved one may require memory care, consult a health care physician, a geriatric psychiatrist, or a neurologist.