Memory can be impacted as we age, and even younger people may struggle to remember things or keep thoughts in complete order when they’re faced with stress. These are just natural parts of the aging and life process.
So, how do you know when memory issues are serious enough to warrant a certain level of care? Families struggling to decide whether a loved one needs memory care in an assisted living community often deal with all types of factors. They may feel guilt that they can’t care for their loved one, or they may be worried about making the wrong decision.
The memory care staff at Autumn View Gardens in Ellisville, MO, know that this can be a difficult decision. They’re available to answer questions, offer tours and visits and help you understand what benefits and services a loved one can receive when you opt for 24-hour memory care.
To help you get started with the conversation or know whether you may need to consider memory care services, check out some signs it might be time below.
A decline in cognitive function is, unfortunately, a natural part of many people’s aging process. As we get older, it may take more time for our thoughts to come to us and we might become more easily confused by complex tasks.
But many people experiencing some of these symptoms are still able to live enjoyably and safely in their own homes or with family members. That’s especially true if modifications can be made to the home and tools such as reminder and tracking apps can be effectively employed.
If, however, you find that confusion and memory is leading to physical danger, it might be time to consider other options. For example, if your loved one wanders, leaving the home or even getting lost in the home at night, this could put them in physical danger.
Dementia and other conditions that cause cognitive damage can also lead to changes in personality or behavior. This isn’t a temporary issue, such as someone becoming anxious or agitated due to a stressful event. It’s a larger alteration, such as someone who was previously mild mannered becoming aggressive and even hitting people.
Professionals in a memory care environment are trained and equipped to help redirect this type of behavior. In their own home or when living with family, these types of behavioral changes can be difficult to deal with and can put seniors and those around them in danger.
If your loved one has just received a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it might be a good idea to talk about memory care. Even if they are still functioning fairly well, you might want to start the conversation so that your loved one has the ability to weigh in with their own preferences.
In some cases, the appropriate care, mental exercises, diet and medical treatment can help slow down the progression of dementia. Often, these are things you can support in a home environment, but if you don’t have the resources or ability, they can also be offered in a memory care community.
Memory and cognitive issues can lead to social isolation, which can lead to depression and anxiety. It can also make the memory and cognitive issues worse or cause them to progress faster than they might if someone was engaged in regular socialization and activities.
This is one of the best benefits of a memory care community. The staff work to provide daily options for socialization and activities, and people of all levels of care can engage with others. A vibrant, active lifestyle that meets a senior’s personal needs can be a huge blessing.
Another sign that memory care might be a good idea is if your loved one’s physical health is being negatively impacted. You might see that they are losing weight and don’t have energy because they don’t remember to eat, for example. Other signs can include bruises and injuries they can’t explain, poor posture, not taking the right medication and neglecting personal hygiene.
Sometimes, the signs that memory care is a good choice have more to do with you as the caregiver. If your loved one requires so much of your energy and time that you can’t care for other family members, are getting behind with your job or are putting your own health at risk, you probably need help.
If you’re seeing any of the signs above, consider reaching out to the memory care staff at Autumn View Gardens. We’re here to answer your questions and help you understand if memory care is the right next step for your loved one.
Bethesda Foundaion is not associated with the Bethesda Health Group of St. Louis, MO.