It's never easy to move a loved one into memory care or any care community, especially if they're opposed to the move. When a loved one starts showing signs of memory issues, you're often put in the position of making decisions whether you want to or not. Many older adults reach a point where it's no longer safe to live at home, and memory care then becomes the best option for them. Check out these signs that your loved one might need memory care to help you decide.
Your loved one doesn't necessarily need to go to memory care when they get an Alzheimer's or dementia diagnosis, but finding out they have a condition affecting their memory means you need to start thinking about it. If your loved one is still in the early stages of the disease, you have time to evaluate the situation and include them in the conversation about their care. Identify the point when you plan to move your loved one to memory care, such as when they can no longer maintain their home safely. This makes the decision easier as your loved one's condition deteriorates.
You know how your loved one normally behaves, so it's often easy to notice a change in mood or behavior. They might get easily irritated, angry or anxious. You might notice they've become more withdrawn than usual. Some mood changes are temporary, but others could be due to the memory issues. Look into these behavioral changes to see if there's a reason that can be corrected or if it's a permanent change that needs support. A related sign is the inability to handle activities of daily living, such as getting dressed or bathing.
Memory loss can cause an overall health decline. Your loved one might forget to take their medication, resulting in worsening symptoms of their health conditions. They might forget how to prepare food or skip meals, which can lead to weight loss and malnourishment. Memory issues can interfere with normal sleep patterns and cause issues related to sleep deprivation. At Autumn View Gardens, we provide medication management, meals and other assistance to help minimize that health decline.
Memory issues can cause people to forget basic tasks. They might neglect chores, leading to a messy home with trash and debris all over. Another common issue is forgetting to pay bills or letting mail pile up, which can lead to collections, services being disconnected or evictions. If you visit your loved one and notice these poor living conditions, take it as a sign that they need help with these daily tasks.
Your loved one's safety is one of the primary considerations. If they can't stay at home safely because of their condition, you might need to consider memory care options. This can happen if the person's cognitive condition makes it difficult to handle basic care, recognize dangers or find their way back home when they leave. You might notice that they make risky mistakes, such as leaving the stove burner on, letting food spoil or leaving tripping hazards on the floor. Physical health can also become a concern if your loved one loses weight or has balance issues. Memory care can provide a safe environment when home is no longer safe.
Many older adults with memory problems can continue living at home, especially with the help of a caregiver. However, family members who serve as caregivers can often become burnt out or overwhelmed by the situation, especially if the loved one is deteriorating. Your loved one might even become aggressive toward their caregiver. Even if their condition remains the same, their caregiver can become overwhelmed, which can create an unhealthy situation for that person. If your loved one's caregiver can't keep up with the situation, it could be time to look into memory care.
If you pay a professional caregiver, they might let you know if the situation is getting worse. They might tell you about things they've noticed, or they might discuss physical or verbal abuse they're enduring. A caregiver who quits because of these issues should be a red flag that it might be time to consider alternatives.
If you're looking for signs that it's time for memory care, you likely already have a gut feeling about the situation. It's normal to feel guilty or wonder if you're doing the right thing and want confirmation through visible signs. Having the internal feeling that your loved one needs memory care could also be a sign. Trust your judgment, especially if you're the caregiver or you spend a lot of time with your loved one.
Memory care can provide a safe option for adults with memory issues. If your loved one shows any of these signs, consider visiting our facilities. Seeing the welcoming homes and community here can help put your mind at ease about whether memory care is the next step for your loved one.