Caring for aging loved ones is never easy, and it could be especially difficult if they suffer from degenerative diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s. Unlike other conditions, the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer's are gradual. Understanding the early signs of dementia can help you determine when your loved one might require memory care. Senior living communities that offer Alzheimer’s and dementia care may become the best choice for your loved one when he or she is no longer able to live on their own. Here are seven signs it may be time for your loved one to move to a memory care community.
1. You have concerns about the safety of your loved one.
It is common for people who suffer from dementia to become easily confused or agitated. Some people will wander away, get lost or get into situations where their health or safety are at risk. If you are concerned about your loved one's behavior placing him or her in danger, you should start looking into senior living communities that offer memory care.
2. Your loved one's memory loss is endangering his or her health
Memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia may lead people to neglect their own medical needs. If your loved one is forgetting to take his or her medication or to attend doctor's appointments, Alzheimer’s care may be the answer.
3. Your loved one is becoming increasingly isolated.
If dementia has led your loved one to become isolated, moving to an assisted living community will combat this. It is common for people who suffer from dementia to become more and more isolated because of their newfound behaviors and tendencies. This can result in your loved one feeling lonely and restless.
4. Your loved one isn't taking care of his or her hygiene.
Many people with Alzheimer's disease reach a point where they fail to take proper care of themselves. You may notice your loved one is no longer brushing their hair or that he or she looks as if they haven’t bathed recently. These signs indicate they may need help from a skilled nursing staff that a memory care community can provide.
5. You discover your loved one has been a fraud victim.
Con artists often target the elderly, and people who have dementia are especially vulnerable. If your loved one becomes a victim of fraud, it can be a sign of impaired decision-making skills. Many scam victims also experience resulting emotional trauma, which can further burden those whose health is already fragile. When a loved one is in an environment with constant supervision, the risk of being scammed decreases.
6. Your loved one has started hoarding.
One of the behavior changes often seen with dementia is hoarding. Hoarding may help your loved one feel in control of their situation, or it may be a result of internal paranoia about their items being stolen. Either way, this behavior can lead to dangers for your loved one's mental and physical health. An excess of clutter is a tripping hazard, fire hazard and provides a breeding ground for rodents, bugs, and mold, which can lead to respiratory or other health problems.
7. You or other family members are experiencing caregiver burnout.
Caring for someone whose health is deteriorating can be exhausting. Caregivers who experience “burnout” may grow anxious, stressed or fatigued. Another side effect is feeling guilty for enjoying your time away from caring for your loved one, which is not a healthy way to operate. If you are suffering from caregiver burnout, one solution is to start looking into senior living communities with memory care services.
When you notice any of the signs above, indicating your loved one is no longer safe on his or her own, you should start the discussion about senior living care options in your community. Contact Villagio today to learn more about the communities we offer and help we can provide.