When someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you may feel overwhelmed or frightened. Being a caregiver can be complicated, and there’s a lot of information and details to absorb about these progressive conditions.
Typically, people with memory loss can live independently in the earliest stages, but will require 24-hour support as their condition progresses. The benefits of aging in place are sometimes outweighed by the care needs and well-being of the affected individual.
Memory care facilities provide the required routine and supportive services that allow our family members with mid-to-late stage dementia to live happier, more fulfilling lives. But how do we know when it’s time to transition to memory care?
At Fox Trail Senior Living, we know caregivers want the very best for their loved ones with dementia. We’re always ready with help and advice! Contact our knowledgeable team if you think your family member will benefit from a memory care neighborhood.
What Is Memory Care?
Memory care facilities are designed for people with memory loss who require long-term, 24-hour specialized support. Most memory care neighborhoods will provide a routine that mimics life at home, supported by staff members specially-trained in memory support techniques.
More than a place to live, a memory support facility enhances the quality of life for residents with memory loss. Memory care provides:
- Promotion of healthy eating and diets
- Focus on a healthy lifestyle
- Increased mental health for residents
- Focus on socializing
- Fun and engaging activities designed to stimulate cognitive function
- A bright and comfortable environments
- A feeling of safety and positivity
- A low staff-to-resident ratio encourages close connections within the community
The Best Time to Transition
At South River Fox Trail, we believe it’s best to discuss a transition to memory care in the earlier stages of memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can significantly alter your loved one’s behavior, and affect their personalities, making these conversations more difficult in later stages.
By discussing the transition early, you can help your loved one:
- Choose their preferred facility
- Take control of their future
- Take time to plan their move
- Provide a chance to meet other residents and staff in their chosen neighborhood
If you’re caregiving for a loved one in the mid-to-late stages of memory loss, you may want to consider transitioning to a memory support facility if they have become:
- Socially anxious
- Increasingly forgetful
- Agitated or frustrated
Always trust your instincts. If you’re worried about your loved one’s mental health, wellbeing, and safety, it means you have a reason to be concerned. Sit down and talk about your concerns with your family member, their doctor, and other relatives to find the right solution.
Watch For These Signs
Everyone is unique, and the mid-to-late stages of memory loss can vary. Pay close attention to your loved ones, and communicate often with their doctor and other family members.
The following signs can indicate that your loved one may benefit from memory care:
Memory loss can cause increased confusion and disorientation, which can result in:
- Balance issues
- Becoming more susceptible to scams
- Inability to judge distances
- Risks to personal safety
- Hazardous situations
- Serious injuries
Disorientation can lead to wandering, getting lost in familiar places, and being unaware of dangerous situations. Our loved ones with memory loss may begin to confuse times and names, and this confusion may expand to other areas of their lives.
Risks To Personal Safety
In the mid-to-late stages of dementia, living at home can become hazardous. Your loved one may:
- Forget to shut off appliances
- Become unaware of obstacles in their home
- Trip over furniture
- Fall down the stairs
- Mishandle tools
You and your loved one’s safety should be the main priority. If the home has become unsafe, it may be time to consider transitioning into memory care.
Medication Management Issues
Your loved one may become forgetful about their medications, leading to issues with timing and dosages. Mishandling medications can lead to severe health complications.
When your loved one feels disoriented or confused, they may begin to neglect their health. Keep a close eye for physical changes resulting from:
- Unexplained injuries
- A diet lacking in nutrients
- Poor hygiene
- Physical weakness
Changes to Living Conditions
A person with dementia may not be able to care for their living space. Watch for changes in the home, like:
- Uncontrolled mess
- Lack of home maintenance
- Rotting food
Needing a Fresh Start
Being a caregiver for someone with memory loss can be exhausting, overwhelming, and emotionally taxing. It’s easy to forget the once-special relationship shared with our loved one, and focus entirely on providing appropriate support and care.
If you and your loved one are navigating a broken relationship and could use a fresh start, it may be time to transition into a memory care neighborhood.
Appropriate Support & Care
If you’re wondering if your loved one would benefit from a memory care facility, consider these questions:
- Is my loved one safe in their home?
- What does my loved one want?
- What does my family suggest?
- What does the doctor say?
The answers to these questions can help you determine if it’s time to consider the extra support of a memory care neighborhood for your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Reach out to our team of experts at South River Fox Trail if you have any additional questions about life in memory care. If you’re looking for a compassionate and friendly neighborhood filled with caring staff, you’ve come to the right place.