Signs Your Aging Parent Might Need Memory CareAugust 17, 2022
If your mom or dad is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it’s natural to worry about how best to support them. You may have considered memory care, but the decision to move a parent out of their home can be a difficult one. There are emotional complications — it can feel like giving up or shirking an obligation. And then you might wonder if they’re even ready? Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can progress gradually and fitfully as good days follow bad. While the decision is never easy, there are signs it’s time for memory care. Here’s what to watch for:
Daily Tasks Are a Struggle
The forgetfulness and confusion that arise with dementia can affect your parent’s ability to perform tasks that were once routine. Basic self-care, such as preparing meals, dressing or managing medications may be neglected, leading to improper nourishment, poor personal hygiene or potentially serious medication mix-ups.
Poor judgment and poor decision making — two common symptoms of dementia — can make it increasingly dangerous for your parent to live without round-the-clock supervision. They may inadvertently leave stove burners on, or forget simple precautions regarding household cleaning supplies. Wandering is another potential risk — 60% of people with dementia will wander at least once. An increase in bruises, cuts, and burns can also indicate that your parent isn’t safe without full-time assistance.
Aggressiveness, agitation, and suspicion can be common for people with some forms of dementia, leading to challenging behaviors that may be difficult — or dangerous — for family caregivers to handle. Personality changes such as social withdrawal, depression, and apathy are also typical and can actually exacerbate dementia symptoms.
As dementia progresses, caregiving becomes a full-time occupation. Even if your parent has paid in-home help or you divide caregiving equally among siblings, the stress of managing your parent’s declining condition can take a toll on your own health and well-being. Signs of caregiver burnout include fatigue, sleep problems, hopelessness, apathy, mounting frustration with your parent, and social withdrawal. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it can be a sign that it’s time for memory care for your parent.
A Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Form of Dementia
Although it may seem premature, beginning the process of looking into memory care communities soon after your parent’s diagnosis can help ensure that they have a say in their future care. It can also bring comfort to you both to know that when the time comes, your loved one has the option to move to a welcoming community where they’ll receive specialized care that enriches their quality of life. Memory care communities are designed specifically to meet the needs of people with dementia. Everything — from the training of staff members, the community floor plan, security features, and the schedule of activities — helps create a safe environment in which residents receive the support they need to be engaged and involved.
Memory Care at Oaks Senior Living
If your parent is showing signs that it’s time for memory care, reach out to us at Oaks Senior Living. In our memory care neighborhoods, called Horizons, residents enjoy a full calendar of social activities, three nutritious meals and two snacks daily, and regular off-site outings for dining and special events. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing your mom or dad is in a safe environment supported by care partners who are specially trained in person-directed dementia care. Contact us to find out more about memory care at Oaks Senior Living, or to talk about whether your parent is ready for a move to memory care.