Memory issues creep up slowly. Seniors can go years without noticing any significant difference in their memory by relying solely on the help of family or friends. Eventually, there may come a point when the level of care you or your loved one needs exceeds what can be provided at home. At that point, it’s time to start looking into memory care options.
Memory Care, What Is It?
Memory care is a form of long-term care designed for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or any other type of progressive memory loss. This care happens within unique residential communities designed, from the activities to the layout, to benefit residents with cognitive conditions. Many times, Memory Care is integrated within a more standard Senior Living Community, allowing seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia to interact with people from all kinds of situations.
Memory care communities often provide a similar style of care to assisted living communities but include broadened security measures to satisfy the needs of residents. Assisted living communities offer support in day-to-day activities, like getting dressed, bathing, housekeeping, and other chores, but memory care communities bring it a step up with staff who are specially trained to care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and occasionally hold higher credentials like nursing certifications.
These unique communities are created to provide the highest quality of life possible for the residents with activities to slow cognitive decline and work with the family to develop the best care plan.
5 Signs You or Your Loved One May Benefit From Memory Care
Home is No Longer a Safe Space
When a senior with Alzheimer’s or dementia begins to decline in overall health, the risk of falls or broken bones increases. These injuries can be from instability while walking or related to a tendency to wander or become lost within the home. Technology can help mediate these behaviors, but they remain incredibly serious and dangerous behaviors.
Memory care communities are often secure and better equipped to supervise residents to ensure they don’t wander or can wander safely if they do.
Caregiver Stress Has Become Overwhelming
Caregiving for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be challenging while trying to manage your own life as well. At some point, the stress can begin to leak into your caregiving and affect your relationship with your loved one and the care you provide.
If you’re no longer finding happiness in your day-to-day life or caring for your loved one is causing undue stress to you or your family member, considering a move to a memory care community can help you repair your relationship and improve your loved one’s quality of life.
When You’re No Longer Able to Maintain a Healthy Environment
When a caregiver begins to experience caregiving fatigue, the home and hygiene can fall to the wayside. Pay attention to your, or your loved ones, environment; are bills going unpaid, food spoiling, or is there a general build-up of messiness? Take notice of the hygiene of the loved one with the memory impairment. If a caregiver’s ability to cope is beginning to slip, a new living arrangement may be necessary.
Isolation is Beginning to Creep In
As the world around them becomes more confusing, seniors with memory impairments tend to retreat inwards. Even when someone else is in the home with them, the feeling of isolation can be pervasive. As time goes on, growing confusion, less social stimulation, and inward retreat can become a self-perpetuating cycle.
Memory care communities, by design, promote social interaction and help stave off isolation tendencies.
The Primary Caregiver is Not Able to Provide Quality Care
No matter how much you care about your loved one, some people are just not capable of providing the necessary care. If the parent, or spouse, acting as the caregiver has their own health issues interfering with their ability to act as a caregiver, or are just not cut out for the role, a conversation may be required. This is usually a very difficult conversation, but by approaching it with love and patience, you can get your loved one the care they need to live their highest quality of life.