Nobody likes to think of their loved ones getting older and more forgetful, but it is an unfortunate fact of life. It may be that your loved one who used to be full of life and very fit for their age becomes less able over time or following a hospital stay. It can be difficult to decide when it is time to start thinking about their long-term care needs but here are some signs that a loved one may need memory care.
Changes in Behavior
If you have noticed changes in your loved one’s behavior, this could be a sign that they may need memory care. Changes in behavior can appear so gradually that you may not notice them at first, or they can be more sudden. They can take many forms too; for example, a person who was very social could start to decline invitations. This is because the world of the sufferer is declining, and they may suddenly feel anxious or afraid to go out. If this is out of character for them, it could be a warning sign that things aren’t right. Perhaps someone who used to be very meticulous about their appearance may now be forgetting to wash and this might be very noticeable to you as a close friend or family member. This is one of the first signs of degenerative memory loss. It is often those around the sufferer that will notice that memory care may be needed, but don’t be afraid to ask a doctor for their medical opinion.
Confusion and Disorientation
This can be quite harmful to the sufferer. They may forget how to drive which could cause a car accident or go out for a walk in a neighborhood they know well and end up getting lost. If your loved one is starting to put themselves in physical danger because of their memory, it is definitely time to investigate their memory care needs.
A Decline in Physical Health
This can be quite a telling sign as physical health can decline due to a lack of self-care which can be caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s. You may notice that your loved one is losing weight rapidly and becoming frail. This could be caused by them forgetting to shop for groceries or eat. There may also be physical changes caused by medication as sufferers may forget to take their medication or forget that they have taken their medication already and take too much. Checking their cupboards and medicine cabinets may seem sneaky, but if you suspect that these problems are occurring, then identifying them can lead to your loved ones getting the help they need.
A Caregiver’s Deterioration or Death
Often, someone suffering from a degenerative memory condition is already being looked after by a spouse or close family member. However, this caregiver might be quite elderly themselves and find it difficult to look after their significant other. A lot of stress is placed on the main carer of a dementia sufferer, especially if their condition gets worse. This may even affect the health of the caregiver themselves and they could both suffer because of this. It can often be a horrible burden that is placed on the relative of a sufferer when they have to make the decision to put their loved one into memory care, but it could improve both of their lives. It could also help the relationship between the two people as the sufferer no longer feels like a burden and the carer no longer feels overwhelmed.
A caregiver may be doing a lot for the dementia sufferer and their death could lead to significant problems very quickly. If your loved one seems to have gone downhill very quickly following the loss of their spouse, it may be more than grief; it could be that the sufferer has not been able to care for themselves for a while and the caregiver has been carrying out a lot of their day-to-day care needs. If you experience these circumstances, it is imperative to consider memory care for your loved one quickly. If you want to find out more about what is memory care, check out Brandywine Living.
Your loved one’s doctor may have already spoken to you about memory care. This may be dementia, Alzheimer’s, or another memory cognitive problem. These can be complicated in those who are aging and the type of care they receive can depend on how degenerative the condition has become. For example, some facilities offer new patients a relatively independent lifestyle and they are encouraged to do things for themselves while they still can. As their condition worsens, the facility can get more involved in your loved one’s hands-on care and eventually, they could be looked after by a specialist nurse. Ask the doctor which stage your loved one is at before you start considering which facility is right for them.
It can be very challenging to trust your instincts when it comes to your loved one needing memory care as it is not something you will want to be right about. You may think that the problem will go away or that your loved one can cope. However, this is not going to be the case. You are someone who knows your loved one very well and if your instinct is telling you that they can no longer cope with their condition alone then you are likely to be right.
You might feel cruel discussing your loved one leaving their home and moving into a memory care facility but if your instinct is telling you that this is what needs to be done, then delaying matters is not in the best interests of the sufferer. The sooner you can find the right facility for them, the better.
It is never easy when you realize that your loved one may need memory care. However, if you know what signs to look for, you can decide when the time is right to move them into a memory care facility. It may be the kindest thing you can do for them.