Memory Care Can Help Seniors Live With More Independence
As our loved ones age, it’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in their health and well-being. One notable sign that it could be time for them to enter a memory care program is if they are struggling with daily tasks or exhibiting signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s. A memory care community can provide seniors with the support they need while retaining as much of their independence as possible.
Today, we will discuss what memory care is as well as some of the common signs that it might be time to transition to a community that offers these services for your loved one.
What is Memory Care?
Memory care communities provide specialized assistance and support for seniors with cognitive conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s. These programs offer 24/hour supervision and help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. They also offer structured activity programming to stimulate the mind and promote socialization.
Most memory care communities provide full-time residence as well as other daily essential services like meals, medication administration, and housekeeping. These services ensure that seniors can maintain a high quality of life and receive consistent visits and check-ins from staff members.
Signs It’s Time to Begin Memory Care
Unfortunately, there is no single universal sign or symptom that indicates that it is time to transition to a memory care community. However, there are a few common signs that you can look for. These include but are not limited to:
Getting Lost in Familiar Places
One of the earliest signs of dementia is when someone begins getting lost in familiar places. This might mean that they are no longer able to remember how to get home from a store they frequently visit or from a walk in their neighborhood.
Forgetting Names, Dates, Faces, etc.
Another common sign of dementia is when someone begins to forget important personal information, like the name of a spouse or child, their address, or significant life events. In some instances, a person experiencing cognitive difficulties may also be unable to recognize a person’s face and mistake them for someone else.
Trouble Completing Daily Tasks
If your loved one is having trouble completing daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, or eating, then they may need more assistance than their current situation is able to provide. This can be a sign that their cognitive abilities are declining and that they would benefit from transitioning to a community where they can receive the appropriate level of assistance they need.
If they care for a pet, try to notice any changes in their pet’s appearance or behavior. For example, a pet may look underweight if they’re not being regularly fed, or they may leave droppings around the house from infrequent outdoor visits or unclean litter boxes.
Unexpected Changes in Mood or Behavior
Cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can also create unexpected changes in a person’s mood or behavior. These could manifest in a variety of forms such as increased agitation, aggression, or feelings of depression.
It is also important to note that these signs can indicate a number of issues and should not be solely attributed to cognitive decline. However, if you are noticing these changes, make note of them occurring and ask their doctor if it might be a sign of a possible cognitive health condition.
Unable to Practice Basic Personal Safety
Some seniors that exhibit symptoms of a cognitive condition may be unable to practice basic personal safety measures. For example, they might forget to turn off the stove or oven. They might also have cuts or bruises on their body where they have unknowingly injured themselves and cannot recall how these wounds were caused.
What to Do if You Suspect Cognitive Health Issues
If you suspect that yourself or your loved one is experiencing a cognitive health issue that might require transition to a memory care community, start by making a doctor’s appointment. Prepare as much information as possible to thoroughly answer any questions during the visit. The doctor may also order additional cognitive evaluations to gain further insight before making a formal diagnosis.
Should a diagnosis be determined for dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other cognitive health conditions, a doctor might recommend transitioning to a memory care community. The next step would include research and touring memory care providers in your area to decide the best new home for your loved one.
Join a Compassionate Memory Care Community in Albany, NY
At Shaker Place Rehabilitation, we offer compassionate, caring, and diligent memory care services for seniors in Albany, NY and its surrounding communities. We provide individualized care for our residents with a focus on physical safety and 24/7 access to a team of highly skilled nurses.
To take the next step toward better memory care, schedule a tour with us online at any time or contact us for more information.