Six Signs It’s Time for Memory Care

General Health

Six Signs It’s Time for Memory Care

Six Signs It’s Time for Memory Care

If you have an aging loved one experiencing a memory loss condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you may be wondering, “When is it time for memory care?” Transitioning from at-home care to a professional memory care facility isn’t an easy decision. And because dementia symptoms may vary greatly, it can be difficult to pinpoint the right time.

Generally, when an older adult needs memory care, it’s best to get them assistance as quickly as possible. While memory care homes can’t cure dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they can help slow cognitive decline. More importantly, they provide a safe, supportive environment that guides seniors through the challenges of memory loss. If you’re having trouble deciding whether a loved one needs professional care, look for these six signs it’s time for memory care.

6 Recognizable Signs It’s Time for Memory Care

1. Cognitive Impairment

The biggest indication that someone is suffering from memory loss is cognitive impairment. If a loved one doesn’t have any cognitive symptoms, you should look at assisted living communities rather than memory care homes.

On the other hand, if your loved one is showing signs of memory issues, they’ll need a home that caters to those needs. It’s important to note that memory loss usually begins with mild symptoms, like misplacing items, forgetting details and struggling to find the right words. Over time, these often progress to more serious symptoms, such as:

  • Inability to communicate properly
  • Dangerous wandering
  • Increased irritability and mood changes
  • Forgetting names and recent events

These symptoms fall under a stage of impairment called moderate cognitive decline. When someone reaches this point, they usually can’t live alone safely and would benefit from memory care.

2. Poor Physical Health

Memory loss doesn’t just affect the mind — it also negatively impacts physical health. Many older adults with memory loss struggle to maintain their personal hygiene, manage their medication needs and keep up with their nutrition demands. As a result, physical well-being suffers. Common signs of poor health include:

  • Unkempt appearance (e.g., body odor, dirty fingernails or messy hair)
  • Visible abrasions (i.e., bruises or swelling)
  • Unused medication
  • Poor nutrition and diet

If you suspect a loved one can’t meet their health requirements at home, memory care may be the answer. Many memory care communities offer on-site health professionals and transportation to appointments, helping ensure people with dementia receive the treatment they need.

3. Safety Concerns

A major concern when it comes to dementia and Alzheimer’s patients is safety. Compared to those in assisted living facilities, memory care patients are more likely to experience accidents. This is because they’re at an increased risk of:

  • Wandering
  • Forgetting about their surroundings
  • Falling down

As memory impairment progresses, patients often forget where they are and start wandering around, which can be dangerous. To protect against wandering, most memory care facilities feature secure, easily navigable environments. In addition, many offer set routines that help lower confusion.

Senior woman fell down is one of the recognizable signs of memory impairment.

4. Challenges With Activities of Daily Living

A good way to determine whether an older adult is safe at home is by reviewing their ability to complete activities of daily living. In other words, how much of their day-to-day tasks can they get through on their own? Activities to monitor include:

  • Grooming, dressing and bathing
  • Housekeeping
  • Making meals
  • Paying bills

In some cases, family caregivers can assist with daily living activities. However, if limitations are severe, it may be best for both the patient and the family to work with a professional memory care facility.

5. Isolation

Did you know that isolation can negatively affect both physical and mental health? If your loved one is isolated from friends and family, this can actually worsen dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms and encourage unwanted behaviors like aggression and wandering. Other potential consequences of isolation include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular problems

If you’re worried your loved one is too isolated, a senior living community can help. In addition to offering health services, many communities connect seniors with other residents through communal living areas and activities. Although socialization will become more challenging as dementia progresses, being surrounded by people can still improve mental well-being.

6. Caregiver Burnout

When a loved one experiences memory loss, family members often take it upon themselves to deliver at-home care. However, as needs develop, it often becomes increasingly difficult to adequately care for a patient with dementia at home. As a consequence, caregivers may experience burnout, or serious stress. Signs of this condition include:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of motivation

If you’re taking care of an aging loved one at home, it’s important to consider your own health needs too. Are you able to continue caring for them, or is your role as a caregiver negatively impacting your own well-being?

In many cases, switching to memory care is the best option for both the patient and the caregiver. Despite this, lots of families still feel apprehensive about making that transition. To help alleviate concerns, it’s best to work with a dedicated memory care community that will guide you through these new changes, such as Cedar Creek Memory Care.

Caregiver burnout.

Contact Our Memory Care Facility Today

While every older adult experiences dementia and Alzheimer’s disease differently, they often share certain symptoms. If you notice any of these potential signs it’s time for memory care, it’s important to take your loved one to a doctor and receive an official diagnosis. Once memory loss is confirmed, the next step is finding the right care facility.

At Cedar Creek Memory Care Homes, we promote a person-centered culture of dementia patient care that focuses on the individual needs of every resident. When new residents join one of our Maryland homes, we do everything possible to make them feel welcome and comfortable. In addition to a dedicated staff, we offer a high staff-to-resident ratio, a cozy environment and holistic memory care activities. Ultimately, we aim to give memory care patients (and their families) peace of mind during this challenging period. To learn more about our homes, please call us at (301) 384-4017 or contact us online today!

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