When Is Memory Care Necessary?
Memory care is a level of care for adults who are dealing with memory impairments such as Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Memory care outside the home is necessary when someone with a memory impairment, such as Alzheimer’s, cannot live alone safely or needs more support than family and friends can provide. Professional memory care includes help from specially trained staff who understand the unique concerns and needs of these individuals and can provide them a safe, calm living environment while addressing their physical and mental needs.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million people in America are dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease. And for every individual with Alzheimer’s, several others are affected. It’s estimated that around 16 million Americans are providing unpaid Alzheimer’s care to people in their lives.
These numbers are growing every day as more and more people are diagnosed with dementia. Because of the progressive nature of these illnesses, many caregivers eventually have to ask whether or not it’s time to consider an alternative care option.
For family members of those showing signs of memory concerns, knowing when it’s time to seek the help of a memory care community isn’t always easy. Here are some signs to watch for that indicate your friend or family member could benefit from this level of care.
Is Your Friend or Family Member Struggling to Manage Medications?
As people get older, the number of medications they take often increases. Remembering to take medications at the right time and in the right dose is critical to protecting overall health. Most medications are carefully regulated and timed, and failing to take one, taking it at the wrong time or taking more than is needed can cause health concerns.
One of the services offered in a memory care community is medication management. Staff takes care of measuring and dispensing daily medication, ensuring it’s taken at the right time. If you’re finding that medication oversight is falling on your shoulders and you lack the ability to take care of this task, it may be time to get help from memory care professionals.
Is Your Friend or Family Member Prone to Wandering?
When memory impairments progress, those living with them may begin to wander and become lost or disoriented. If you’ve found that your family member is having a hard time navigating once familiar places, then it’s time to think about a different type of care.
Wandering doesn’t stop just because the individual moves into a new community. In a community designed for memory care needs, the building itself is carefully designed to provide both security and freedom. This helps protect individuals if they do wander and gives peace of mind to family members.
Are They Having Emotional Problems?
The Alzheimer’s Association warns that depression and dementia are often linked. The cognitive impairment that comes with memory concerns can make it difficult for individuals to express how they are feeling, and this can leave emotional concerns like depression untreated. If depression is making life difficult for your friend or family member, it’s time to consider some outside help.
How can you tell if your relative is struggling with depression? If you’re noticing these symptoms, depression may be the cause:
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Making excuses for not attending activities
- Change in personality
All of these can be signs of depression. Talk to a doctor, then consider getting outside support. The structure, caring staff, oversight and social opportunities of a memory care community can help alleviate emotional problems and improve overall wellness.
Are Finances Being Neglected?
Often one of the first signs of memory concerns is when bills start to get overlooked. If old mail is piling up at someone’s home or you’re finding that bills are going unpaid, it may be time to consider outside help. Failing to pay bills in a timely manner can quickly create financial problems. When someone makes the move into a specialty community, the need to pay bills is removed. The cost of the dementia care community covers utilities and many daily care needs, so this financial stress is no longer a concern.
Are They Having Trouble Maintaining Their Home?
If your friend or family member is still living at home, take a walk around the property. Some signs that they’re having trouble keeping up with the needs of the house include:
- Laundry piling up
- Clutter piling up
- Expired food in the refrigerator
- Old, unsafe electrical appliances
- Unlocked doors
- Recent signs of a kitchen fire
Many of these aren’t just annoyances, they are safety issues. If you feel the inability to care for a home is due to memory concerns, and it is putting their safety at risk, then it’s time to seek alternative care.
Are You Consistently Feeling Overwhelmed?
Not every sign that memory care is necessary comes from the person with dementia. One of the most important factors to consider is your and any other caregivers’ personal health. Being a caregiver is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also stressful. How are you feeling? Are you overwhelmed, stressed and neglecting other aspects of your life to care for your relative?
If your own mental or physical health is declining as a result of your caregiving responsibilities, then it’s time to look into memory care. You can’t adequately support a friend or relative if you’re not in good health yourself.
The Right Dementia Care Community Makes a Difference
When it becomes clear that memory care is the right choice, finding the right community can help you feel confident in your decision. Presidential Place offers memory care in a sunny Florida community designed to help residents live a full life with support and personal security.
At Presidential Place, we offer programs that utilize the Valeo wellness philosophy, which focuses on holistic wellness including physical, social, intellectual and spiritual needs. Personalized programs backed by scientific research help improve cognition and support emotional health. Contact Presidential Place today to learn more about our memory care community.