Although there are about six million people (age 65+) living with Alzheimer’s in the US, many families do not know that their loved one could be one of them. Sadly, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are progressive, making it challenging to know that a relative could have the condition. The condition progresses slowly and starts as forgetfulness and subtle personality changes. These are some of the signs that a loved one could require memory care.
Memory care: What is it?
Memory care is a specialized type of care for people with dementia. Those who have dementia often exhibit behavior that can affect and even harm their daily living, and that is why they require this type of specialized care. But how can you tell whether a loved one requires memory care?
One of the most common signs that a loved one has dementia is behavioral changes. For example, someone who is known to be very social becomes withdrawn. Some people become agitated or anxious when previously they were known to be calm.
They become a danger to themselves
Some common symptoms of dementia are disorientation and confusion. These symptoms can lead to accidents both inside and outside the house.
For example, people with dementia get into car accidents and fall down the stairs more often than the rest of the population. Some wander from their homes and do not know where they are or how to get back.
If a loved one becomes disoriented and confused frequently, it may be time to start looking into memory care centers like Brandywine Living to see if they would be a better option than letting them stay at home. This is especially true if they do not have a caregiver or when their caregiver becomes overwhelmed.
A decline in physical health
A decline in physical health is another sign that a loved one is not taking care of themselves. People with dementia forget basic tasks like showering and grooming, lose weight because they forget to shop for groceries or eat.
They might be more likely to get sick because they forget their medication too. There is also a risk of overdosing, as some people with dementia forget they have taken some medication and end up taking more than the prescribed dosage.
Overwhelmed caregivers and memory care
Caregivers are trained to handle a lot, including dealing with everything that comes with caring for seniors (who are disproportionately affected by dementia). Their work can have a mental, physical, and psychological effect on them.
If the caregiver becomes overwhelmed, it is time to consider whether it is time to consider the specialized care offered by memory care centers. These feelings of being overwhelmed can also affect family members taking care of a loved one with dementia.
Some people with dementia would get the care they need at assisted living or nursing facilities. However, dementia is progressive, and thus many people with this disease require more than these facilities can offer.
Watching out for the signs discussed above may give you insights into whether a loved one needs care at home or would be better served in a memory care facility.