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When is it Time for Memory Care?

When is it time for memory care

Family members often devote themselves to providing home care for beloved parents, partners, or grandparents when they are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. After a while, however, it is oftentimes necessary to seek professional long-term care services. In these situations, memory care could be the right choice. If you are caring for someone with dementia, you may be wondering when it is time for memory care.

7 Signs It’s Time for Memory Care Services

The following signs could indicate that it is time to make the move to a memory care community.

1. Behavioral Changes

One of the most jarring dementia symptoms is a change in behavior. People living with memory disorders might become anxious or irritated, or they may become more withdrawn and less sociable. A lack of professional training and a personal connection to the person with dementia can make it difficult for family and friend caregivers to know how best to handle these mood and behavior changes.

2. A Poor Living Environment

Cognitive decline can directly lead to an unhealthy and unsafe living environment. That can mean neglecting chores and responsibilities, which leads to missed bill payments, trash piling up, and food spoiling in the fridge. Of course, a poor environment isn’t just unpleasant—it can be dangerous. Dementia patients, for instance, are prone to falls due to imbalance. This risk may worsen if the home is cluttered due to an inability to manage household chores.

3. Disorientation and Confusion

As dementia progresses, disorientation and confusion worsen. It’s much worse than simple forgetfulness. A fragile mental state can lead to accidents and other unsafe situations. For example, people living with dementia may forget how to drive, how to get back home, or may even leave a stove on. None of these situations are safe, and they indicate an immediate need for specialized care.

4. Caregiver Burnout

Providing full-time personal care services to another person can be overwhelming. When caregivers burn out, it can be a lose-lose situation for everyone because the caregiver and dementia patient alike are at a higher risk of mental health and physical health problems. So when caregivers become overwhelmed, it may be best for the well-being of all involved to seek out specialized dementia care, whether that be short-term respite care or long-term residential care.

5. Worrying Physical Signs

Cognitive impairment and memory loss can mean people with dementia no longer know how to care for themselves. They forget to take medications, for example, which can worsen conditions like diabetes. That, in turn, can lead to worrying physical signs like excessive bruising, slow-healing wounds, or incredibly dry skin. Significant, unplanned weight loss may also be an indicator that something is wrong, as sometimes people in the middle and late stages of dementia forget to eat.

6. Incontinence

Incontinence means someone has no control over defecation and urination. When people with dementia can no longer take care of their own personal care needs, they may soil themselves and cannot properly clean themselves after. If you notice a loved one needs help with toileting or other activities of daily living, it could be time to seek professional senior care options like memory care and assisted living communities.

7. You Just Know

Family members and friends know their loved ones living with dementia best. They will know that quality of life has decreased and that the current living situation is no longer feasible.

If you notice that your aging relative has considerably slowed down and you feel in your gut that something is wrong, don’t just “wait it out.” Seek professional help, either from a professional memory care unit or another healthcare professional.

What’s Unique About Memory Care at Avista?

Memory care is oftentimes the right level of care for people living with dementia.

Each memory care community in the Avista network offers an atmosphere designed with residents’ peace of mind as a priority. Staff members provide meals and assist with personal care needs, as is the case in an assisted living facility. Unlike assisted living, however, staff members in memory care also have special training to deal with the unique situations associated with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This specialized care includes more frequent check-ins, extra structure and support throughout the day, socialization, planned meals, and more. Even the community’s architecture is designed with wellness and safety in mind. Alarmed doors, enclosed outdoor spaces, and elevator codes all help keep residents from wandering and getting lost.

Whether moving from their home to a memory care facility, or moving from assisted living to memory care, making the move to a memory care community is oftentimes the right choice for families of someone living with dementia. The staff at Avista is always ready to answer any questions you may have, including “When is it time for memory care?” and “Is memory care the right fit for my family?”

Contact Avista Senior Living today to learn more about how we can help your loved one living with dementia at our memory care communities.

Disclaimers: This article is for informational purposes only.

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