For families grappling with the realities of dementia, memory care can be a scary concept. Many families worry that transferring a senior loved one to dementia care in East Cobb means that they’ve given up, or that they will lose all autonomy. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, memory care is designed to bring as much joy to a senior’s life as possible.
The right community offers 24/7 support, as well as activities specifically tailored to the unique needs of someone who has dementia. From a brain health perspective, a structured environment and a predictable daily routine promote better overall well-being, and may even help with problem behaviors while easing anxiety.
Here are some signs that memory care may be the best option for your loved one.
Emotional and Cognitive Signs
If a person has dementia — including Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia, primary progressive aphasia, Lewy body dementia, or a similar diagnosis — they may eventually need memory care. However, not all people who have dementia need support right away. Some are even able to keep working following a diagnosis. It’s important to learn as much about a doctor’s prognosis as possible. Know, however, that dementia is unpredictable. Watch for the following signs:
- Your loved one no longer knows how to perform basic tasks such as cooking or bathing.
- Your loved one cannot safely drive.
- Dementia has undermined their ability to recognize family members.
- They become apathetic or checked out.
- They seem depressed or anxious.
- They start to exhibit problem behaviors, such as resisting going to the bathroom or getting aggressive with caregivers.
- They can no longer talk or understand language.
Physical Health Signs
For many families, failing physical health is what prompts the move to memory care. Dementia is more than just memory problems; it slowly damages the entire brain, upending the brain’s ability to coordinate most activities. These physical challenges may mean it’s time to move:
- Your loved one is incontinent, has frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs), or cannot use the bathroom without assistance.
- The senior has mobility problems, such as difficulty walking without help.
- The loved one spends most of their time sleeping or in bed.
- The senior suffers a serious fall.
- Your loved one is frequently ill or experiences bouts of pneumonia.
- Your loved one is not eating as much as they used to, or needs significant help to eat.
- The senior has swallowing problems, including coughing while eating or aspirating liquids.
Caregiver health matters, too. Your loved one would not want you to destroy your health, finances, or family to keep them at home — especially because staying at home is often a worse option. Some signs that caregiver stress may be too much and that memory care can help include:
- Family members are no longer able to meet a senior’s care needs.
- Your family spends much of the time fighting about caregiving.
- The primary caregiver is anxious, depressed, or sick.
- In-home care is becoming a significant expense.
- Caregiving has negatively affected your relationship with your senior loved one.
Memory care often expands a person’s access to socialization, entertainment, and most importantly, hope. For most families, it’s simply impossible to offer at home what a senior gets in memory care. East Cobb is a vibrant, welcoming region that offers plenty for families to do, gorgeous year-round weather, and incredible memory care options. So don’t delay the decision. If your loved one shows signs of needing memory care, support them in their efforts to get the help they need. Doing so can improve everyone’s outlook.