Making the decision to move your loved one from their current living situation into a memory care community can be difficult. You want the best possible support for them, but you might not be sure, if or when they need a memory care community, or whether they can stay where they currently are.
If you’re asking yourself, “How do I know when it’s time to look into memory care options for my loved one?” we’re here to help. We’ve put together some of the top signs to watch out for in your loved one’s behavior. Knowing what to look for can help you decide if it’s time to consider memory care communities in Marlton, NJ.
They Forget Important Things
Is your loved one suddenly (or increasingly) forgetting things they previously knew well? If they start to forget, or mix up, important things, like their own address, names or birthdays of dear ones (like their own kids), or important events (such as the death of a spouse that may have occurred), it could be a sign that they are developing memory loss or a type of dementia.
They Have Trouble Completing Basic Daily Tasks
Does your loved one look more disheveled than they usually do? If you notice them neglecting to shower or bathe regularly, not getting dressed right or using the bathroom properly, this may be an indicator that their dementia is progressing. Another telling sign is if they forget to take important medication, or their place appears messier than usual (this could show up as hoarding, not taking the trash out, or misplacing common items more).
Also, pay attention if your loved one suddenly loses a lot of weight or looks malnourished and dehydrated. People with dementia often “forget” to eat or drink as their natural sense of hunger and thirst decreases. To keep them from accidentally starving themselves, it may be time for a trusted memory care program in Marlton, NJ where dependable and compassionate staff can look after their diet and needs.
Their Safety Is Compromised
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, they are at greater risk of unintentionally hurting themselves or putting themselves in danger. Watch out for things like an unlocked or open front door, a burning stove and other unsupervised flames, or them having difficulties handling knives and other household tools safely.
When you fear that their safety is in danger (or the safety of people they live with), it is a clear sign that they would benefit from living in a dedicated dementia care community.
Changes in Their Disposition
Have you noticed your typically cheerful or easy-going loved one suddenly getting agitated or angry quicker? Or maybe they’ve grown more frightful, anxious, or fidgety? Dementia can confuse and upset people in unexpected ways. They may not understand what’s happening to them and lash out at others or at themselves in unpredictable ways. To help them better deal with these changes, trained staff in memory care programs can help them navigate those new life circumstances with patience and compassion.
They Are Getting Lonely, Depressed, or Isolated
People with dementia may have a more difficult time connecting with friends or participating in hobbies as they used to. If you notice your loved one getting sad, lonely, depressed, or isolated, exploring memory care options may be the right choice for them. In a memory care community, everyone from the staff to fellow residents is familiar with dementia and cognitive challenges. This often allows residents to find comforting connections with peers, and more joy in life again.
Their Current Living Situation Is Not Working
Your loved one may currently live alone, with a spouse, or already in an assisted living senior living community in Marlton, NJ. If they live on their own or with a spouse, they may be burdened by the level of care that’s needed. Or maybe their current senior living community doesn’t provide the special care a person with dementia needs? Whatever the reason, helping them move into a warm and welcoming dementia care community may provide them with the supportive and caring home they need.
Their Caregiver Feels Burned Out
If you are looking after your loved one yourself, don’t ignore signs of caregiver burnout and exhaustion. If you feel you can no longer give them the care or attention they need and deserve, they may be happier in a memory care community. Finding them a loving and cared-for environment may provide both you and them with exactly the type of support that is needed. Once they live in their well-catered-to new living situation it can bring both of you a greater sense of joy, peace of mind, and a stronger connection.
Considering memory care for your loved one isn't an easy decision. But Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are progressive, and living in a memory care community can greatly benefit your loved one’s well-being and daily life. It can also help ease the burden of care on everyone involved.
Have you started researching different memory care communities in the Marlton, New Jersey area, but aren’t sure which dementia care community features are the most important? Download our handy Dementia Care Checklist and check off items that matter to you and your family as evaluate different communities. Get the printable list here.