Dementia is a condition that results in the loss of cognitive function. Because it gradually impairs the brain and causes memory and judgment loss, it can be incredibly difficult for people to care for their loved ones as their condition worsens. Your loved one may be able to stay relatively independent in the early stages. However, as their dementia progresses, they will eventually need 24-hour care and supervision.
Signs That It May Be Time for Memory Care
Because symptoms of dementia can quickly change from day to day, it can be challenging to know when the time for memory care has finally come. As your loved one’s condition progresses into more serious stages, it may be time for memory care if you notice certain signs.
Increased Forgetfulness and Memory Loss
While subtle forgetfulness and memory loss are some of the first signs you will notice in the early stages of dementia, these symptoms can quickly heighten as a person enters the later stages. For example, in the early stages, you may notice that your loved one consistently misplaces things and can’t remember where they are. As their dementia progresses, they may even forget to feed their animals or themselves. If your loved one has become forgetful to the point where you are worried about their safety, it may be time for them to have 24-hour care.
Aggressive Behavior and Agitation
Dementia can cause an individual to act out and behave differently than they may have before their diagnosis. This is due to their impaired judgment and loss of communication skills. Because of this, you may find that, as time passes, your loved one becomes more easily irritated or they behave more aggressively. If you notice that someone with dementia has become more aggressive, it is important to get them the care they need so that everyone can stay safe.
Disorientation, Wandering, and Withdrawal
As their confusion and memory loss heighten, an individual with dementia may accidentally begin to isolate themselves and become more withdrawn. This confusion can also cause disorientation and wandering, both of which can be dangerous if an individual is not under supervision. It is not uncommon for people with late-stage dementia to wander from their homes or the activities they should be at. When this occurs, it is in their best interest to find memory care.
Increased Caregiver Stress
Dementia is a difficult disease for both the individual diagnosed with it and the family members who must watch their loved one struggle with it. In many cases, family members and close friends try their best to care for their loved one with dementia. This often works in situations where an individual is in the early stages of their condition and is still semi-independent. Once caregivers start to become increasingly stressed and find it harder to care for their loved one, this is usually a sign that it is time for memory care. Unfortunately, you can only do so much on your own, which is why memory care can provide the proper care your loved one deserves.
Sundowning is a term used to describe the mood and behavioral changes that can occur in dementia patients in the late afternoon and nighttime. It can cause multiple different changes in behaviors, such as increased irritability, confusion, and aggression. Sundowning is also commonly known for causing pacing and wandering in those with dementia. If you notice your loved one is sundowning consistently, memory care may be an important next step to ensure that they stay safe during these episodes.
Unhealthy Living Conditions
Because dementia patients slowly lose the ability to care for themselves, they can accidentally create unhealthy and even dangerous living conditions. From leaving the stove on to forgetting about animals or food, if you have noticed the conditions of your loved one’s home have become increasingly unsafe or unhealthy, it is time to look into medical care.
Q: What is Alzheimer’s?
A: Alzheimer’s is a specific disease that causes dementia and memory loss, the inability to think, and eventually the inability to take care of oneself or perform basic tasks. However, “dementia” is a general term used to describe memory loss and loss of cognitive functioning. It can be caused by several diseases, injuries, and neurological conditions.
Q: What stage of Alzheimer’s requires full-time care?
A: Once Alzheimer’s has reached the mid- to late-stages, it is important that the diagnosed individual receive full-time care. As their disease progresses, an individual slowly loses their ability to do basic tasks like brush their teeth or swallow. They will eventually be unable to take care of themselves and will need help to do so.
Q: What is memory care?
A: Memory care is a specific form of care created to make the lives of those living with dementia as comfortable as possible. It is similar to assisted living but is intended to care for people who have lost memory or cognitive function. As a result, it involves a higher level of care than what would be found in an assisted living facility.
Q: Why should I put my loved one with dementia in memory care?
A: Making the decision to put your loved one in memory care can be difficult, but for those who have late-stage dementia, it is critical to their safety. As memory loss and confusion continue to get worse, you need to make sure your loved one is receiving the care they need. Memory care can not only help with basic tasks like eating and self-care, but it is also designed to keep dementia patients busy and comfortable.
Q: Who can benefit from memory care?
A: Any individual with worsening dementia can benefit from memory care. It is designed to provide them with the detailed care they deserve and require. It can also benefit family members by giving them some peace of mind while knowing that their loved one is receiving quality care from trained professionals.
Rocky Mountain Assisted Living: Quality Memory Care
Making the decision to move your loved one into memory care is never easy. However, making sure that they get the care they need as their condition progresses is critical. If you are looking for memory care services that you can trust here in Colorado, do not wait to see how we may be able to help you and your loved one. To learn more about our services and what we do at Rocky Mountain Assisted Living, contact us today.