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Identifying the Signs It May Be Time for Memory Care


Senior man sitting in a chair reading a newspaper.

Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related cognitive decline are known to be progressive diseases which can vary from person to person and advance at different rates. In the beginning stages of cognitive decline, older adults are still fully capable of remaining independent which means they can complete essential activities of daily living, household duties, cooking and everything in between. It is important to educate yourself on how to identify the signs your loved one has progressed past a certain point in their cognitive abilities and recognize it may be unsafe for them to remain living at home alone. There will come a time when they will need extra supervision, guidance and support either from you in your home or theirs, or from trained professionals in a memory care facility or alternatively, a board and care home.


Here are a handful of signs to pay attention to if you are recognizing further cognitive decline in a loved one and trying to determine if a memory care community will benefit, enhance and potentially prolong the life of a loved one struggling with dementia:


You often worry about your loved one…

If you find yourself regularly worrying about the safety or well-being of your loved one as a result of their forgetful actions such as forgetting to turn off the stove, forgetting to eat, forgetting to take their medications on time or at all, or forgetting to shower, this could be a very crucial sign that your loved one can benefit from the extra assistance provided by you, caregivers from an agency, or trained professionals at a memory care community who can help them complete essential activities of daily living, including dressing, cooking, grooming, and taking their medications properly.


You worry about the safety of yourself or those that spend time with your loved one…

Although it is not a common symptom of dementia, outbursts of anger and physically lashing out can be present in seniors with dementia due to increased agitation and confusion associated with personality changes. If you find yourself in this situation and it is noticeably increasing, it may be time to consult with a neurologist about your loved ones symptoms and possibly a change in their medications. If that doesn’t help, then you may consider making a move into a memory care community. Some of these communities are specialized in treating people who are exhibiting these kinds of behaviors and have specially trained staff who are familiar and know how to help an individual get through these moments.


Your loved one wanders…

Another common symptom of dementia is wandering. If you find your loved one appears confused and wandering around the house aimlessly, maybe even walking out the front door and taking a trip down the block and then forgetting how to get back home, this is a very prominent sign your loved one can benefit from the safe and secured environment of a memory care community. Wandering can be frightening to your loved one and have dangerous consequences so it is important you address this as soon as possible.


Your loved one is isolated and lonely…

Isolation and loneliness can increase the risk of depression in older adults and seniors diagnosed with dementia are just as susceptible to depression, if not more because of the increasing isolation they experience. It may become progressively more difficult for caregivers to venture out of the home with loved ones and engage in the community which may inevitably end in social isolation. Luckily, memory care communities have daily engaging activities which can help socialize loved ones with dementia and hopefully prevent the onset of other mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.


Living conditions are not as they used to be…

Early signs of dementia can manifest in ways such as hoarding or untidied homes unlike what they used to be before. If you notice your loved one is no longer caring for their home as they used to, such as the mail is piling up, food is spoiled in their fridge and their trash has been there for days, this is a sign your loved one can benefit from the extra assistance either at home or at a memory care community.


If you are recognizing more than one of the signs mentioned above, we highly recommend beginning the search into memory care facilities or home care agencies for a loved one struggling with dementia. These communities and agencies offer older adults with a safe and secure space to engage and continue living joy-filled lives with just a little extra assistance. There are several communities in Ventura County that offer amazing amenities and services plus have a resort-like feel as well as agencies that can provide in-home caregiving that can help keep your loved one safe and comfortable at home. Reach out to one of our knowledgeable advisors for more information about memory care communities or agencies near you.

 

Read more senior lifestyle articles: here! Or, discover a delicious and healthy recipe: here!


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