Memory care is a great option when your loved one needs more support. However, it can be hard to know when it’s time for them to move into a senior living community. How can you know when your loved one needs more support?
Continue reading to learn more about memory care, including when it’s time to move your loved one into a memory care community.
What Is Memory Care?
Memory care is a supportive lifestyle for older adults living with dementia and other cognitive impairments. This lifestyle is ideal when dementia affects your loved one’s ability to live independently.
Memory care provides 24/7 support for your loved one whenever they need it. An important aspect of memory care is that it helps residents with the activities of daily living (ADLs)—the tasks people complete every day. The ADLs include:
- Ambulating: The ability to move from one position to another & walk independently.
- Feeding: The ability to feed oneself.
- Dressing: The ability to select & put on appropriate clothing.
- Personal hygiene: The ability to bathe, groom, & maintain dental, nail, & hair hygiene.
- Continence: The ability to control bladder & bowel function.
- Toileting: The ability to get to & from the toilet & use it appropriately.
Your loved one receives a customized care plan when they live in a memory care community, providing them the daily support they need. Support staff can adapt this care plan if your loved one requires more assistance, providing continued support no matter the changes they experience.
Additionally, memory care provides enriching and fun opportunities, offering many services and amenities to help your loved one live life to the fullest.
When Should You Move a Loved One into Memory Care?
Dementia worsens with time, and your loved one may gradually struggle with independent living. It’s common for people with dementia to be unaware their cognitive function is declining, but you and your family will likely notice these changes.
While you should always have an assessment with your doctor, there are some common signs that it may be time for your loved one to move into a memory care community. Watch for the following signs to know when your loved one needs more support.
They Can’t Care for Their Personal Hygiene
Lack of personal hygiene can be a significant sign your loved one is having difficulty living independently. They may struggle to brush their teeth, shower, brush their hair, put on clean clothes, or take care of their nails. If you’re noticing your loved one has difficulty with these tasks, memory care can offer the extra support they need.
They Struggle with Their Daily Routine
Your loved one may have problems keeping up with their daily routine. These tasks are important for living independently, and struggling with them may mean it’s time for your loved one to receive more consistent support.
Some signs your loved one is struggling with their daily routine include:
- Unpaid bills
- Unopened mail
- A dirty house
- No groceries or spoiled foods
- An overflowing garbage can
- Inability to cook
- Not dressing appropriately
They’re Beginning to Wander
Wandering is a risk as dementia progresses. Your loved one may leave and place themselves in potentially hazardous situations. This wandering happens because they become confused about where they are, how they got there, or how to get back home.
If your loved one frequently wanders, they may benefit from a safe, secure living space.
They’re At Risk of Falling
As dementia progresses, it can increase the risk of trips and falls. Your loved one’s unsteadiness may cause shakiness. Falling can lead to serious injury.
Consider senior living as an option if you notice your loved one seems unsteady when standing, walking, or sitting. These environments have designs that help prevent and avoid potential falls and support staff to help your loved one move around safely.
They Show Signs of Depression
Isolation and depression are common when older adults have dementia. They lack the necessary social connections they need, potentially causing depression.
If you notice your loved one’s mental health declining, they may benefit from memory care. This community offers opportunities to meet new people, have new experiences, and make new friends.
Their Personality Has Changed
Dementia can affect your loved one’s personality, behavior, and thinking. You may notice changes in how they act or treat others. If your loved one is consistently agitated or angry, they may benefit from a memory care community.
They Have Severe Memory Loss
It can be difficult for someone to care for themselves in the advanced stages of dementia. They may suffer from severe memory loss and struggle to complete basic tasks. When this happens, it may be time to move your loved one into a senior living community.
Memory Care is Here to Help
Unfortunately, dementia can take away your loved one’s ability to care for their daily needs, such as eating, dressing, bathing, and more. While they may need more support, your loved one can still enjoy a safe, fulfilling lifestyle with the help of memory care. With 24/7 available staff, daily needs taken care of, and enriching events and activities, your loved one can enjoy each day.
Contact your local community if you’re interested in memory care for a loved one!