Memory care provides your loved one with a supportive environment where they can enjoy everyday life. It’s beneficial for older adults living with dementia or other cognitive impairment. However, many people don’t know when it’s the right time to move their loved one into memory care.
Continue reading to learn more about this lifestyle, including when it’s the right time for your loved one to move into a memory care community.
What Is Memory Care?
Memory care, also known as memory support, is a lifestyle for seniors living with dementia or cognitive decline. This lifestyle provides 24/7 support while letting residents live as independently as possible.
Support staff help residents with daily tasks like activities of daily living, housekeeping, medication support, and other tasks. Besides daily care, this community offers many services and amenities to help your loved one live life to the fullest.
What Is the Right Time for Memory Care?
There is no definite “right” time for someone to receive memory care. Each person is unique and may benefit from more support care at different points in life.
If you’re worried about your loved one receiving the care they need, there are several signs you can look for. More changes occur in your loved one’s life as dementia progresses. Watching for these symptoms can help you determine when they may need more consistent support and care.
Issues with hygiene, memory, daily tasks, wandering, personality, and behavior can all be signs that memory care may benefit your loved one.
Lack of Personal Hygiene
Issues with personal hygiene can be a sign your loved one struggles to live independently. You may notice they haven’t cleaned or washed, aren’t wearing clean clothes, or haven’t brushed and flossed their teeth.
When someone can no longer take care of their hygiene, it’s unlikely they can take care of themselves properly. The staff in a memory care community can help ensure your loved one’s hygiene is taken care of. They can help them bathe, dress, and care for their appearance.
Difficulty with Medications or Appointments
It’s common for many older adults to need regular medications or visits to their doctor. As your loved one’s dementia progresses, they may struggle with appointments and medications. Your loved one’s health is vital, so any issues with their memory can negatively affect them.
Medication management is a vital part of the services offered in a memory care community, helping your loved one stay healthy.
Struggles With Daily Routine
Dementia makes everyday life more difficult. The tasks your loved one has completed for years become harder, and they may eventually struggle to care for themselves. If your loved one can’t care for their needs, they may require more support.
Signs of difficulty with daily life include:
- Unpaid bills
- Unopened mail
- Not dressing appropriately for the weather
- Dirty dishes, floors, or other areas of the house
- Spoiled food
- Lack of groceries
- Troubles with meal prep & cooking
Your loved one may benefit from memory care if you notice they struggle with aspects of their daily routine.
Wandering or Getting Lost
Wandering is a common symptom in the later stages of dementia. Your loved one may become confused about where they are or who others are, causing them to get lost and struggle to find their way home.
Wandering can put your loved one into dangerous situations, placing them at risk of a fall, injury, or dehydration. If you notice your loved one has started to wander or become frequently lost, they may benefit from memory care.
Depression or Isolation
Isolation and depression are common emotions for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It can be difficult to engage with others as symptoms worsen.
You may notice symptoms of depression in your loved one, including lack of interest, increased tiredness, or weight changes. A memory care community can benefit your loved one if they struggle with mental health. These communities provide opportunities for social connections and new experiences.
Emotional outbursts and personality changes are common as dementia progresses, making it harder to engage with your loved one. You may not know how to help manage these changes, making memory care beneficial. The staff in these communities have the training to handle the personality changes your loved one experiences.
Personality and behavioral changes to watch for include:
- Becoming upset, worried, or angry
- Experiencing depression or disinterest
- Hiding things or feeling suspicious of others
- Imagining things not present
- Wandering from their home
- Hitting you or others
- Misunderstanding what they see
Severe Memory Loss
Severe memory loss is common in the advanced stages of dementia, making daily life difficult for your loved one. They may struggle to remember names, addresses, and faces. Their memory difficulties may mean they need constant supervision and support.
Memory care can help provide a safe, supportive environment for your loved one to live in when their memory worsens.
Memory Care Can Help Your Loved One Live a Safe, Supported Life
Memory care provides your loved one with 24/7 support from caring staff. They can enjoy daily life knowing that someone is always there to help. If you’re unsure about memory care for your loved one, contacting or visiting your local community can help.Contact us if you’re interested in memory care for your loved one.