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Tom Clark

Tom Clark|United States

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Memory Care or Alzheimers? 5 Signs It's Time for Memory Care

May 13, 2019

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According to the Alzheimer's Association, 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease. 

As Alzheimer's and dementia progress, it becomes increasingly difficult for patients to manage day to day activities on their own. The symptoms of age-related cognitive decline aren't always immediately obvious. However, these can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Withdrawal
  • Poor judgment
  • Poor memory skills
  • Difficulty completing tasks without assistance

If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, they may require extra help. With a long-term care plan, you can find the best possible care options before the physical and emotional effects of this condition make an impact.

Consider these five signs it's time for memory care before exploring your options.

1. A Doctor's Diagnosis

While lapses in memory are a symptom of Alzheimer's, they aren't a definitive diagnosis. Before jumping ahead, speak with your physician about the symptoms you're experiencing.

That way, you can get a clear diagnosis before moving forward. 

Forgetting routine details such as names, dates, paying your bills on time, or navigating to familiar places is abnormal. If you're experiencing extensive memory loss, make an appointment with your doctor. 

Get Ahead

If you receive a diagnosis, begin looking into assisted living and memory care options.

While many patients are more comfortable staying at home, it's not the best option for the long-term. Imagine going out for groceries, only to forget how to get home—or who you could call for help.

Instead of avoiding this step, start researching. That way, you can maintain control over the situation and choose from Alzheimer's care facilities you're comfortable with. 

It's often better to transition from home into a memory care unit before more extensive symptoms occur.

That way, you maintain control over the decision and your future. This also gives you time to adjust and feel comfortable in a new environment before your memory deteriorates further.

By getting a step ahead of your diagnosis, you can also form friendships and become accustomed to a new schedule. That way, the staff, other residents, and facility are familiar before symptoms worsen.

As you learn more about the diagnosis, it's also important to learn more about memory care options. That way, you can prepare and have a plan in place for the future.

2. Caregiver's Concerns

As you review these signs it's time for memory care, consider everyone impacted by Alzheimer's. This includes friends, family, and any caregivers.

Caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia requires a 24/7 commitment. Even with in-home care, this can become too much during the later stages of dementia.

There are approximately 39.8 million caregivers providing care to another adult. In fact, Alzheimer's and dementia have required 15.7 family caregivers to provide unpaid support, despite a lack of training. 

These family members are often juggling a job, raising their family, and providing care to an elderly loved one. As Alzheimer's and dementia progress, more time and attention is required. This makes it difficult for these caregivers to provide the necessary care.

During the later stages of Alzheimer's, it's important to find more qualified care. An assisted living memory care facility is a good choice for both the caregiver and the patient.

Watch this video to learn more about how Alzheimer's and dementia can impact your loved ones.

3. Minimal Social Life

Those suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia may begin to feel withdrawn. Avoiding social interactions isn't just a symptom. In fact, it can also make the condition more difficult to manage.

Senior memory care facilities can help ensure patients maintain a rich and fulfilling social life. These facilities offer daily activities, allowing patients to exercise their mental and physical health. Patients can also go out on supervised outings with other residents.

This helps strengthen friendships while keeping patients engaged and active.

These facilities also strive to create relaxing environments. This minimizes confusion and stress. Patients can paint, play games, gather in common areas, or participate in other calming activities.

As you read these signs it's time for memory care, consider the benefits of moving into a facility. Patients no longer feel alone or that no one can sympathize with what they're experiencing.

Instead, patients are surrounded by potential friends and caregivers there to support them through every step of their condition.

4. Deteriorating Health

Memory loss can also impact our overall health. When we lose track of time, it can cause our circadian rhythm to go out of sync. This often results in insomnia, Sundowner's syndrome, and other conditions.

Take note if these physical symptoms of Alzheimer's or dementia are impacting your overall health:

  • Unexplained injuries or bruises
  • Weight loss
  • Sunken posture
  • A lack of personal hygiene
  • Loss of sleep/low energy

Since dementia patients are more prone to accidents, it's important they have access to immediate help. An assisted living memory care facility can ensure patients are cared for.

It can also help patients avoid such accidents before they occur.

People experiencing Alzheimer's or dementia may also forget to seek help when they need it. They may forget to call 911 or even how to use a phone. 

With access to immediate, on-site care, you or your loved one can avoid accidents or a further decline of overall health. 

5. Daily Difficulties

Memory loss can impact how we go about day to day activities. Some of these activities of daily living include:

  • Cooking (preparing meals, using appliances)
  • Housekeeping (washing dishes, laundry, other light chores)
  • Managing medications (taking the right dose at the right time)
  • Using appliances (using items such as a vacuum, tv, phone)
  • Managing money (maintaining a budget, making purchases, paying bills)

Patients can also experience difficulty driving, which can lead to dangerous consequences. 

People experiencing signs of deteriorating memory need help with these daily activities. At a care facility, patients can still maintain their independence while receiving the help they need, when they need it. 

5 Signs It's Time for Memory Care

With these five signs it's time for memory care, you can determine the best next steps for you or your loved one.  

Discover more health and fitness tips on my blog.