Memory care communities are a specialized form of long-term residential care that is designed to help and meet the needs of people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other forms of memory loss. They are often housed alongside an assisted living community and share many of the same benefits such as round-the-clock care, on-site medical support, and specially designed events and activities that cater to their residents. Memory care has the additional benefit of a memory-enhancing program that is designed to help cultivate and maintain cognitive abilities in its participants.
If your loved one is suffering from memory loss, there is no detriment to placing them in a memory care program. However, there are worrying effects of waiting too long. Here are some signs that it might be time to consider the change now.
Are You Starting to Get Burnt Out As a Caregiver?
When you are a caregiver, it is hard to prioritize your own needs above that of your charge. However, this is one of the most important factors to consider when you are thinking of a placement in a memory care program. Whether you are frustrated by the lack of progress, health-related decline, or even your loved one’s neediness, this can lead to caregiver stress. This is a very worrying state as it can lead to caregiver burnout. Whether it is burnout or stress, it is a sign that you are not getting the emotional and physical support that you need. If you are feeling neglected and overwhelmed, it will be hard for you to take care of yourself, much less give quality care to your loved one.
It is important to take note that feeling this way is not your fault. In most cases, caregivers are not certified medical professionals and do not have the skills or physical strength required to take care of a loved one with severe medical conditions. This is especially so if you are juggling work, relationships, and other responsibilities.
Is Their Home Environment Unsafe for My Loved One?
As memory loss conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s progress, their ability to carry out day-to-day activities will decline. This means that they may require more assistance, reminders, and even a constant companion to ensure their safety. For example, someone who used to make their own meals may leave their cooking unattended, resulting in a potential fire hazard. Similarly, people with dementia and Alzheimer’s tend to wander. This can be worrying if they get hurt or get lost along the way. This means that to keep them safe, there needs to either be someone who can monitor their movements or to heavily restrict their daily movement.
Is My Loved One Alone at Home Often?
This is important to consider for two reasons – their health and levels of social interaction. Being at home alone can affect many aspects of your loved ones’ health. For example, forgetting the right dosage or time to take prescribed medications can affect their health condition and may even turn deadly if they overconsume medication. Similarly, they may also forget to eat or have issues cooking or accessing nutritious meals.
On the other hand, the stimulation from social interaction can improve their quality of life, reduce agitation, and even slow down the rate of memory deterioration. As dementia or Alzheimer’s progresses, it might be harder for your loved one to communicate or even keep track of their surroundings. This runs the risk of shrinking their world as their social circle becomes smaller. In memory care communities, there are exclusive senior living programs that are designed to facilitate social interactions and enrich their daily lives.
If you have questions about how Discovery Commons At Wildewood’s memory care program can help your loved one, contact us today!