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How to Know if Your Parent Needs Memory Care

Healthcare | June 10, 2024

A senior woman contemplating while being comforted by another woman

As your parent ages, you may notice the early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Your loved one may get easily confused, forget important details, or have difficulty completing familiar tasks. Given how rapidly these conditions can progress without pillars of support in place,  it’s important to assess early on whether your parent would benefit from additional support at a memory care facility.

While some parents may be perfectly fine to live out their golden years at home, others may require memory care services earlier than you might expect. Read on to learn about the early signs that indicate your loved one should consider transitioning to a memory care facility. 

5 Signs to Know When It’s Time for Memory Care

Knowing the right time for memory care can often be challenging. That’s why we put together some indicators that can notify you when your loved one may be ready for memory care services.

Changes in Behavior

One of the most common indicators that you can look for are changes in your loved one’s behavior. Seniors with dementia may experience confusion, forgetfulness, or the inability to express themselves properly. These cognitive changes can make a person with dementia feel unsafe or afraid – resulting in behavior that can be perceived as agitated, aggressive, or upset.  

Individuals with dementia may become physically aggressive with their caregivers or make unfounded accusations or insults. These changes in behavior might also result in withdrawn or anti-social behavior.

Inability to Take Care of Themselves

Activities of daily living (ADLs) generally refer to a person’s ability to take care of themselves – like getting dressed, making a meal, taking a bath, using the bathroom. Seniors with dementia need additional assistance to take care of their hygienic needs as they get older. To help determine what assistance your parent might need, you should consider asking them some questions to gauge their abilities. 

  • How often do you eat every day? 
  • What do you make yourself to eat?
  • Do you have a personal hygiene routine?
  • Are you having any trouble with incontinence?
  • How frequently are you doing laundry?
  • Are you dressing appropriately for the weather?
  • What medications do you take everyday?

If your loved one’s answers to these questions alarm you, you should consider reaching out to their healthcare provider to assess their ability to live on their own.

Unsafe Living Conditions

Seniors with dementia may begin to hoard household items or neglect essential chores such as laundry, cleaning, dishes, or pet cleanup. Try and pay attention to the condition of your loved one’s home and whether they begin to abandon chores around the house. 

If there’s spoiled food in the fridge or piles of trash lying around, your loved one is forgetting regular home maintenance. If the time comes that they are no longer able to take care of their home, they are likely forgetting to take care of themselves as well and should be moved into a memory care facility.

If you are unable to make routine visits because you provide caregiving services from afar, consider assembling a team of helpers who can keep note of your loved one’s living conditions.

Withdrawn and Confused Behavior

Seniors with dementia can often experience confusion – seeming withdrawn or anti-social. They may forget what day or month it is or repeat themselves several times while telling a story or anecdote. Memory loss can cause individuals to forget to do important tasks – such as how to drive, when to take medications, or when they last showered. 

Confusion and disorientation can lead to accidents and unsafe situations. While it may start off subtly, you should not ignore this behavior as it can put your loved one at risk. 

Frequent Accidents & Falls

Common safety risks at home may also include trip hazards, fall risks, kitchen appliances, guns, or household chemicals. If you begin to notice your loved one losing their balance more frequently or having more injuries, you should consider helping them transition into a memory care facility.

Find the Right Senior Housing Option for Your Loved One

If you’ve recognized one or more of the early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or think your parent may no longer be safe living alone, consider talking with them about transitioning to a memory care facility

Try and respect their wishes if they refuse but encourage them to schedule an appointment to discuss care options with their doctor. Only a medical professional can evaluate signs of dementia and can help your family determine if memory care may be the best fit.

Trying to determine the right senior living solution for your loved one? National Church Residences takes an individual approach to support seniors and help them live a healthier, more satisfying lifestyle. We have memory care and assisted living facilities available to care for your parent while they enjoy their golden years. Find out which senior living options are in your area or give us a call at 844-465-6063 to talk to one of our friendly staff members today.

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