When symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementia first appear, they might be mistaken for normal aging. When symptoms progress, caregivers might be unsure about whether memory care is needed. It’s important to know that early intervention can lessen symptoms and delay progression of the disease. Medication and other therapies can help people live at home safely and comfortably for longer. Visiting a primary care doctor about the symptoms can be life-changing. Eventually though, a person with dementia will probably need 24-hour supervision. This usually becomes essential for their own well-being and the safety of others.
Here are questions to consider if you’re wondering whether a loved one should move to a memory care home.
- Has he or she gotten lost in previously familiar territory, as when taking a walk in their neighborhood or running errands?
- Can your loved one state their phone number and address in case they need help returning home?
- Does the person forget to lock their doors, making themselves vulnerable to crime?
- Have they forgotten to turn off a stove or other potentially dangerous appliance?
- In case of fire, do you believe he or she would handle the situation safely?
- Has your loved one’s level of personal care declined? For example, are they “not themselves” in terms of bathing, dressing or eating?
- Is he or she taking medications as scheduled? Are you confident they’ll take the correct dosages?
- Has he or she become uncharacteristically suspicious or fearful of others?
- As a caregiver, are you risking your own health? Are your caregiving duties interfering too much with your other responsibilities?
- Could your family pay for the amount of skilled in-home care or adult day care required? A limited amount of respite care could be available for free or at low cost. If extensive help is needed though, a memory care facility could be more affordable.
For more information on memory care, contact Spring Arbor.