Posted: August 31, 2020
In 2020, Alz.org is projecting 220,000 seniors in Ohio will be diagnosed with Dementia of some type. Many individuals who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia do not immediately need to enter a memory care community. However, this moment will most likely come. Here are four signs that your parent one is ready for memory care. Knowing this will help you make the right decision when the time arrives.
Wandering can be one of the most dangerous symptoms of dementia. Wandering is a general term that covers behaviors ranging from getting lost in one’s own home to unknowingly following a past routine, only to forget what one was doing or where they are. This is the number one reason that many individuals choose to move their loved ones to memory care. They just cannot make their house wander-proof.
Other less specific signs of confusion and disorientation are also reasons that you may decide it is time for your parent to move to a memory care community. Whether they suddenly are having difficulty navigating their own home or are finding themselves lost in their neighborhood, dementia induced confusion can be scary and dangerous.
Wandering is one of the hardest symptoms of dementia to treat. No family, no matter how hard they try, can prevent or protect against it. Moving to a memory care community, which is designed with wandering in mind, will decrease the consequences of such behavior by having a safe and secure environment. At Walnut Crossing, we know that environment, often more than the disease process itself, causes the majority of distress for those living with dementia. Our memory support neighborhood was designed for optimal support, use of soothing technology and colors to support and comfort for older adults living with dementia.
Individuals suffering from dementia may begin to act very differently from what you would consider to be their normal self. We’re not talking about your loved one losing their keys every once in a while. The behavioral changes will be dramatic and oftentimes antithetical to who your parent is.
Perhaps they are usually very independent but then suddenly get very anxious when they have to be alone. They might be very conscientious but then suddenly lose track of their hygiene regimen altogether.
These changes might be small at first and not too much cause for alarm. As they become more noticeable, you should consider whether or not your parent would benefit from a memory care community.
You might notice that your loved one seems to be doing poorly physically. Perhaps they are looking frail or skinnier than normal, or they just seem generally unwell. Symptoms of dementia often cause individuals to forget to buy groceries or cook themselves food. In other cases, your loved one may begin to forget to take their medications or forget when they have taken them and end up taking too much.
One of your parents might be taking care of the other one with a memory related illness. If this is the case, make sure you are keeping an eye on both of them! If the caretaker parent’s health takes any turn, even slightly, for the worse, it can be even more difficult for them to then take care of themselves and their spouse. It is also possible that the caretaker spouse could develop a memory related illness.
Even if the family caregiver is not a spouse but is instead one of the individual’s children, the caretaker must always be in good health in order to deliver quality care. If this changes, it may be time to move to a community.
Deciding to move your loved one to a memory care community can be difficult. You do not want to make them leave their home. You might be worried that they will not like it. You might feel bad, like you failed or are not doing enough.
As you think of these “what-if’s”, remember that memory care communities are specifically designed with your loved on in mind. In fact, they are designed for them and no one else! While your home or their house might have fit their past stages in life, those homes are built for a whole family where each member needs something different. A variety of floor plans and amenities are available to help your parent thrive and feel at home.
A memory care community is designed specifically so that its residents, individuals with memory related illnesses, can get the most out of life! From the architectural makeup to their staff training, everything in a memory care community caters towards residents with dementia. By taking note of the signs above, you will be more prepared to know when your loved one will get the most out of moving to a memory care community. At Walnut Crossing, Rhythms Dementia program centers around learning each person’s natural rhythm of life and adapting our services and environment to meet their personal needs.
Hear from residents about how safe they feel living at Walnut Crossing during the pandemic here.