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King Farm Blog

IKF Blog
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2020

5 signs that memory care may be needed

Living with a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s has no doubt required you to be both compassionate and flexible. You’ve accepted the changes and adjusted to those in your own life as well. And as this is a progressive disease, more, not less, care and attention will be required.

As your family moves through the different stages of Alzheimer’s, you might be recognizing that some day your loved one may need more care than you can provide. You may find yourself searching for signs that you need memory care help, or wondering when you should begin looking.  

The best advice for most families is that you can never start too early. Being prepared for what the future will bring is one of the best lines of defense a family can have. Just knowing what options are available and where you can find help will take some of the weight off your shoulders.

5 signs that memory care may be needed

Although it’s important to realize that everyone’s Alzheimer’s journey is different and unique, there are some common signs that it’s time for memory care. Each family will need to assess a loved one’s needs and their ability to support them.

These indications can signal that additional resources or community care is needed in order for your loved one to remain safe and have the highest quality of life possible.

1. Behavior changes

Because of the nature of Alzheimer’s, there will obviously be great changes in both the behavior and responses of individuals moving through the illness. And since it is a progressive disease, the behaviors and intensities will likely increase.

Behavior changes can include becoming more aggressive or angry, which can frighten the caregiver and possibly put them both in an unsafe position.

Also, as confusion continues to increase, their safety is at risk and they’ll eventually require 24-hour supervision. This is an extremely hard ask of a caregiver.

And if wandering becomes part of the routine, this can prove dangerous as your loved one might leave home and not know how to get back or who to call.

2. Decline in their physical health

While Alzheimer’s is known for its cognitive impairment and the symptoms of memory loss, there will also be a decline in the individual’s physical health. This may include:

Becoming unable to sleep or remain asleep through the night, affecting their health and the caregivers’ as well.

Eating can become more of a challenge and it may be harder to keep them hydrated. The risk of choking also increases.

Standing or sitting can become more difficult, along with a loss of balance and stiff muscles.

Some individuals will suffer from seizures or loss of bladder control.

Movements can slow down and they may begin to shuffle or drag their feet, increasing their risk of falling.

3. No longer safe at home

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, most individuals do remain at home and are able to function. But as they progress through the illness, they will begin to need assistance and supervision in order to be safe.

Many activities of daily life will become more difficult or impossible, such as driving. And as the disease affects their judgment, the individual may forget how to use an appliance and turn on the stove but fail to turn it back off.

They may wander away from home and have no idea where they are. Falling can often become a problem as they may trip or stumble more easily. They might lock themselves out of the house or in a room and if there is an emergency, they may not have the capability to rationally respond.

4. Social isolation

One of the more unfortunate side effects of Alzheimer’s is the self-isolation that occurs for both the individual and the caregiver.

The person with dementia becomes aware that their behavior is changing and may be worried that they will say or do something embarrassing in front of other people. As the illness progresses, it becomes easier to just want to stay at home.

For the caregiver, one of the signs that you need memory care help is when you realize you are no longer leaving your home or seeing others, beyond the necessary outings such as medical appointments.

Visiting friends or going out socially can be such a challenge that it becomes easier to stay at home instead. At a time when interaction and support is needed more than ever, you both may find yourselves alone and struggling to survive the days and nights.

5. Deteriorating health of the caregiver

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s takes a toll, both emotionally and physically. And the tools they may have used to support their own well-being might now feel out of reach. If you are not able to leave the home, or can arrange for respite, the continued 24-hour responsibilities will have a detrimental impact.

It’s not uncommon for caregivers to neglect their own health as they are overwhelmed with the needs of their loved one. Exercising, taking a walk, or seeing friends become impossible, especially if there is no one that can provide a break. Eventually, the caregiver may find that they no longer have the strength or the overall health to care for someone else.

Ingleside at King Farm Memory Support Assisted Living

We are familiar with the signs and behavior changes that lead families to search for what community care can offer. We provide compassionate and personalized services in order to ensure that your loved one will remain engaged and supported in achieving their highest quality of life possible.

What is asked of families when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can eventually surpass their ability to provide. But with a memory support community, you can finally rest, knowing that your loved one is receiving around-the-clock supervision and all of the advantages of the best dementia care practices.

Our residents live in spacious and sun-filled homes in intimate and secured neighborhoods. With our supportive designed areas, meals that encourage independence and nutrition and our therapies, including pet, art and music, your loved one will be encouraged to experience a meaningful life. And the family will also be supported and assisted during this time as well.

Call (240) 414-8557 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.

 

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