If you’re noticing changes in your loved ones behavior, ability, or personality, it may be time to start considering memory care as a best means to support them. Its not always easy to know when the right time is, but by asking yourself some key questions, you can create a better game plan to support your loved one.
“The best thing you can do for your loved ones is be proactive,” Says Lesia Cawthon, Regional Clinical Director at Galerie Living. “The sooner they’re able to receive that extra help they need, the more they’ll be able to slow their cognitive decline and celebrate more good days.”
In a stage of their life where they’ll likely need the most support from those around them, your loved one’s dementia might make it difficult for them to express their feelings, their needs, or how they’d like you to support them. It’s important to be patient with them through this and to remember that there are ways to be proactive, supportive, and engaged in your loved one’s wellness journey.
5 Questions To Ask Yourself If Your Loved One Has Dementia
There’s plenty of insights to be found outside of doctors visits. In many ways, you may have a better view into your loved one’s behaviors, progression, or general health than a doctor would, so being mindful of the warning signs and taking action early is a responsibility you shouldn’t overlook. That starts with asking yourself the right questions.
Is Your Loved One Being Social?
Social isolation is unfortunately common among many seniors, especially those with dementia. Lack of social interaction, engagement, and a true sense of community can lead to severe cases of geriatric depression. In addition to the common effects of depression, geriatric depression in seniors with cognitive decline can further the progression of their dementia and make it difficult to maintain a consistent wellness routine. Recognizing and facing geriatric depression is an important topic worth exploring on its own, but withdrawal, mood swings, and changes in interests are common signs that suggest your loved one may be battling depression. Catching it early and putting a plan in place to get them more involved is crucial.
In a memory care environment, especially one in a blended community with independent and assisted living, your loved one will benefit from intimate-setting socialization. Your loved one will be able to create a community with those around them – people who have a more personal understanding of what they’re going through. It’s also a way for them to feel a stronger sense of purpose, surrounded by friends and neighbors. In memory care neighborhoods like ours, these social interactions also act as enrichment activities. From orchestrated field trips to art workshops to science and history lessons, their time spent in memory care will be engaging and supportive through more than just their traditional care program.
Are They Safe?
Unfortunately, aging – and especially aging with dementia – can hinder physical strength, flexibility and balance and ultimately increase the risk of falls or other accidents. Some homes are designed to be more accessible and safe, but the risks are still apparent and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re noticing falls, slips, bruises, or other signs of harm, you should seriously consider giving them a safer, more tailored environment. Additionally, if you worry that your loved one’s dementia may put them at risk of harming themselves, a memory care community would provide the unintrusive but consistent oversight needed to keep them safe.
“A specialized memory care neighborhood provides your loved one with a smaller, more intentional environment to make daily navigation easier,” Leisa Cawthon adds.
Communities like ours feature specific residence floor plans and open layouts that promote safety and unintrusive supervision so you can spend more time cherishing them and less time worrying about their safety. With a full team of specialists there to create a lively and secure environment, you and your loved one can focus on what matters: the moments.
Are Their Medications Being Properly Monitored?
Managing medications can make rocket science look easy. Even with fantastic doctors walking you through what each medication does and when to take it, it can be a real challenge to keep up. You might also find yourself trying to reexplain these medications to your loved one when they get confused, which can make it more difficult to keep track. If you’re not on track, your loved one’s not going to get what they need which is why it’s so important to have a great solution backing their care. If you’re missing days, mixing up medications, or having difficulties getting your loved one to take their medications, memory care is a great option for you.
In a memory care environment, that’s taken care of for you and your loved one. With comprehensive medication management systems, their caregivers will know exactly what they need, be able to administer it exactly when they need it, and have a more informed understanding of any side effects or reactions. Your loved one will get what they need when they need it. Every time.
Are You Taking Care Of Yourself?
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you may already feel like you’re taking on a caregiving role. That’s okay, but it’s important to acknowledge how difficult that can be without proper experience. Caregiver burnout is a common and understandable experience that many face, especially when their loved one is combative or resistant to support. The worst thing you could do for your loved one is push through the burnout until an inevitable crash, where you might leave them without a smooth transition into a more sustainable support plan.
If you’re feeling caregiver burnout, there are other options aside from memory care to support you and your loved one, but memory care is going to be a comprehensive option and, in many cases, the best option. When weighing your options, it’s always valuable to contact a Certified Dementia Practitioner for an expert opinion.
Is Their Dementia Getting Worse?
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, especially with mood swings, combativeness, confusion, or risks of harm, and you’re noticing a downward trend, remember to be proactive. Finding a great memory care community for your loved one while they still have some independence and capability is a much better route than waiting until their dementia worsens. Waiting until it’s urgent will only make things harder for them.
If your loved one is living in an assisted living community or is receiving personalized care, it may be easier to spot these trends. If you’re not sure about memory care, reach out to a senior living consultant to see how assisted living could support them through less severe cases of dementia. Village Park Senior Living communities offer inclusive wellness programs that can support and engage assisted living residents through early stages of memory loss and improve cognitive function through social enrichment.
Finding The Right Memory Care
If it’s time to find a great memory care community, know that there are insightful resources to finding one right for your loved one. Referral agencies, specialized websites, dementia specialists, and senior living consultants are all great resources that can find you the perfect fit. Ask these resources about communities that feature daily enrichment activities, inclusive amenities, and guidance from Certified Dementia Practitioners.
Village Park memory care neighborhoods offer the tailored care and consistent support you’d want for your loved one, and with three locations to choose from, finding the right fit is as easy as giving us a call. Here, you and your loved one can celebrate more great memories, more wellness victories, and more good days.
Call today at any of our communities and get in touch with a senior consultant to take the first steps in giving better care to those you love.