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Most of us want to live independently for as long as possible, no matter how old we are. There are plenty of elderly individuals who are perfectly capable of living on their own; however, our mental and physical faculties are eventually going to break down. It can be a challenge to figure out when it’s time for memory care. Elderly people with late-stage dementia need help from trained professionals, but lots of people with early-stage dementia are still able to live on their own.
A memory care community provides your loved ones with access to trained professionals who can provide your loved ones with the support they need, along with professional care that may slow the rate of cognitive decline. What are some of the signs that it might be time for memory care?
How Do You Know When Memory Care is Needed?
The capability to perform activities of daily living is one of the most important barometers when deciding whether someone can continue to live independently. For example, people must be able to use the bathroom, bathe themselves, and rest on their own. If someone struggles to perform these basic activities, they might need extra support.
Difficulty with activities of daily living could indicate that it is time for memory care. A few examples include:
- Your loved one might have a difficult time getting himself or herself dressed.
- Your loved one may have a hard time bathing regularly.
- They might not be taking their medications appropriately.
- They may commonly forget to get something to eat.
- They might get lost on routes that they take frequently. This might include getting lost in their own neighborhood.
These struggles with activities of daily living could indicate that it is time for memory care.
When Senior Memory Loss Causes Safety Concern
Sometimes, talking about major safety concerns can help the rest of the family understand that it might be time for memory care. We all want what is best for our loved ones. If we believe our loved ones are not in a safe environment, we will do everything we can to make a change.
There are a few important safety concerns that may indicate it is time for memory care. A few examples include:
- If your loved one gets lost while driving, they could place everyone at risk.
- You might notice that your loved one is going to the emergency room more often.
- There could be some bruising that you cannot explain.
- They might have a pet that is not being cared for properly.
- They may forget to turn the stove or the oven off when they are done cooking.
Your loved one should not be living on their own if they frequently get lost. Or, if your loved one tends to get her frequently, it might be time to consider help from memory care facilities.
Safety always has to come first, so make sure your loved one is in a safe environment.
Problems Managing Their Finances
Managing finances appropriately can be complicated. If you find that your loved one is having a difficult time managing money, it may be time to get professional help.
It may start small. For example, your loved one may have a hard time calculating a discount at the store. Or, elderly individuals may have a difficult time calculating tip on a restaurant bill. Eventually, these problems will start to get worse if they are not addressed.
For example, you may find that they’re not paying their bills. If your loved one is forgetting to pay the credit card on time, the interest can be a serious issue. Or, your loved one may be at risk of getting the lights or water shut off. Utility bills have to be paid on time to keep the power flowing.
You may also notice that your loved one is forgetting how to access his or her bank account. Elderly individuals may frequently lose their debit or credit cards. They might even forget to bring their ID with them to the bank.
There are significant legal issues that could develop related to financial problems. For example, it may be prudent to get a financial power of attorney. A trained lawyer can help with this, but it is also important to locate a memory care professional. A treatment accident may be able to slow the rate of cognitive decline, preventing financial disasters from taking place.
Major Changes in Behavior
If you detect major changes in behavior, it may be time to reach out to a memory care professional. These changes may be small at first; however, they will get more dramatic as dementia continues to worsen.
Some of the red flags to watch for include:
- You may find that your loved one is apprehensive about driving.
- They may become withdrawn from social situations because they don’t remember everyone.
- Your loved one may become more defensive, refusing routine help.
- They may start to miss major family gatherings, such as anniversaries and birthday parties.
- They may forget daily hygiene tasks, such as brushing their hair and their teeth.
- They might start to appear more anxious or agitated.
As these changes get worse, they may become a safety issue. They need to be identified as quickly as possible. A comprehensive evaluation should be performed, and professional memory care may be appropriate.
If you need help finding a memory care facility for your loved one, it would be our pleasure to help you.
Contact North Star Senior Advisors for Help Finding a Senior Living Community
Everyone is different, and you need to find the right senior living community for your loved one. This may include a memory care center, and our team can assist you. We are North Star Senior Advisors, and we have connections throughout the field that we can use to help you find the perfect memory care facility for your loved one.
We can explain the features and benefits of each option, making sure your loved one is taken care of. Contact us today to speak to our team.