Sometimes, it’s hard for those closest to us to recognize when it’s time for a change, and it can be harder still for our loved ones to talk to us about that necessary change. You may have noticed a few changes in Mom lately, and maybe you have started to wonder if it’s time to seek out memory care for her.
You Are Worried About Mom’s Safety: People with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia can become confused, agitated, and even violent without cause or warning. Sometimes, they wander off. However, these symptoms often present slowly at first and then get worse over time. Mom may currently seem in control on most days, but perhaps there are starting to be more moments where you question her cognitive abilities. A few red flags that point to a need for memory care are:
- Accidents and injuries – Has she fallen more than once, had several unexplained injuries, or had several driving accidents? Are you considering taking her keys away?
- Living conditions – Are there mysterious areas of damage in her house, like burn or scorch marks from a forgotten stove that she cannot explain? Are there a lot of stains, mold, or other signs of water damage from water left running unattended? Is she hoarding unnecessary items or purchasing the same items over and over again?
- Hygiene – Has she not bathed in a while? Has she missed several hair appointments recently? Does she just generally seem to be taking less care of herself than she used to?
- You worry about her more often than you used to – Do you check on her more often or call her regularly regarding her safety and location?
You Can No Longer Manage Mom’s Health Care Needs: If Mom has started to need your constant supervision with her food and her medications; it might be time to seek memory care for her. People with Alzheimer’s and dementia often get confused when it comes to medication management and proper nutrition. If you are just starting to notice small things, like a missed dose here or there, food left on the counter that she forgot to refrigerate, or several missed meals entirely, those are all red flags. It can be very difficult to keep a parent with Alzheimer’s or dementia from being or from feeling isolated. When this happens, it becomes difficult to take Mom out to shop, to eat, or to any other social gatherings. Not being able to take Mom out will result in her becoming lonely and restless. This is definitely a time to look for memory care for Mom.
You Have Caregiver Burnout: Caring for someone, especially someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, is emotionally and physically draining. Being a caregiver for someone with dementia can cause feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and guilt. Caregiver burnout is real, and the signs should not be ignored. Do not hesitate to speak to a professional about your feelings and about Mom’s mental health. –The Cottages Blog Posted by Dawn Owens on May 10, 2016 9:00:00 AM